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Old 07-30-2009, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,654 posts, read 8,530,608 times
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I think you'll want to have reservations WAAAAAAAY ahead if you're planning to stay in Cheyenne during Frontier Days -- like now. I'd guess that Laramie probably sells out of rooms for the rodeo too, but that's just a guess.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmcculley View Post
Thank you everyone for all of your information! It has been really helpful. I think that we have decided to make a trip out west next summer ... rent a car ... check out a couple of places and hit yellowstone with the kids.

Any recommendations of places that we don't want to miss would be appreciated!!

I was thinking of flying into Denver, staying in Laramie or Cheyenne for a couple of days (maybe during Frontier Days - the kids would love it!). Then head to Cody for a day or two ... From there on to yellowstone ... through SW Montana (maybe stop in Big Sky)... through Idaho and end in Spokane, WA. Maybe stop in Coeur D'Alene?? We will probably take two weeks to do it all. We will have to!!

Thanks again!!!!
I think your time frame for the trip you've described is totally inadequate to "see" much of anything about the areas you're planning on visiting. You will be spending most of your time driving to accomplish this trip. The distances here are much farther than folks from more densely populated areas realize. You can drive for hours out here and still only make it to the next "town" after passing a number of truck stop intersections on the road ... or, in some cases, passing none at all for a hundred miles.

Forget Frontier Days unless you are really into the rodeo and carnival and entertainment acts ... I stay away from Cheyenne during that time, it's the one time of the year that it's crowded and traffic can be a snarl.

Yellowstone alone could easily take most of a week, and you'll still only have seen a fraction of the park and it's premier attractions. During the summer months, traffic through the place is slow, attractions can be crowded. Even if you decide to stay in one of the lodges, it's a lot to see from your "base".

The Cody area has much to explore, too. It's worth a couple of days up there.

Coeur D'Alene? I can easily spend 4-5 days there, still not have seen much ... and I've been there a bunch of times in the past. It's that gorgeous of a place, and it, too, is worth at least several days to explore and get the "feel" of the place.

The drive up from DIA to Cheyenne is about three hours. From Cheyenne to Cody is a day's drive. Cody to Yellowstone is an hour to the gate, but then it's a slow crawl through the park at the high summer season in July.

I couldn't do the trip you propose in two weeks, and I live in the county outside Cheyenne ... and I "cheat" on the driving by flying my own aircraft to the destinations you've mentioned, then get a car at the GA airstrip for my local travels.

Best to consider scaling your trip back to the prime essentials that you want to visit re your goal of considering a move here ....
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Auburn
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Cokeville has a nice little ski area, Lodge and chair lifts....
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:01 AM
Status: "Save a life; carry a gun." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
4,790 posts, read 3,676,598 times
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Two weeks will be more than enough for this trip. For a first trip I'd cut it to about ten days and keep seeing new things. This will make sure that no one becomes bored. When I was a boy we went from Denver to Cheyenne to Yellowstone to Cody in three days. We saw all of the major attractions, even managing to drive through Grand Teton.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:19 AM
 
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WyoNewk - I was wondering about making reservations. And I wasn't sure about the congestion during that time.

Are Frontier days worth it? Our kids will be 5,7 and 9 at the time. Does anyone have any opinions on whether we should take them at that time to see Frontier days or a less crowded time?

I got most of my time and distance information from mapquest so I realize that it may be off by some.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,794 posts, read 17,568,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmcculley View Post
WyoNewk - I was wondering about making reservations. And I wasn't sure about the congestion during that time.

Are Frontier days worth it? Our kids will be 5,7 and 9 at the time. Does anyone have any opinions on whether we should take them at that time to see Frontier days or a less crowded time?...
Frontier Days is the 'grand-daddy' of events for Cheyenne, and yes it will be crowded. I would still consider attending, (or an alternative, such as a Cody Rodeo) I would schedule midweek Frontier Days as the beginning and end are most busy + days with special events / performers. Personally I would do it with Ft Collins visit, and drive up from there and make a LONG day of it. Kids can sleep both ways driving, and it is less than 1 hr. You can then drive Ft Collins to Laramie to check that out.

