rvupgradestore.com Composet Products
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak  (Read 1397 times)

Crusaderliving

  • Posts: 4
NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« on: January 28, 2018, 07:59:07 PM »
As the title says, we are planning a trip. Looking at 2 weeks. We will drive a lot to get to our first destination then let the relaxing begin, after our final stop will also drive a lot to get home to have the most time at our planned locations. Looking for any advice on our plans as far as locations and roads to avoid, we pull a 35' fifth wheel. Looking to go in August/September
2006 2500HD Silverado
2014 Crusader 285RET

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 12099
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 10:20:59 PM »
That is not doable in two weeks if you want to actually see something.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

jackiemac

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 2637
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 03:37:16 AM »
Hi and welcome to the forum. Do you always do long drives? If not then I think you would be pretty exhausted and need another vacation at the end.

There's no doubt these are fantastic places to see but they are pretty far apart and like Tom says you are unlikely to be able to see a great deal.

In Glacier you would only be able to drive the Going to the Sun road in your truck, there's a height and length restriction and it's there for a reason!

Yellowstone is huge and lots to see, you can get snow at any time of the year. 

Mount Rushmore is nice but we preferred the Crazyhorse Monument.  Lots to do in SD, the badlands, Devils Tower, Custer State Park, Dead Wood etc.

If I were you I'd go to one place and spend more time. It's at least 6 hours between Glacier and Yellowstone depending on your route.

Check out this trip advisor info...

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g143026-i1168-k9373854-Glacier_and_Yellowstone_in_one_Trip-Glacier_National_Park_Montana.html&ved=2ahUKEwi3z5aK7_zYAhVINMAKHdStCBcQFjAAegQIChAB&usg=AOvVaw2SKiUm5_okN2fzggzNV8Y1
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

Bill N

  • ---
  • Posts: 2061
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 06:06:48 AM »
South Dakota I-90, Exit 131, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site run by the National Park Service.  There is visitors center and two other sites located further down the interstate.  The first is site Delta One, a Minuteman ICBM Launch Control Facility.  This site controlled 10 Minuteman missiles and had the capability to launch 50 missiles.  You can sign up to tour the underground launch control center.  Next stop down the interstate outside Wall, SD is the missile site Delta 9 where you can take a self guided tour via cell phone.  The underground Minuteman missile is visible through a glass cover.
I am partial to these sites as they are excellent examples of Cold War military equipment that was capable of launching nuclear missiles to our enemies country in defense of ours.  I can truthfully say we were always ready to retaliate and not start a war.  I was on the first missile launch crew to accept this site from the contractor in July 1963.
Website:  https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm

Bill
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 06:09:25 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Boonieman

  • ---
  • Posts: 334
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 07:18:19 AM »
  We go to South Dakota from Louisville, KY several times a year. If I’m not towing, I go I64 to I70 and turn north on I29 at Kansas City to I90W in South Dakota. If I’m towing the fiver I don’t go that way because of the traffic congestion and I absolutely hate going through St Louis and all the traffic a bulk of the way on I70 thru Missouri.
   If I’m towing the fiver, I go I64W, turn north on I57 to I74 to I80W. Once on I80 I like to turn north on I35 to I90, but I’m about to give up on that route. Of the last 4 trips out, I had to abort the idea of going up I35 three times due to major accidents with estimated clearing times of 1-2 hours, normally around the Ames, Iowa area,.... so I continued west on I800 to I29 north. The other problem with the I35 to I90 route is as soon as I head west on I90 from Albert Lea my particular rig/trailer combo experiences really bad chucking on that section of concrete road for many miles. In all my towing, that’s really the only place I’ve experienced it that bad. It doesn’t really bother me as much as it does my better half, and she may veto that route soon. 😄 sounds like a fun filled trip, and you are right about a lot of driving. Sure would be nice if you could somehow squeeze another week into your trip, but I didn’t always have endless time to play with either, and just made do with the time I had available. Be safe and have fun.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 12:13:40 PM by Boonieman »
2016 Chevrolet Dually/Duramax
2011 Fuzion 322
2016 Harley Trike
3 cherished dogs, Moo, Molly, Mia the one eyed pup 😊
Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

