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Old 09-04-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,537 posts, read 47,722,769 times
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We're planning a trip from Mt Rushmore (Rapid City, SD) the 2nd week of October to Yellowstone Natl Park, WY.
Our situation is that one of the party is physically challenged and we can only travel 4-5 hours daily. Our primary goal is to see Old Faithful. Then we will travel down to Salt Lake City, UT. The map says it is an 8 hour travel trip between these areas of Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone Natl Park..
So far we've seen only expensive cabins to stay at. We need help as to recommendations as to where we can stay economically in a city and motel on the way there, then how far to old faithful, then where to stay right after we leave the park to Salt Lake City.
We have accomodations set for our stays at Mt Rushmore and Salt Lake City. It's in between those two that we are in a quandry.
Thankyou in advance for your assistance.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:05 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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I would stay In the park, (yellowstone) may cost you some $'s but it worth it. These are big parks, and travel with in the park (yellowstone) speed will be in the 25-30mph range. Dawn & SunSet are great to see. Old Faithful goes off bout evey 2hrs. and you will want to see it a few times. Maybe some member can go on other tours of yellowstone, while some stay behind with PC person. As for where to stay in-beween. I guess just look at a map. check out tripadvisor for hotels along the way for you stopping points.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:36 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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since you can't get between parks in one trip (<5 hrs)

If you do Devils Tower on the way (Near Spearfish, SD / Sundance, WY), You may need to stop in Sheridan, WY to overnight. Great steakhouse in Story, WY (near Buffalo)

but Preferred...
I would stay in Burgess Jct VERY PRETTY & Quiet (wy 14 enroute Dayton to Lovell (14a version, my favorite). A Couple lodges near Burgess Jct + a nice Motel. Alternative for me is Powell, WY (with a definite stop at "the Merc', community owned store). You might prefer Cody (too touristy for me to stay there, but 25 min closer to Yellowstone). If Hot Springs is your thing stay in Thermopolis. If you are not time constrained I highly recommend the Beartooth Highway in NE Yellowstone, but OCT could be pushing the season for this spectacular route.
see America's Byways®: National Scenic Byways Online
Beartooth Highway - Map

Then stay at Old Faithful Lodge, I would leave YNP through the south entrance and stay at Jenny Lake Lodge in Teton NP (another favorite of mine, much preferred to YNP).

From there I would go south through Jackson and Alpine and towards Afton, then cut to BearLake, UT. Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau - Official Bear Lake Idaho and Utah Vacation Website
The Aspen can be gorgeous in Oct as you venture from Bearlake to Logan (another favorite!!)

You are very fortunate, this is a good trip, and nice time of yr to go. Good info on WY forum about YNP trips. Also SD forum for Black Hills. Don't miss Custer State Park !!! there are several spectacular drives there.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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I was out that way back in early-mid Sept. 2007. We left Rapid City via I-90 and stopped to see Devil's Tower. When you say you can travel only four to five hours a day, what exactly does that mean? Can the person only sit in a vehicle that long? The drives out in these areas are long and very rural in some areas. I believe that you can easily drive from Rapid City to Sheridan, WY within four hours. Sheridan is the last "big city" that you will hit before getting off the interstate and heading toward YNP.

I believe Cody, WY would be the next largest town between Sheridan and YNP. The drive from Rapid City to Cody is around six hours, so that won't work. The only suggestion I have is maybe leave Rapid City a day, or half day, earlier than you planned. Drive to Gillette, WY, only a 2-3 hour drive. Then from Gillette, drive to Cody, WY, around a four and a half hour drive.

Good luck.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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Handicapped Access Throughout Yellowstone National Park - YellowstonePark.com (http://www.yellowstonepark.com/PlanYourTrip/HandicappedAccess.aspx - broken link)

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/PlanY...lannerKit.aspx
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,565 posts, read 39,944,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravekid View Post
Drive to Gillette, WY, only a 2-3 hour drive. Then from Gillette, drive to Cody, WY, around a four and a half hour drive.

Good luck.
These are possibilities, but I would personally avoid staying in Gillette or Casper on this trip (Rock Springs and Rawlins would be included if on your route). They are 'energy' towns on interstate highways and can be very expensive and rowdy (noisy motel) (pretty ugly locales too). They are not the finest examples of WY hospitality. Your Mileage may Vary.

But, do be prepared..., as WY residents can be a very special treat, they are quite helpful and friendly (they watch out for each other). Be sure and wave to each driver you meet. It works to just raise your index finger on the steering wheel, and nod your head to acknowledge them.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma City area
667 posts, read 1,757,426 times
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First of all, I agree with the suggestion about Custer State Park. We also loved the Badlands, in the same area. It's like the Grand Canyon, except that you are giants and can see it from eye level or above.

We made a trip in the similar area about the same time two years ago, so I want to warn you about something. When we were returning to Washington state, we decided to go to Cody, then drive through Yellowstone. Alas, the roads through the park were closed because of snow. Be aware that you might have to change your plans if it snows. Have a good trip. We love the wide open spaces.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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Be prepared for the cold weather. Last year I was at Rushmore the first few days of October and ended up in a snowstorm. Yellowstone the snow can start in September.
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