Cody to Yellowstone

Old May 14th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Cody to Yellowstone

Hello. I am traveling to Mt. Rushmore, then dude ranch, then Cody, then Yellowstone, then Grand Tetons.

I am confused about which route to take from Cody to Lake Yellowstone. I am traveling at the end of May (2 weeks from now).

Should I enter through East Gate or North gate? Also, can you give some driving itineraries? I am staying at Lake Yellowstone Hotel for one night and then onto Old Faithful Inn for one night. Then headed to Jackson Lake Lodge for 2 nights before leaving for home.

I am very confused about North Loop or South Loop, etc.

I have 3 kids, (6,11,12), 2 adults, and 2 seniors.
KBrenn is offline  
Old May 14th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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From Cody to Lake Hotel via the East entrance is the direct route, you would drive due west about 3 hours (that's including stops for leg stretching, snacks and photos).

If you make an early exit from Cody and drive north via the Chief Joseph Hwy, then through the Northeast entrance (the North entrance is nowhere near where you will be), through the Lamar Valley and down past Canyon, it would be a very long day but worth it for the enormous variety of landscape you can see at multiple scenic stops. This way you would cover the east side of the upper and lower loops on your route to OF, and veiw the sights (the big thermal features) on the west side from OF.

Really, though, you need to familiarize yourself with the map of the park and environs. Whatever routes you choose, they will all be spectacular.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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I agree with kayd - if you have the time, enter thru the NE entrance to take in the variety of landscape. We missed the east side (upper & lower), Beartooth, & Chief Joseph in 2010. This year we'll be concentrating on these areas (coming from Red Lodge & staying in Cooke City 2 nights). We'll be leaving out the east entrance, which I hear is also very scenic.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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Here's an interactive map -

Click on a section to see the features/restaurants/lodging/etc on each segment

Yellowstone is really big but really easy to navigate. The one and only road makes a figure 8 - a top loop and a bottom loop. The other roads are roads coming into the park from outside of the park. The road from Cody comes in from the east. To go to the Tetons, leave going south. You can go on the loops in any direction and in any order. Each segment is just 12 to 21 miles long. You'll go slowly because of the 1) speed limit 2) traffic and 3) possible wildlife on the roads. The bison own the roads and when there are bison in the road you wait until they decide to saunter off. Rangers will be there to help as needed. If you see people pulled over, they are looking at some sort of animal - elk, babies of some kind, grizzly, etc. Pull over to look but don't get out of your car there. Get out of your car at designated parking lots. There are amazing geothermal features you won't see anywhere else. Get out and walk on the boardwalks to see geysers, mudpots, hot springs, etc. Stay in hotels (or campgrounds) in the park as much as possible. Enjoy. It's amazing - as are the Grand Tetons.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 05:26 PM
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The drive from Cody to the East entrance is highly scenic, but, mysteriously, the beauty pretty much stopped at the entrance.

When we tried to drive from Red Lodge to Yellowstone NP on June 19, 2011, the pass was closed due to snow.

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