BruceinFL

  • ---
  • Posts: 3019
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 11:10:24 AM »
IMHO, you are biting off more than you can chew for  two week trip.
Bruce A.
2004 Alpenlite Valhalla 29RK 5W
2005 Ford F-350 SRW 6.0L

Crusaderliving

  • Posts: 4
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 11:36:54 AM »
I know we don’t have time to spend everywhere, I’d like more but until I retire I can’t. I have no problem with driving 600 miles to get where I’m going, it is what it is. We’re going for 2 weeks for thats all I can do. Thanks for your the reply.
2006 2500HD Silverado
2014 Crusader 285RET

Molaker

  • ---
  • Posts: 5981
  • We don't camp. We tour.
    • Pumpkin and Us
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 12:42:04 PM »
As fantastic as Glacier National Park is, I recommend you save it for another time.  In doing so, you should be able to get in some quality time with the other destinations you've planned.  Then when you do go to Glacier you could catch some the beautiful parts of Idaho and maybe even Eastern Washington.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

OBX

  • ---
  • Posts: 494
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 02:47:54 PM »
It will probably take three or more days in each direction.  I would scratch Glacier off your list.  I would bypass the touristy stops to save time getting to the first major stop. 

Boonieman

  • ---
  • Posts: 334
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 04:47:32 PM »
  I’m 62 now, but I can remember being young. I drove to South Dakota straight thru many times, 18 hours straight when young. Why? Because I didn’t have much time on the job and I had to squeeze it what vacation time I had into short time intervals. I wanted to see it all. To me, when someone asks about their plans on here they just want the basic answers, what’s interesting, and what’s the best route. It’s irrelevent whether it’s achievable to someone else, just to the person doing the driving. I hate to hear “no way” or it’s too far. I just try to answer the questions they ask and not be a “Debbie downer” on what they want to do. This is a great forum and me personally, I try to focus on the question that was asked and not stray to a myriad of opinions I have on other things. I usually don’t reply to posts too much anyway due to my inexperience.
2016 Chevrolet Dually/Duramax
2011 Fuzion 322
2016 Harley Trike
3 cherished dogs, Moo, Molly, Mia the one eyed pup 😊
Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

Crusaderliving

  • Posts: 4
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 05:57:54 PM »
  I’m 62 now, but I can remember being young. I drove to South Dakota straight thru many times, 18 hours straight when young. Why? Because I didn’t have much time on the job and I had to squeeze it what vacation time I had into short time intervals. I wanted to see it all. To me, when someone asks about their plans on here they just want the basic answers, what’s interesting, and what’s the best route. It’s irrelevent whether it’s achievable to someone else, just to the person doing the driving. I hate to hear “no way” or it’s too far. I just try to answer the questions they ask and not be a “Debbie downer” on what they want to do. This is a great forum and me personally, I try to focus on the question that was asked and not stray to a myriad of opinions I have on other things. I usually don’t reply to posts too much anyway due to my inexperience.

That's exactly what I'm looking for, thank you. It's roughly 5,300 miles plus what ever sites we see. We have so many very beautiful areas in this country I want to at least SEE them. We just did a very similar trip earlier this year, 5,200+ miles to the southwest. Started first stop in OKC, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Vegas, meteor crater, Carlsbad, DFW, and stops along the way. Hundreds of pics., we had a great time, and memories. If I could talk the wife into a relocation to say Colorado, Wyoming, a central location, THEN I could spend more time at each place, and see the west, northwest. I'm sure that everyone could spend years just seeing everything within a day's drive of where you live now. I want to see as much as I can, while I can. I was fortunate to see some of this country while in the Boyscouts, I've been to Glacier, Yellowstone before, but as a kid, didn't really appreciate it then. My wife, she doesn't know what she's missing, I gotta show her. Yes, I'll spend 3 days coming and going, totaling 6, so between Mt Rushmore, Glacier, Yellowstone, Pikes Peak I'll have another 9-10 days, short on time, as long as we make it, it'll be worth it. All I can do is prepare as best I can, bring a phone and credit card, and burn up some fuel. I don't drive faster than 65, but I have no problem going for 12 hours a day. Thanks again.
2006 2500HD Silverado
2014 Crusader 285RET

