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Please help me plan a 2wk RV trip out to Yellowstone area

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I am trying to plan a trip out west in early September. We will be taking our 5th wheel with us and our 3 young boys. We will be leaving from Indiana and planning on driving as far towards the Badlands in SD the first day, sleeping in a WalMart parking lot when we cannot continue driving and then getting back on the road to reach the Badlands by day two. Going through the Badlands and then reaching Mt Rushmore by that evening to see it. Then, depending on our stamina, we will either stop overnight or continue towards Yellowstone, stopping at some point along the way to get more sleep. After that, I am lost!!! So many choices and we only have two weeks. I need help in planning where to go, what to see, where to camp, how to dress, etc... Wanting also to stop at Jackson Hole, WY as I heard there are staged gunfights, stagecoach rides, dude ranches, etc... Things that really appeal to boys! I appreciate any advice, suggestions, or help anyone can give. This trip is my husband's life dream and I really want to have it well-planned. Thank you!

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    http://www.codychamber.org/


    Cody has all you are looking for, rodeo, staged gunfights, Buffalo Bill Museum, Irma Hotel, wild Bighorn Sheep.

    West side of town is a Walmart Super store with Subway.

    Walmart is about 1 hour drivng toward West to enter the East Entrance of Yellowstone.

    You can continue on thru Yellowstone and drive south to end up in Jacksone Hole.

  • Report Abuse

    You need to check web site www.RV.net/ forum...
    mainly composed of people that travel RV or tent camping sites
    General info on Fodors is great but RV traveling is a specialty in many ways...
    I have no idea how crowded it is in Sept...We stayed in town of West Yellowstone in a commercial RV park because Lake Yellowstone RV park was full.(this was few years ago)
    GoomLuck

  • Report Abuse

    April,

    In addition to rv.net I suggest you also check out 2 other RV specific websites and their forums. www.irv2.com and www.rvforum.net

    In the 2 years that we've had our RV I've found them to be a great help. Much like this forum but RV specific.

    We took a 5 week trip from the Florida Panhandle to that same area, among other places, last year. Were gone last week of August and most of September.

    We arrived in Yellowstone the 9th of September and it was still pretty crowded. We had reservations at Fishing Bridge CG, the only cg in the Park with hook-ups. At this point you'd be lucky to find a vacancy, but cancellations do happen. I had reserved 2 weeks but ended up dropping a couple of days from the front and back. Each time I was asked if I was sure if I wanted to do that because once I gave them up, they'd be gone to someone else. You could be that someone else this time, so call - and call often - if staying inside the Park is what you want.

    You mention going through the Badlands and to Mount Rushmore. Do not take the Needles Highway in the Black Hills with your RV. There are several tunnels which are not recommended for RVs, not to mention the sharp curves and generally narrow road. There are other routes to Rushmore.

    We were at Rushmore for the evening lighting ceremony and had to drive back to our CG in Custer State Park after dark. Bad enough in the Jeep, wouldn't want to do much driving around after dark with the RV due to the ever present danger of deer - or other critters - entering the road unexpectedly. If you plan to take US 16N back toward Rapid City and I-90, it might not be as bad. Didn't drive that route so I don't know what it's like.

    If you go to the RV websites we've recommended, you'll find great information on which routes from I-90 toward Cody to avoid. We didn't go that way, so I don't remember and wouldn't want to try to guess from looking at the map. But you'll cross the Big Horn Mts. and there are some very steep grades that you wouldn't want to find yourself faced with if you chose the wrong route, according to all I read.

    On at least one of the websites you can find a link to a guy who has written about every entrance to Yellowstone from the perspective of an RVer. I think his username is RVCruzer, but I could be wrong. Just do a search on those websites for route info and you'll get plenty of stuff. Or register - it's free - and post questions.

    Okay, I'll stop. But you're going to one of our favor areas and I want others to enjoy it as much as we have. If you do go to the RV sites, I'm registered at 2 under this same user name and under 1 as Floridafrances. Do a search and you'll find all the wonderful answers I received from people when we were planning our trip last year.

    Safe travels.

    Fran

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