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  1. Default Seattle to Washington DC this week - please help us plan!

    Hello all,
    My sister and I are driving from Seattle to Washington, DC this week and can use all the suggestions that you can throw at us.
    The only thing that we really would like to see this trip is Old Faithful. After that, anything goes.THANK YOU in advance!
    I am not sure how much we can drive in one day - i was thinking about 8 hours?? sometimes longer if necessary?
    DQ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    383

    Default

    Plan using 500 mi/day as a baseline. This accounts for fuel, food, and potty breaks. Google Maps assumes running at speed limit without pause.

    Plan to have some extra time in the schedule to allow for weather. This time of year there can be snowstorms. (We had one here in Colo. two weeks ago!)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,573

    Default Please tell us more !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Tell us a bit more about your trip. How much time do you have? Is it one way or a round trip and what are your interests. Once we get a better picture of the trip it will help to fill in the blanks. As above, 500 miles per day is a good baseline for 9-10 hours of travel with basic short breaks and to fill with gas, eat etc etc. So you are looking at a timeline of 5.5 days minimum plus any detours and major stops you may like. You really need to add a minimum of a day to venture into Yellowstone NP but you could easily spend 3 days there seeing the basics.

    Have a look at a good map and search around the forums and road trip planning pages here at RTA and when you have a couple more dots on the map and can answer the questions put to you, post up a rough idea of an itinerary and we can make meaningful suggestions and help fill in any blanks.

  4. Default

    On this trip, we really don't have a lot of extra time. It is a one-way trip, but our first across the country. (We are also traveling with a parrot.) If we have no side trips other than Yellowstone, I guess we'd like a pretty (long) drive. We are not dawdlers and want to get to our destination, but we have no problems stopping to see something unique.
    Maybe an overnight in Loveland, CO, where we have a friend? Is it not possible to travel to Yellowstone just to see Old Faithful?
    As for interests, this week it's scenery (although my bucket lists contains the Mt. Rushmore, the Cadillac Ranch, and the biggest Ball of Twine in the US (or northern hemisphere).
    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,573

    Default

    We are not dawdlers and want to get to our destination, but we have no problems stopping to see something unique.
    Maybe an overnight in Loveland, CO, where we have a friend? Is it not possible to travel to Yellowstone just to see Old Faithful?
    Anything is possible but it still comes down to the time you have ? 5 days means you will only have time to drive the direct route in a safe manner, a week would allow a bit of time for going off the beaten path, 10 days a lot more and so on. A detour to Loveland adds almost 200 miles to the most direct route. Although Old Faithfull wouldn't add much more in the way of mileage to this route, the park speed limits, possible congestion and getting to see Old Faithful spout could easily add half a day. If you are using Google time estimates as a guide and hope you can do the trip in 2 or 3 days, (for example) then please don't, it's not realistic or safe. We could list thousands of attractions but until we have an understanding of your chosen route and time available it wouldn't actually mean much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,554

    Default

    Yellowstone saw its busiest September EVER last month. Also, the Beartooth Highway closed for the season 3 days ago (10/10).


    Donna

  7. Default

    Update:
    We are in Superior, Montana. The drive across Lookout Pass was a bit hairy/scary! We saw some snow!!!! (hated it!)
    OK - where next? Should I be afraid of going through Butte to Yellowstone? We are getting up early to leave for Yellowstone; what do you suggest?
    DQ

  8. Default

    Oops Virginia City’s website says that it’s closed due to Covid. :(

  9. Default

    Us-287 was just gorgeous; thank you for the suggestion.
    Driving in the park was easy, and fast. One back-up as a herd of bison walked into the road.
    There was a slight detour in to see Old Faithful, but it wasn't bad.

    We are staying in a terrific place called Evergreen Motel in West Yellowstone, and want to go back into the park tomorrow. Where should we go?
    We will probably want to leave the park around 3ish to continue West - which route do you suggest????
    would something like -- devil's tower, Wyoming, then Mount Rushmore, then Custer State Park, then Wall Drug, then the badlands, corn palace, spam museum Chicago, etc. Would this work??? We found the route on the Adventurous Woman Blog....
    Last edited by dqquinn; 10-14-2020 at 09:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,573

    Default

    We are staying in a terrific place called Evergreen Motel in West Yellowstone, and want to go back into the park tomorrow. Where should we go?
    We will probably want to leave the park around 3ish to continue West - which route do you suggest???
    Its worth heading to Canyon village and the 'Grand canyon of the Yellowstone', it's amazing ! Unfortunately the Beartooth Highway (US212) has closed for the season so you could travel down to Yellowstone Lake and west to Cody on US14 and Alt 14 to Bighorn canyon. If you still have some time to spare you might want to consider heading a bit further south from Yellowstone and take a peak at the Grand Tetons. Have fun !

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