Boonieman

  • ---
  • Posts: 334
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 06:39:21 PM »
  I grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota. My dad got transferred to Pierre, Sd for awhile. (He worked for the state) We also lived in Kentucky, Tulsa Oklahoma, Kingman Arizona, Anchorage Alaska, and a couple other spots. Pierre SD is my favorite spot of all those. The campgrounds below the Oahe Dam at Pierre are so nice. When we go to Sturgis for the bike rally, we always leave early just to stay a couple days at the campgrounds below the dam to chill and relax. Hope at some point in your travels you have the time time swing by and check it out.
2016 Chevrolet Dually/Duramax
2011 Fuzion 322
2016 Harley Trike
3 cherished dogs, Moo, Molly, Mia the one eyed pup 😊
Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

NewmanRacing

  • ---
  • Posts: 90
    • Norms Carpet Cleaning
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 04:14:13 PM »
You are an optimistic one!

What is the furthest you have driven an RV?

A good rule of thumb for planning time / distance is expect to travel 50 MPH average.

Maybe you have nerves of steel, anything much over 8 hours and I tap out. I do not have the benefit of feeling comfortable allowing my favorite girlfriend to drive our rig :)

I had 21 days off. Took me 7 driving days Chicago - Sturgis - Yellowstone - Glacier - Chicago.

Lesson learned: Need more time off!
1993 Fleetwood G30 21' Jamboree
1976 Dodge Class C - Deceased
1969 Starcraft Starcruiser- Deceased

Do not wait til you're half dead to live a full life.

kjansen

  • ---
  • Posts: 1289
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 04:57:40 PM »
I would really think about making that into 3 trips.  I live in Minnesota and have been to Black Hills maybe 4 times.   I could go back and make that a 3 week trip easily.  I was there twice last year for a week each time and only touched the surface.  If you want to see this country, think about several trips and take your time at each place.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

CharlesinGA

  • ---
  • Posts: 77
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 08:18:34 PM »
My whirlwind trip to the Black Hills

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,110023.0.html

Took me four days from south of Atlanta and that was with a stop in Mitchell SD to see the corn palace and a drive thru the Badlands NP.

I plan 500 miles a day, gives me time for fuel stops and food breaks and time to stop and set up before dark. At Kansas City, from 70 west take 435 north and around till it connects back with 29. Not the traffic you encounter if you go into town to pick up 29. I-29 north is a very pleasant ride, smooth and flat and a couple of hours of that and the drone of the diesel will be some of the easiest driving of the whole trip.

I have never gone thru St. Louis, I always cross Illinois way south of there, the roads are excellent, and its not far from one side to the other, and I end up at either Chester or Cape Giardeau, and then up 55 and skirt the west side of St Louis. Very scenic and no miles wasted, just a nice ride.

I stayed at Ft Thompson (Chamberlain SD) on the Missouri River(Left Tailrace Campground COE), it is set up the same way as the COE CG at Pierre with the campground in the middle of the river behind the dam. Hugely scenic.

You trip is way too ambitious for two weeks. You won't enjoy any of it, and will not have seen anything. You need four or five days in the Black Hills to see and do, and that will be just the highlights.

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H on a 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis (T1N). Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles on it, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dymanics PD4645, Coleman Chill Grille, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, AutoMeter 8558 trans temp gauge, Roadmaster sway bar, Koni Red shocks (front & rear), Fantastic Ultra Breeze hood, added OEM parabolic mirrors and RH aspherical mirror, MB grill conversion.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 08:34:57 PM by CharlesinGA »
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

Bill N

  • ---
  • Posts: 2061
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2018, 06:49:13 AM »
I would really think about making that into 3 trips.  I live in Minnesota and have been to Black Hills maybe 4 times.   I could go back and make that a 3 week trip easily.  I was there twice last year for a week each time and only touched the surface.  If you want to see this country, think about several trips and take your time at each place.

