Minneapolis to Yellowstone and back.

Old May 21st, 2015, 08:21 AM
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Minneapolis to Yellowstone and back.

We are driving from Minneapolis airport to Yellowstone NP and back to airport. We are in our late 50's and both drive. Trip is in June for 10 days. Looking for best route to see as many sites as possible. We have reserved a hotel for the 1st night in Sioux Falls to rest up after flight. We have a hotel for day 3 & 4 in West Yellowstone, MT. Looking for best route and amount of time to stay in different places for the best adventure. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old May 21st, 2015, 08:36 AM
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My college roommate and I (both mid-60's) are actually doing that exact same thing in August in 8 days. We're calling it the Thelma and Louise trip. We are going to try to get to Worthington, MN the first night, stop at the Mitchell Corn Palace and drive the Badlands loop and see Wall Drug the second day staying that night at Frontier Cabins in Wall, SD. The third day we'll see Mt Rushmore early and then drive partway to Grand Tetons staying maybe halfway. The 4th day we stay at Colter Village Cabins in Grand Tetons sightseeing part of that day and the next and then the short drive to Yellowstone, staying just one night at Grant Village Yellowstone but spending two days there, staying just outside the park in Cody, WY the second night there. Then the next to the last day driving as far as we can from Cody towards Minneapolis and the final day the rest of the way to Minneapolis (our flights home are in the evening the last day). She lives in Tucson, AZ and I live in NH. The two extra days that you have should make the whole trip a lot more relaxed. We are pushing some of those days, but we will share the driving. I have been to all those places before, she has not. Since you are doing it before us, I'd love to hear a report of your trip after you get back.
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Old May 21st, 2015, 08:47 AM
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We did this trip many years ago with our children. We drove out through S. Dakota and back through N. Dakota. We live in Minneapolis. After Theodore Roosevelt NP on the border of MT and ND, I remeber that drive being flat and boring. So I advise to stick with SD. The above itinerary sounds excellent. I would plan to stay near Rapid City if possible as there is quite a lot to do in that area -- Badlands NP, Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave NP, Jewel Cave, etc. Do make sure you have accomodations at or near Yellowstone. Its a zoo in the summer.
TC is offline  
Old May 21st, 2015, 04:43 PM
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I would disagree with TC on the advice to skip North Dakota - once you get past the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota, the rest of the drive is just as flat and boring as North Dakota.

I would also attempt to add at least 2 more days to Yellowstone itself. That's a really long drive to just spend 2 nights in West Yellowstone. 4 would be better.

Black Hills/Badlands area is worthy of a couple days as well.

The classic road trip through South Dakota to Yellowstone is a stop at the Mitchell Corn Palace, drive through Badlands National Park, then stop at Wall Drug before getting to the Black Hills. Spend 2 nights in the Blacks - See Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park and maybe either Jewel or Wind Cave. Drive through Spearfish Canyon, then get back on the interstate for a bit. Exit to stop at Devil's Tower in Wyoming, then probably overnight in Cody to break up the drive to Yellowstone.

Since you already have reservations on day 3/4, you might want to save the Black Hills/South Dakota part for the way back to Minneapolis. So instead of staying in Sioux Falls the first night, stay in Fargo then head west through North Dakota.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 05:59 PM
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From Minneapolis I would take I90 going west and I94 going east, unless you have the time to drive 212 east. I have always skipped the Corn Palace and only stop in Wall Drug for lunch. Yellowstone is the main highlight so I would focus on getting there. See if you can get lodging in the park, you will have to call the hotel directly, every day and hope to snag a cancelled room. In the park saves many hours of commute and it is special being there. The speed limit is very low in the park so it is slow going and traffic jams are common. Remember the oil boom is still going strong so hotel rooms will be hard to come by in some places but you have time ot finalize a plan before you leave. I believe it is a 16 hour drive from Minneapolis to Yellowstone and there is very little difference in Route I90 versus I94 but you will see different country. I wish you had more than 10 days. You can click on my name and find my trip report for Yellowstone.
ziggypop is offline  
Old May 24th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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Thank you all so much. It's very helpful to hear routes and sites to see from people who have already been there. Barbaralois I will keep you posted!!
donnajd3 is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2015, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
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hi donnajd3 - I'm so curious about your trip - how did it go?
barbaralois is offline  
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