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  1. Default OH -> Milwaukee -> Glacier -> Yellowstone/Tetons -> Ft. Collins -> OH

    So, did my first legitimate roadtrip last Summer (OH -> Olympia NP -> Southern Utah parks -> OH) and can't wait for this year.

    Driving to Milwaukee via the Michigan UP, but from there I'm eager to hear any suggestions on best (most scenic) routes from Milwaukee to Glacier NP.

    Also, more importantly, looking for the most scenic route(s) from Glacier to Ft. Collins (via Yellowstone/Grand Teton region). Hoping to drive most of the stunning drives in Wyoming, so much so that I might spend 2 or 3 days in that region, as opposed to an extra day or two at Rocky Mountain NP.

    I know that's not enough time to really do those Wyoming NPs, but really found last Summer that driving all around Southern Utah was an amazing part of that journey, so looking for the best routes beyond what I've already gathered.

    TiA, roadtrippers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Two questions: how much time do you have total for this trip?

    Is Milwaukee a must stop and/or if there a reason you're going there after the UP? If it is, I would go to Milwaukee first, then up to the UP and across to glacier via US2, if it's not then go straight up through Michigan and again take US2 all the way West.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default For a Few Miles More

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While there are a whole lot of 'empty' miles across the High Plains between Milwaukee and Glacier, there is one route that is only 70 miles or so longer than the shortest possible all-Interstate route that offers much more in the way of scenery and attractions. That is basically I-90 through southern Minnesota and South Dakota to Billings MT and then MT-3/US-12/US-191/US-87 to Great Falls and finally US-89 to St. Mary, the eastern entrance to Glacier National Park. Rapid City SD deserves at least a day all to itself so that you can explore at least a few of the following: Mount Rushmore, Badlands NP, Wind and Jewel Caves, the crazy Horse Memorial, and Devils Tower. As you traverse southeastern Montana you'll be passing the Little Bighorn Battlefield, and with a modest detour in central Montana you can visit the Upper Missouri River Breaks NM.

    As for the Glacier to Yellowstone route, there are relatively few options and all of them are scenic. If you're going to 'do' Glacier, you're going to drive Going to the Sun Road through the park and come out on the western side at West Glacier and US-2 to Kalispell. From there, I'd probably opt for MT-82/MT-83 over US-89 south just because it stays mostly in national forest and avoids a number of small towns. You may feel differently, but in any case you'd then take MT-200/MT-141 down to US-12 east to US-287 south and enter the park through West Yellowstone, the town that is the closest to many of the main attractions in the park.

    Doing the route as outlined above would put you in position to hit Ft. Collins on your way home, which would in turn set you up to follow the old Oregon Trail (US-30/I-80) through Nebraska and finally your favorite route from the Quad Cities to wherever in Ohio you call home.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-02-2019 at 02:11 PM.

  4. Default

    3 weeks max trip time, and yes going to Wisconsin for 3 nights of concerts.

    Part of the reason for taking the UP route (from Cleveland) is to drive on US-2.

    Guess I'm really trying to figure (for that portion) if it's worth the extra drive time to catch US-2 at Duluth or Grand Forks or anywhere between, and ride that to Glacier NP.

    Doesn't seem that it's particularly scenic through North Dakota or Montana, at least not when weighed against the extra drive time and convenience of the interstate.

    But that's why I'm here asking for someone who's driven US-2 in those areas.

  5. Default

    So, something I failed to mention is that I'm into crossing off states I've never been, and took 90 from Sioux Falls to Spokane last Summer (with stops at Rapid City/Devil's Tower), so crossing off WI, MN, and ND is part of this trip.

    My first outline looks like this:

    CLE > Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    Sleeping Bear > Milwaukee ×3

    Milwaukee > Fargo

    Fargo > Billings

    Billings > Kallispell/Glacier ×3

    Glacier > Bozeman

    Bozeman > (Yellowstone/Tetons) > Jackson

    Jackson > Ft. Collins (Rocky Mountain NP)

    Ft. Collins > Des Moines

    Des Moines > CLE

    That's what I have so far. Will be camping plenty along the way and nothing is set in stone, so while some drives are on the edge lengthwise, they're not locked in.

    Really like the suggestion of MT-83 as opposed to US-93 or US-89 and am still kind of deciding whether to take 287/191 into Yellowstone from the west or 89 from the north.

    I kind of have some days to play with, to be divided amongst Yellowstone/Tetons/RMNP. Spent a day at RMNP doing a few hikes recently and would really like to have a day there again.