So true.  I lived there for 9 years during two tours at Ellsworth Air Force Base.  And I never saw all that the Black Hills has to offer.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

taoshum

  • ---
  • Posts: 2607
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 12:10:05 AM »
As the title says, we are planning a trip. Looking at 2 weeks. We will drive a lot to get to our first destination then let the relaxing begin, after our final stop will also drive a lot to get home to have the most time at our planned locations. Looking for any advice on our plans as far as locations and roads to avoid, we pull a 35' fifth wheel. Looking to go in August/September

Push it to Sept if you're going to Rushmore... in  August there will be a gillion motorcycles in Western SoDak and Yellowstone will be really packed... you don't wanna be there pulling a 35' 5th.  BTW, there's not much of a glacier in Glacier NP anymore... too warm, they all melted.  So if you go in Sept get reservations at the RV parks now, they will go fast, even in Sept.   West Yellowstone has some nice RV parks. FWIW, go for it and try to save the most time for Yellowstone... it's really big and in the park, it's slow goin' because of the Bison and the crowds.  You'll love Pike's Peak, great views but the Tetons are better and closer to YNP.  Just east of Yellowstone, if you have a few hours, try to go to Cody Wyoming and see the museum, especially if you'd like to see a great history of western guns.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

coxid

  • ---
  • Posts: 40
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2018, 09:58:31 PM »
Some general information about YNP (some items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much as you planned on in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or all stop for 1/4 mile or more blocking both directions of travel, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 MPH radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line to check it out)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking and there are passes on the grand loop road that are close to 8000 ft or so! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid May to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until about 9:30- 9:45 PM then there is a long twilight.

Cell Phone Service- Only at the major visitor centers, otherwise spotty to non-existent!

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is  shiny black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within the boundaries of either NP. It can save you a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YNP yes, drink lots of water!     HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Lake Hotel, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison Junction etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas only have pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line (2 rest rooms) at the lower Geyser Basin 25 or more feet long (bless the tour buses) So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area! I.e. “Never pass up a flush toilet!”

Sun- At YSNP altitude the Sun is intense (uv)have and apply sunscreen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear Sunglasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have up to a hour and 10 to 15 minutes wait for the next one. Tour tour the O/F Geyser basin while waiting. O/F INN is a must see, reportedly the largest LOG building in the U.S. (Meals in the O/F dinning room are “OK” also.

We have lived about 110 miles from West Yellowstone, MT since 1964, go to YSNP 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all yet! So don’t be discouraged that you didn’t have the time to see all of it. Just plan on coming back another time!

I honestly don’t mean to scare or discourage you but to give you a heads up as to what to expect! After all there was 4.1 million visitors in 2015!  As far as I know we didn’t lose one of them. Except those who by their own stupidity step off the board walks into BOILING HOT water and ignoring the warnings about the WILD ANIMALS! That is called purifying the gene pool!Early in the summer of 2017 a foreign visitor stepped off a boardwalk into just a few inches of hot water. He walked about 100 yards (according to the newspaper) broke thru the crust and parboiled himself. The park service decided not to try to retrieve the body! Between the temperature of the water and the acidity of it the body would just fall apart when retrieving it, as well as being dangerous to the rangers. Of course a few Bison fall in every winter also.

Note I have seen on this blog and others about folks “day tripping” from YSNP to GTNP, it is done all the time (myself included) however remember this is BIG country and with the speed limits, animals and thermal attractions you will NOT come close to a 60- 65 MPH average. From the West Thumb Area, Grant Village Visitor Center (extreme S/E corner of the lower loop road) to Jackson, WY is about 80 miles with Coulter Bay being about 1/2 way then from Grant Village you have to add the distance to your CG it will be a Long days trip!

A point of Coulter Bay (in GTNP) clarification- there are two (2) CG’s at Coulter Bay, One, the “Coulter Bay RV Park” a full service “RV Park” with FHU’S that takes reservations. The other is the “Coulter Bay Campground “ has no hookups and doesn’t take reservations. Both have about 300 sites and are located basically across the road from each other.

