Looking for Cody/Yellowstone/West Yellostone advice

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Minnesotajeff

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Jun 29, 2006
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Hi all, We?re new travel trailer owners, just getting started in the lifestyle with our 2 children ages 9 and 13. We live in Brainerd Minnesota.

We?ve pulled rented travel trailers out to the Black Hills for the past 3 years and finally bought our first one this spring. We tow with a Yukon XL Denali 6.0 L

We?ve never been further west of the BH?s before and we?d like to give it a try this summer.

We?re looking at the first 2 weeks of August. Initially we had planned to drive to West Yellowstone via ND and Montana and stay at the KOA there, but now I?m having a change of mind. I'm considering staying in Cody, for several reasons. I like the idea that it?s a bit closer so I don?t have to pull the trailer as far as West Yellowstone, and I?ve heard so many positive things about Cody that I just want to see it! Also, we would like to spend about 5 days in the Yellowstone area and then stop in the Black Hills for 2-3 days on the way back and Cody puts us in a better location to head to SD mid-trip.

But of course i have concerns:

Are we going to be frustrated with the distance/time to drive from Cody into Yellowstone each day to explore the park? I?m guessing we?ll have at least 2 hours of road time each direction to get to the park each day. Should we try to get in closer to the park or stick with our West Yellowstone plan and drive in from there? It sounds like road construction and delays could be bad.
I also want to try the Beartooth drive one day, so that?s another reason I would like to stay in Cody?
I don?t necessarily want to plan every day in the park. I think if we could mix it up with a day in the park, then a day around Cody, then back to the park, etc. that would be best. 
Can we pull our trailer from Cody to the Black Hills without any major ?mountain climbing? or switchbacks? It looks like we?d take 14/16s/16 to Buffalo and catch I-90 from there. Can anyone comment on that drive from Cody to I-90?

Thanks in advance - just trying to make our first "big pull" a success!

Jeff
 

Ron

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Minnesotajeff said:
Are we going to be frustrated with the distance/time to drive from Cody into Yellowstone each day to explore the park? I?m guessing we?ll have at least 2 hours of road time each direction to get to the park each day. Should we try to get in closer to the park or stick with our West Yellowstone plan and drive in from there? It sounds like road construction and delays could be bad.
I also want to try the Beartooth drive one day, so that?s another reason I would like to stay in Cody?
I don?t necessarily want to plan every day in the park. I think if we could mix it up with a day in the park, then a day around Cody, then back to the park, etc. that would be best.? ?
Can we pull our trailer from Cody to the Black Hills without any major ?mountain climbing? or switchbacks? It looks like we?d take 14/16s/16 to Buffalo and catch I-90 from there. Can anyone comment on that drive from Cody to I-90?

Thanks in advance - just trying to make our first "big pull" a success!

Jeff

It is approximately 25 miles from Cody to the East gate of Yellowstone so I don't think there will be any frustration getting between Cody and Yellowstone.

Personally I would much rather stay in Cody than West Yellowstone.? The park will be crowded that time of year no matter where you enter it from.

There are many things to see and do around Cody.? Be sure to plan at least a day for the Buffalo Bill Museum.? Visit the Irma hotel where outside they usually have simulated gunfights outside in the evening.? We usually stay at the Ponderosa RV park when we visit Cody.? The Drive up the Chief Joseph highway and on the Beartooth is one I think is more scenic than Yellowstone itself.? That is also a one day trip.? Take your cameras.? There is also rodeos every night in Cody during that time of year so you all might enjoy that.

I don't see any problem going from Cody to I-90 via 14 to Greybull then 16 Worland and 16 across to I-90.? Jeff C just made that trip and will probably jump in with more details and recommendations.

I think you plan of staying in Cody is a excellent choice and is what we would do in the same circumstances.? I know you will enjoy the trip and have a great time.? Please take photos and share some of them here on the forum.
Good to see you here.

We are currently in Cheyenne Wyo and will be visiting Cody ourselves on our way to Montana.
 