I think your trip is do-able in 2 weeks as long as you do lots of research and know the primary areas you want to scout, and keep them to just a few. Yellowstone complicates the matter, as it is a SLOW visit and really big area. If you can travel early morning and early evening you will make twice the progress in Yellowstone, and related tourist activities. Feed the kids in the car or during 'off hours' and enjoy reprieve at sites around mealtimes and on the edge of each day. Plan your route to avoid the major intersections and sites during peak traffic. I would limit to 2 days and one overnight, but wouldn't want to miss Tetons. (I prefer to Yellowstone, especially if on the River and lakes)

You can plan a day in each place you want to research, and find the public swimming pools and libraries and enjoy them w/kids while hubby scouts, then he can drive you to the highlights and take notes, then off to next stop. I would try to 'overnight' in each desired location for potential move. I prefer to travel via private guest homes (Staying in people's guest qtrs $10 -$20/night). It really helps to get to know an area, and it is much more fun. We started doing it as homeschoolers about 20 yrs ago, and have transitioned to a couple different directories. One we use most, has 3 pages of places in PA, but only 3 places in WY (there are plenty of homes in CO, but few in ID also... hint: it is not an LDS directory). There are various directories you can try, a little more restrictive with kids, but possible; our kids had a great time, as many places were farms and we did chores + riding horses, milking, and such. I would definately plan to visit Whitefish, MT and Sandpoint, ID if skiing is a desire, also areas near Spokane and Coeur D'Alene.

You might save time and money by renting a motorhome, as 'drop fees' for cars is pretty steep. Your travel will be slower, but you can drive at night between stops. I often did that with kids anyway so the trip is less time consuming for them. I would just catch a snooze as they played in a park or pool during the heat of the day. You might need to drive on to Portland or Seattle to drop car or Motorhome (each is 5 hrs from Spokane) Plenty to see in each of those spots too, but plenty can be seen in one day (Not all, of course).
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,426 posts, read 21,666,576 times
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If you've not done Frontier Days, it's a must see. Been there, done that, so I avoide it now days. But you have to see it once....

The whole area books solid for days in advance. It's like the Sturgis Ralley, only a much different crowd.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,654 posts, read 8,530,608 times
Reputation: 8608
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmcculley View Post
WyoNewk - I was wondering about making reservations. And I wasn't sure about the congestion during that time.

Are Frontier days worth it? Our kids will be 5,7 and 9 at the time. Does anyone have any opinions on whether we should take them at that time to see Frontier days or a less crowded time?

I got most of my time and distance information from mapquest so I realize that it may be off by some.

Thanks again!
Personally, I'd skip Frontier Days this trip and take the kids to a rodeo in Cody or elsewhere. Cody has a small one every night during the summer I believe. It seems like we have one in Gillette every two or three weeks, including the National High School Rodeo Finals the next couple years (near the end of July). Nearly every Wyoming town of any size has a rodeo sometime during the summer. It depends on what you like -- a typical rodeo or the big one... a football game or the Super Bowl.
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Wyonewk - I think that I am with you on that. If we are in Laramie and Cheyenne during Frontier days it will be hard to get a real feel for the area. Our kids have never seen a rodeo so a typical rodeo will be like a Super Bowl to them! I think we may just catch one in Cody.

StealthRabbit - I was wondering about renting a motorhome but it seems more expensive. The companies that I found online charged over $2500 and then the cost of gas would be high. Plus we would have to take it everywhere we went (into towns). I looked at Budget Rent a car and they don't charge a large drop off fee for one ways - but they do charge a big amount for airport service!! Not sure how to get around the airport service. And thanks for mentioning Sandpoint, ID and Whitefish, Mt. They both look amazing and will be on our list!

Thank you everyone for all the help!! I am so excited to plan our trip out there next summer.

If we don't go for Frontier Days, any suggestions on when to go? It would have to be when the kids are off school so they aren't out for two weeks. That is beginning of June to end of August out here.
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