Also in GTNP be sure to see Jenny Lake, the water is swimming pool clear! You almost feel like you are in space when you are on the boat dock and you can see the rental boat shadows on the bottom of the lake!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/ TABLE SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice".  If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pads to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website. 

http://www.barjchuckwagon.com

Also in Jackson check out the “COWBOY” bar, the bar stools are saddles and check out the # of Silver Dollars imbedded in the bar. The Wort Hotel Bar (just around the corner from the Cowboy Bar) also has Silver Dollars imbedded in the Bar

CharlesinGA

  • ---
  • Posts: 77
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 11:29:00 PM »
Push it to Sept if you're going to Rushmore... in  August there will be a gillion motorcycles in Western SoDak and Yellowstone will be really packed... you don't wanna be there pulling a 35' 5th.

The day of and the day after the end of Sturgis, the place clears out. I asked this specific question a year ago on a forum and a lifelong resident of Sturgis said this, and when I called the Spearfish campground, they also told me this.

2017, Sturgis officially ended on August 13th (Sunday) and I arrived in Spearfish on Tuesday afternoon, the 15th. The campground was half empty and there were only one or two bikers left. The previous two days while headed west on I-90 I had observed dozens of motor homes eastbound hauling cargo trailers, which I surmised were loaded with bikes. I had a very pleasant week in the Black Hills, observed the eclipse in Alliance, Nebraska, with my brother and his family (drove in from Fargo) and then left for home.

Sturgis for 2018 is August 3rd thru the 12th, and you can expect some 400,000 people to show up beginning the last week of July.

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

CharlesinGA

  • ---
  • Posts: 77
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 11:33:43 PM »
Some general information about YNP (some items apply to GTNP also).................. SNIP.............

Thanks a bunch for this info, I have bookmarked this thread in a folder for trip planning and it will come in useful in the next year or two. Again, thanks,

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 12099
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2018, 04:40:37 AM »
Some general information about YNP (some items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much as you planned on in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or all stop for 1/4 mile or more blocking both directions of travel, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 MPH radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line to check it out)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking and there are passes on the grand loop road that are close to 8000 ft or so! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid May to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until about 9:30- 9:45 PM then there is a long twilight.

Cell Phone Service- Only at the major visitor centers, otherwise spotty to non-existent!

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is  shiny black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within the boundaries of either NP. It can save you a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YNP yes, drink lots of water!     HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Lake Hotel, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison Junction etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas only have pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line (2 rest rooms) at the lower Geyser Basin 25 or more feet long (bless the tour buses) So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area! I.e. “Never pass up a flush toilet!”

Sun- At YSNP altitude the Sun is intense (uv)have and apply sunscreen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear Sunglasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have up to a hour and 10 to 15 minutes wait for the next one. Tour tour the O/F Geyser basin while waiting. O/F INN is a must see, reportedly the largest LOG building in the U.S. (Meals in the O/F dinning room are “OK” also.

We have lived about 110 miles from West Yellowstone, MT since 1964, go to YSNP 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all yet! So don’t be discouraged that you didn’t have the time to see all of it. Just plan on coming back another time!

I honestly don’t mean to scare or discourage you but to give you a heads up as to what to expect! After all there was 4.1 million visitors in 2015!  As far as I know we didn’t lose one of them. Except those who by their own stupidity step off the board walks into BOILING HOT water and ignoring the warnings about the WILD ANIMALS! That is called purifying the gene pool!Early in the summer of 2017 a foreign visitor stepped off a boardwalk into just a few inches of hot water. He walked about 100 yards (according to the newspaper) broke thru the crust and parboiled himself. The park service decided not to try to retrieve the body! Between the temperature of the water and the acidity of it the body would just fall apart when retrieving it, as well as being dangerous to the rangers. Of course a few Bison fall in every winter also.

Note I have seen on this blog and others about folks “day tripping” from YSNP to GTNP, it is done all the time (myself included) however remember this is BIG country and with the speed limits, animals and thermal attractions you will NOT come close to a 60- 65 MPH average. From the West Thumb Area, Grant Village Visitor Center (extreme S/E corner of the lower loop road) to Jackson, WY is about 80 miles with Coulter Bay being about 1/2 way then from Grant Village you have to add the distance to your CG it will be a Long days trip!