    Also not thrilled about going to YNP during peak season, so my thought was really to drive some/most of the park and maybe spend a day or two hiking at the Tetons.

    Another route decision is to take 287 south to 80, or 189/191, or US-26 to I-25 to Ft. Collins. (Probably leaning towards 287, both efficient and scenic)

    Anyway, plenty of time to make certain decisions, but really looking for interesting routes in Montana and Wyoming along my general path, and also must-see spots in and around Yellowstone/Tetons because I am a bit pressed for time there considering how much there is too see.

    (Should also note, I'm trying to somewhat avoid the MAJOR tourist spots in hope of seeing more of the maybe lesser-known but sufficiently breathtaking spots in the YNP/GTNP region)

    Thanks for the advice AZBuck! Can't wait for Glacier. One of the main reasons for this trip is to hike the Garden Wall there, certainly would love to hear any other Glacier suggestions as well.

    Very much looking forward to challenging hikes and breathtaking drives this Summer...just like last Summer. And hopefully every Summer until my body won't allow it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Killing It at the End

    Your overall plan looks fine right up until the last two days. Those are simply impossible. We cannot repeat it often enough: The driving time estimates that you get from computer-based mapping programs bear NO resemblance to reality! You will never be able to cover 1300 miles in two days. Period. You absolutely need to find another day, somewhere, to add to you final leg from Fort Collins to Cleveland. It would be bad enough if you were trying to do this on the first days of your trip, but trying to do it at the end, when you're fatigued and the adrenaline is long since been used up is suicidal or worse. That's not "right on the edge", it's far over it - even with multiple drivers. Also working against you is the fact that each of the two days you're planning to do this on will only be 23 hours long due to time zone changes. Seriously, this needs another day if you all want to get home safely.

  7. Default

    For any of these drives stopping when I need to stop is a given, before the onset of fatigue. And I agree those two days, even if they are all interstate, aren't really feasible with Chicago and surroundings mixed in.

    Basically, I'm much less concerned with my all-interstate route/stops home to be set in stone, and much more concerned with US/state routes/stops before the trip starts.

    All that said, 10 hours of interstate driving isn't too much for me without pushing it, (done 10 hours numerous times over the last few years) and I wouldn't push it if it meant driving past the point where I feel absolutely comfortable.

  8. Default

    Here's where I'm at now in planning:

    CLE > Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI (Platte River CG) I-90 > US-127 > I-96 > US-131 > MI-115 > MI-22

    Sleeping Bear Dunes > Milwaukee
    MI-72 > US-31 > I-75 > US-2 > MI-35/US-41 > I-43

    Phish/Alpine Valley ×3

    Milwaukee > Bemidji, MN
    I-94 > US-53 > US-2

    Bemidji > Glasgow, MT

    Glasgow > W. Glacier

    Glacier ×3 (CGs: Many Glacier, Two Medicene, Fish Creek, Apgar)

    W. Glacier > W. Yellowstone, MT
    US-93/MT-82/MT-83/MT-200/MT-141/US-12/US-287 then either US-287 or I-90 > US-191 or I-90/US-89 (Gardiner, MT)

    W. Yellowstone/Gardiner > Moran, WY
    (looking to basically drive as much of YNP still able to make it to Moran/GTNP/Lizard Creek CG by the end of the day)

    Grand Teton NP ×1

    Then either,

    Moran > Dinosaur Nat'l Mon., UT
    US-191 > US-40

    Dinosaur NM > Ft. Collins (via RMNP)
    US-40 > CO-14


    Moran > Ft. Collins
    US-287 > I-80 > US-287

    Ft. Collins > CLE

    So, made some changes. Decided that if I'm going to drive through MN and ND for the first time it might as well be on US-2. I'd love to hear any recommendations from folks who have driven that stretch.

    Another decision that remains is the drive from W. Glacier to W. Yellowstone/Gardiner. Looking for the best scenic route (although I'm sure they're all good) between US-287/US-191/US-89.

    Just looking to drive as much of YNP as I can while still making it to a GTNP campsite before dusk, so any advice on best way to drive through YNP would be helpful.

    The final decision is either drive down to Dinosaur NM, camp there and drive to Ft. Collins the next day via US-40 which I assume has great views. Or stay an extra (second) day at GTNP and just take I-80/US-287 to Ft. Collins. Or do that 80 route and use that extra day at RMNP. Basically, how worth it is Dinosaur NM and US-40 in CO vs. my other options?

    Thanks for all the info/advice/recs along my road!

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