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  1. Default Rocky Mountain RoadTrip

    Hi to all. The information posted here is most helpful. We have made small road trips for years, but, the trip I have in mind needs some expert advice. Trip would be this summer.(Could travel from late June to labor day). First day, we would fly into Denver,Colo. and rent a car.
    Next day(Day 2 See Denver
    Day 3 Drive to Rocky nat pk Spend days 3 and 4 seeing park
    day 5 Drive to dinosaur nat park
    day 6 See Dinosaur park
    Day 7, Drive to Salt lake city
    day 8 See salt lake city
    day9 Drive to grand teton nat pk
    Day 10 See grand teton
    Day 11, drive to Yellowstone.
    Day 11 and 12, See Yellowstone
    Day 13 drive to devils tower
    See devils tower, Crazy horse, Mt Rushmore
    Drive to Badlands Nat park
    Day 15, See Badlands Nat.
    Day 16 Drive to Denver
    Fly out Day 16 or 17.
    Is this pure insanity, or, maybe doable? Would you suggest more or less days for each stop? Any and all suggestions are welcomed.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-08-2019 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Moved to its own thread and given a title

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,664

    Default Eminently Doable

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    On a first read-through, I don't see any red flags popping out of it. Yes, it can seem like a lot, and 'only' allows a quick introduction to some of the more well-known attractions over a fairly large chunk of real estate, but you are hitting the highlights and you are giving yourself at least a modicum of time to actually get out of the car and do some exploring of those great sites on foot. The only real suggestion I would have at this point is to take advantage of some of your longer drives and take R&R breaks at some of the smaller state parks and national monuments you'll be passing by. Oh, and buy a national parks annual pass at the first one you come to. It will pay for itself by the fourth park you visit.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,165

    Default

    I would try and find another day in Yellowstone as the park is huge and slow going. Rather than driving all the way to Devils tower on day 13 you could spend part of the day in Yellowstone and exit along the Beartooth Highway through Red Lodge and stop over somewhere between Red Lodge and Billings. You should also start checking out your lodging options in and around Yellowstone as the best locations and prices tend to book up early.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,466

    Default

    I agree with Dave, your trip looks solid, but I would try to add at least another day or 2 in Yellowstone.

    I think that would be pretty easy to do. You've got a lot of time between Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton. You could pretty easily shave a day or even two off that and still have time to see both Dinosaur and Salt Lake City. You might also consider skipping SLC depending upon how high it is on your priorities.

    Depending upon where you are starting from and how long your flights are, you might consider getting out on the road right away, and saving Denver for the end, so you don't have to rush back to the airport from a long distance.

  5. Default

    Thanks... These are great recommendations. We do have our lifetime national park passes. We have added 2 extra days at Yellowstone. If I could ask just a couple more questions. Since we can travel between 6/26 and 8/28, is there anytime during the summer that Yellowstone may be less crammed. I know that Yellowstone needs to be booked now, but, for the other stops, is it possible to find hotels as we go or, should we try to book all of them ahead of time? Once more, many thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,466

    Default

    The reality is that Yellowstone's season is so short that pretty much any time it is open, it is peak season. Also, the 2 month window you've got available also is pretty much the definition of the peak season for tourism nearly everywhere in the US. I probably would try to avoid the first week of August, especially for the second portion of your trip - as the Sturgis motorcycle rally will inflate crowds in South Dakota, and potentially even parts of Yellowstone.

    With most hotels, how far in advance you need to make reservations depends upon how close you want to be to the parks. Lodging inside parks is usually limited and fills up quickly, but if you're willing to commute a ways, they usually aren't as essential. For example, around the Black Hills, it shouldn't be hard to find a motel in Rapid City, but if you wanted to stay in Hill City or one of the other small communities closer to Mt. Rushmore, you probably need to book sooner.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,922

    Default

    For Yellowstone, we found the town of West Yellowstone to be a good place. We did the NE corner of the park by driving in through the Beartooth Pass, then spent one day going around the top of the figure-8, and another day driving around the bottom of the figure-8. Recommendation: get up early and be in the park before 7 am, and you'll beat a lot of the crowds. You'll be done for the day when some folks are only halfway through. Anyway, that worked for us.

    As far as Mt Rushmore is concerned, we stayed in Custer City, which was centrally located to Mt Rushmore, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave (though we did not go this time), and Custer State Park's 3 scenic drives.


    Donna

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