A point of Coulter Bay (in GTNP) clarification- there are two (2) CG’s at Coulter Bay, One, the “Coulter Bay RV Park” a full service “RV Park” with FHU’S that takes reservations. The other is the “Coulter Bay Campground “ has no hookups and doesn’t take reservations. Both have about 300 sites and are located basically across the road from each other.

Also in GTNP be sure to see Jenny Lake, the water is swimming pool clear! You almost feel like you are in space when you are on the boat dock and you can see the rental boat shadows on the bottom of the lake!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/ TABLE SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice".  If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pads to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website. 

http://www.barjchuckwagon.com

Also in Jackson check out the “COWBOY” bar, the bar stools are saddles and check out the # of Silver Dollars imbedded in the bar. The Wort Hotel Bar (just around the corner from the Cowboy Bar) also has Silver Dollars imbedded in the Bar
This should either be a sticky or in the library. Excellent review and very accurate.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

kyteacher

  • ---
  • Posts: 11
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2018, 01:59:25 PM »
You sound like you vacation like my family.  Last summer we did 18 days from louisville, ky to rapid city to yellowstone/tetons down to rocky mtn park then down to pikes peak and home.  We made many more stops than you sound like you are going to do.  You will have to drive a lot, but if you aren't afraid of it and you know going in, you will be just fine.  I'd say go for it.  Sounds like a blast to me.

larrypowellnc

  • ---
  • Posts: 269
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2018, 04:14:49 PM »
Late in 2017 I did a trip from NC to Jackson Hole to Yellowstone to Mt. Rushmore and it took 3 weeks.  We got to spend enough time at each stop to relax and see the sights.  Your trip in 2 weeks is just not realistic unless you race through the each stop.  2 weeks maybe Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore but that's about it.

kdbgoat

  • ---
  • Posts: 5466
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2018, 04:35:48 AM »
This should either be a sticky or in the library. Excellent review and very accurate.

Or used for a reference on the book you're gonna write! ;D
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 12099
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2018, 04:48:32 AM »
Or used for a reference on the book you're gonna write! ;D
If I write this book will I have to explain how I was able to illegally boondock within sight of Old Faithful for so many evenings?
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

kdbgoat

  • ---
  • Posts: 5466
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2018, 05:22:12 AM »
Don't divulge anything that could come back and bite ya'! At least not real hard.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 12099
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2018, 06:19:46 AM »
All they would have done is told me to move. Ain't no big crime to sleep in your van.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

Old_Crow

  • ---
  • Posts: 730
  • Former Phantom Fixer
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2018, 08:51:45 AM »
All they would have done is told me to move. Ain't no big crime to sleep in your van.

We did the same at Yosemite back in the day.  Nowadays my "van" is 38' long and will be parked near Bishop, Ca. all summer.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Crusaderliving

  • Posts: 4
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2018, 06:51:01 PM »
I really appreciate all the input, have enjoyed it. I also do a lot of reading on this site, seems like a lot of good people here. We’re going to give it a whirl and see what we can see, hopefully it will all work out.
2006 2500HD Silverado
2014 Crusader 285RET

jackiemac

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 2637
Re: NC-MT Rushmore-Glacier-Yellowstone-Pikes Peak
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2018, 04:13:50 AM »
I really appreciate all the input, have enjoyed it. I also do a lot of reading on this site, seems like a lot of good people here. We’re going to give it a whirl and see what we can see, hopefully it will all work out.
I have recently been typing up my travelling notes from when we could only spend 2 or 3 weeks in the US and we actually drove a lot further than I had realised and still really enjoyed the trips.  We did have whistlestops and didn't see as much as we can now and were only driving a car.  That said we still did a lot and saw a lot, I think we probably got up earlier and made more of each day.

You will have a great time as long as you are not too tired and if you are just take an extra bit of time for a rest and then get back to it.

I hope you will come back and tell us how you got on.   ;D
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018