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Author Topic: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower  (Read 366 times)

RSturm

  • Posts: 3
West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« on: May 22, 2020, 07:29:27 PM »
Hello RV Forum,

I will be traveling East from West Yellowstone to Devil's Tower, WY in a 35' Class A motorhome in June. I have two routes that seem similar in time (according to Google Maps).

Route #1 takes me towards the North to Billings, MT and drops down to the East of and bypassing the Bighorn National Forest.

Route #2 cuts through Yellowstone on HWY 14, then HWY 16 crosses the Bighorn National Forest to Buffalo.

Questions:
1. Is route #2 more scenic than #1?
2. Is HWY 16 through Bighorn National Forest steep, or is the elevation rise gradual? Are the roads suitable for an RV? I'm trying to avoid too many switchbacks for the sake of my family who are prone to motion sickness.
3. Is the drive through Yellowstone easy?
4. Any suggestions for RV resorts midway?

Your experience would really help this moderately experienced RV'er navigate the trip.

Thank you! :-)

LarsMac

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  • Going nowhere fast
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 10:43:54 PM »
I prefer #1 following the north route along the Yellowstone to Billings then follow I-90. And if you're a history buff, near Crow Agency, you can explore the Little Bighorn Battle site.
Also near Crow Agency, the 7th Ranch RV park is decent, with no frills, or there are a few RV parks near Sheridan once you get into Wyoming.

Both 14 an 16 have some very "interesting" section. The Mrs get motion sickness easily, and does not like those roads much, at all.


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Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 05:03:05 PM »
I'll start by saying that I have pulled my 5th wheel over all of the routes that I'll discuss with no real difficulty, and I am a flatlander from Illinois.

The route through Billings is the longest, and not very scenic.

Going through Yellowstone (via Norris Canyon, and Fishing Bridge), there is only one slightly difficult section. Heading to the east entrance, you will have an easy climb up Sylvan Pass, and then a fairly steep descent. Teddy Roosevelt called the road from the east gate to Cody one of the most scenic in the county. I think he exaggerated a little, but it is weirdly beautiful.

You can cross the Bighorns on highways 16, 14, or 14a/14. For the adventurous, a combination of hwy. 14 then unpaved FR 26 and unpaved Red Grade Rd. is also possible, and not as bad as it sounds, but I wouldn't suggest trying it.

Hwy. 16 is the easiest way to cross, but is also the least scenic. The way up is a bit steep, but the curves are not very difficult. There are some steep descents headed into Buffalo. I only use it in late September, when there is a chance of snow. Once, it did snow, and the descents got a bit hairy.

Hwy, 14 has a fairly gentle climb going up, and a somewhat longer, and steeper descent. If you take this route, stop at the Shell visitor center, and take the very short walk to see the magnificent Shell Falls.

My favorite way across. is Hwy. 14a from Lovell to Burgess Junction, and then Hwy. 14. Hwy 14a involves a climb with 10 mile stretch of 10% grade. There some pullouts, with expansive views of the Bighorn Basin to the west. Fortunately, going up is lots easier than going down. I use mostly 2nd gear going down, then shifting into 1st at the steepest parts. If you take this route, Bighorn Canyon Natl. Recreation Area, just east of Lovell is an under appreciated gem. Both wild horses and bighorn sheep can usually be seen right along the road, and the beautiful scenery will remind you of the southwest.

Whichever route you pick, have a great trip. BTW, this (or very similar) question has been asked several times before, but nobody ever come back to tell us which route they took, or how they liked it. Why don't you start a new trend?

Joel
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 05:08:35 PM by Great Horned Owl »
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

Arch Hoagland

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  • Clovis CA
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 05:09:40 PM »
When?

Have you ever heard of Sturgis ?

https://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com/ 
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
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Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 05:16:29 PM »
When?

Have you ever heard of Sturgis ?

https://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com/

The OP said June, so he won't meet the bikes. Besides, I was in the Black Hills during the rally in August, during each of the last two summers, and not found the bikes to be a real problem. The Black Hills/Badlands are pretty big, so the bikes get well spread out.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

ArdraF

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Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 05:42:54 PM »
Driving through Yellowstone N.P. can be slow if you encounter a buffalo jam.  They have the right-of-way so a ten-minute one-mile drive can turn into a 45-minute drive.  This is true even on sightseeing days.  Going up to I-90 probably is the easiest route.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 06:01:38 PM »
Quote
They have the right-of-way so a ten-minute one-mile drive can turn into a 45-minute drive.

Or longer -- we had one jam that turned five minutes into an hour and a half.  :(
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 09:21:37 PM »

 Your also stuck with 45 MPH all thru the park,, and don't even think about doing it at night..>>>Dan
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      Albert Einstein.

Arch Hoagland

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  • Posts: 3287
  • Clovis CA
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 02:12:11 AM »
The OP said June, so he won't meet the bikes. Besides, I was in the Black Hills during the rally in August, during each of the last two summers, and not found the bikes to be a real problem. The Black Hills/Badlands are pretty big, so the bikes get well spread out.

Joel

The bikes aren't a problem....Campground space is the problem.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 12:06:54 PM »
The bikes aren't a problem....Campground space is the problem.

There several N.F. campgrounds in the Black Hills that never seem to fill up, even during the rally.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

phil-t

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  • Moving Along
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2020, 04:30:47 AM »
We were in the Rapid City SD area in early August last year; lots of bikers around (mostly small groups of older folks, and very nice). No problems finding a full hookup campground for our motorhome.
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RSturm

  • Posts: 3
Re: West Yellowstone East to Devil's Tower
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2020, 08:30:29 PM »
Thank you to everyone who helped. We decided to travel north across Billings. I will post a trip review after we complete the trip.

Thanks again!