Minnesotajeff

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Jun 29, 2006
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Thanks Ron - Just what i was wanting to hear! I looked up the Ponderosa Campground on the internet and they don't have much information. Wat we typically like about KOA's is the breakfasts and occasional entertainment in the evenings. Does the Ponderosa have any of that? Have you ever stayed at the Cody KOA? 
 

Ron

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We prefer to avoid KOA unless there is no other choice so no we haven't stayed at the Cody KOA.  I don't think entertainment at a campcroung will be needed in Cody.  Too much other stuff going on. :D 
 

blueblood

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Mar 16, 2005
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Minnesotajeff said:
Hi all, We?re new travel trailer owners, just getting started in the lifestyle with our 2 children ages 9 and 13. We live in Brainerd Minnesota.

We?ve pulled rented travel trailers out to the Black Hills for the past 3 years and finally bought our first one this spring. We tow with a Yukon XL Denali 6.0 L

We?ve never been further west of the BH?s before and we?d like to give it a try this summer.

We?re looking at the first 2 weeks of August. Initially we had planned to drive to West Yellowstone via ND and Montana and stay at the KOA there, but now I?m having a change of mind. I'm considering staying in Cody, for several reasons. I like the idea that it?s a bit closer so I don?t have to pull the trailer as far as West Yellowstone, and I?ve heard so many positive things about Cody that I just want to see it! Also, we would like to spend about 5 days in the Yellowstone area and then stop in the Black Hills for 2-3 days on the way back and Cody puts us in a better location to head to SD mid-trip.

But of course i have concerns:

Are we going to be frustrated with the distance/time to drive from Cody into Yellowstone each day to explore the park? I?m guessing we?ll have at least 2 hours of road time each direction to get to the park each day. Should we try to get in closer to the park or stick with our West Yellowstone plan and drive in from there? It sounds like road construction and delays could be bad.
I also want to try the Beartooth drive one day, so that?s another reason I would like to stay in Cody?
I don?t necessarily want to plan every day in the park. I think if we could mix it up with a day in the park, then a day around Cody, then back to the park, etc. that would be best.? ?
Can we pull our trailer from Cody to the Black Hills without any major ?mountain climbing? or switchbacks? It looks like we?d take 14/16s/16 to Buffalo and catch I-90 from there. Can anyone comment on that drive from Cody to I-90?

Thanks in advance - just trying to make our first "big pull" a success!

Jeff

You may find it difficult to get a reservation in Cody now. I made mine for August 9th -11th over a month ago and got last site at KOA in the size I needed. I have stayed last several years in W. Yellowstone and N. Yellowstone at a campground called Yellowstone Edge which is 35 miles from North Entrance but driveable at 70+MPH. It is convienent 20 miles south of I-90 at X333 in lLvingston.
 

joelmyer

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Spending time in Cody is a good thing.

imho, dealing with the road just inside the east entrance of Yellowstone multiple times is not.

How big is your trailer? Say like 26 feet or less, I'd think about staying in Yellowstone to see Yellowstone.  Or West Yellowstone at Grizzley.

In Cody, we tried to stay at Ponderosa but they were full.  Looked nice.  We stayed at Absaroka Bay RV Park.  It  was fine, lots of pull throughs with full hookups and essentially nothing else.
 

Jeff

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Jeff:

We are staying at the Absaroka Bay Campground this week and had no problems getting a site on 1 day's notice. As Joel mentioned nothing here except a good laundry. We are moving into the Park this weekend also with a call for a reservation this morning.

The reason I would suggest spending a few days here and then moving onto the Park or over to West Yellowstone is there are seven miles of construction just inside the East entrance that are causing serious delays during the day and road closure from 8-8 each night. The road is gravel and single lane in places.  Also Microsoft S&T says it is 51 miles to the East entrance from here, not the 26 Ron recalled.

It would be pretty hard to commute and have any real time to see the park each day.

 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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I'd advise against staying at the KOA in West Yellowstone. It's a real zoo and an accident waiting to happen. Having stayed there once, never again. If you have to stay in West Yellowstone, Grizzly RV Park is much nicer.

But, I'd take Ron's advice since he's a Montana guy.
 
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