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Fra_Diavolo May 11th, 2011 10:28 AM

Montana/Wyoming or Colorado in mid-June?
Scheduling difficulties have made it difficult to get to Italy as originally planned, but we have about eleven days and thought we might head west for a change. We're flying from New York. I've come up with two possibilities.

The first is Montana and Wyoming, centering around Red Lodge, Yellowstone and Jackson. I would also like to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield site. As far as I can see, we'd fly into Billings, rent a car, and fly out of Jackson. I'm wondering if this is too late to arrange lodging in Yellowstone, and whether we're trying to fit too much in.

Second idea was to fly to Denver, visit RMNP, then head south to Mesa Verde and loop back north again. Would we have enough time for something like that?

We'd like to see the couple of historic sites mentioned, do a little moderate hiking, take in some of the fine mountain scenery and take some photographs, and, when in civilized environs, enjoy some good food and wine. I'd like to fit in some fly fishing but understand this is early and the major streams may be too high.

Appreciate you help. We haven't been to this part of the country, and these general ideas have come from reading a couple of Fodor's guides.

spirobulldog May 11th, 2011 11:09 AM

Either on sounds good to me. You might be late for lodging in Yellowstone and Tetons, but you could check. If you have never been to Yellowstone, I would for sure go there. We went June 15 three years ago. The Beartooth Hwy wasn't open yet. It is open some year while other years it isn't(depends on snow). You could probably check now and might have an idea. Sometimes part of the roads in Yellowstone might still be closed, but they were open the year we were there.

Mesa Verde is certainly a great spot to see. We are going to RMNP in August. However, having been to a lot of national parks, nothing tops Yosemite and Yellowstone IMOP.

owlwoman May 11th, 2011 11:19 AM

We'll be in Yellowstone mid-June, I booked hotel about two weeks ago, availability varies day to day, highly recommend the Billings - Jackson route for a first timer, it's a beautiful part of the country.

tomfuller May 11th, 2011 01:35 PM

If you are not going to RMNP consider flying to Salt Lake City for going to Grand Tetons/Yellowstone. Salt Lake City also works well for going to the Southern Utah National Parks.
Many people also fly to one of several Montana airports when going to Yellowstone.

1JAR May 11th, 2011 03:55 PM

The problem is teh rental and a drop off at somewhere other than p/u.

Rentakl cars are thru teh roof and many rental co are not allowing one-way period..esp at teh smaller locations such as JAckson, Cody. I've found better luck if you do drop off at larger cities such as Billings or Denver or Salt lake.

spirobulldog May 11th, 2011 04:03 PM

I rented one way and it was actually cheaper. started in Billings and dropped off in Jackson. rented 8 months in advance. Do not be tempted to get a Jeep with a soft top. Saw one torn up by a bear.

1JAR May 11th, 2011 08:14 PM

spirodog..I agree w/you. Couldn't get any one way rental at all last year when we tried to do a Billings or Cody to JAckson. We ended up flying into Cody..driving to JAckson and back to Cody. (Where my Dad lives so worked out)

This year we are trying to do Denver to Cody/Billings and I found only 2 rental agencies that will allow w/limited car choices and BIG prices: Hertz and Alamo.

Imagine my surprise when it came out cheaper to turn the car back in at Denver and fly to Billings...

Nelson May 11th, 2011 08:29 PM

I am fortunate to live an hour from RMNP, have spent countless hours exploring its forests, cirques and summits. I do love the place.

That said, Yellowstone and the Tetons are, IMHO and as spirobulldog said, one of the most amazing places on the planet. I'd go there if it works out.

Fra_Diavolo May 12th, 2011 05:03 AM

Looks like Montana, Yellowstone and Jackson wins, if I can arrange hotels and a car.

Thanks, everyone.

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