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OSCARPOWER

From Denver to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rushmore route?

Question

To "celebrate" my retirement this summer, my husband and I plan to visit NW National Parks. Although we live in Florida, we would start out of Denver, CO after visiting family.

A few questions:

1) Which route would you suggest is best to visit all these parks? We will have the time!

2) How many days would you stay/visit/need at each park?

3) Would September and October be good months to go? (Less crowded?)(Too cold?)

4) We have a 27' RV and will be towing a Hyundai Elantra.

On campgrounds:

1) First choice: to use the senior discounts at Nat'l campgrounds, 2nd. State parks' CG's, 3d. whatever is available and reasonably priced.

2) I've read most are dry cg's, with drinking water. Can one "hook up" to the drinking water to fill the RV tank for a few minutes?

Any other advice?

Thanks!

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Without adding a bunch of detail (because I am sure you will get a lot of that) let me suggest, since time is no object. I would take this route: From Denver to Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Mesa Verde National Park to Hovenweep National Monument to Moab, Utah (Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point) to Dinosaur National Monument to Flaming Gorge NRA to Fort Bridger to Grand Tetons (Jackson, Wyoming) to Yellowstone National Park to Glacier National Park to Pompies Pillar to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and then straight south to the Black Hills and Rushmore National Monument. (If time is really no problem, one should not miss The International Peace Garden -- a little north of Teddy Roosevelt Park) There is no reason to stop at Flaming Gorge or Fort Bridger other than the scenery is worth the drive. Another side trip would be to take Highway 14A from the North East exit of Yellowstone to Cody Wyoming. This is (IMHO) in the top five Scenic Bypasses in the U.S.... maybe even higher on the list. (If you do, be sure to take the two mile hike -- above treeline -- to the Medicine Wheel National Monument.)

Now for a little editorializing: At the end of this Itinerary, Mount Rushmore will be a great disappointment. It is, after all, merely graffiti on the side of a mountain. It will be very crowded and very expensive. The Crazy Horse dig is less crowded, BTW, but much more expensive (high price/little to see).

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Well Oscarpower, Welcome to the Forum.

If we were going on this adventure here is how we would go.

1. I-25 north to Cheyenne, WY, our son and family live there.

Take Hwy 85 north out of Cheyenne (Check map for Exact connection) to Newcastle, WY.

2.Hwy 16 East out of Newcastle to Custer, SD. Wonderful small town.

3. Out of Custer you can see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Mouniment, Rapid City, and Sturgis.(Don't go in August)

4. Take I-90 towards Buffalo, WY. Along the way you can stop at Devils Tower.

5. From Buffalo Take Hwy 16 Worland to Thermoplis, WY. Neat small town where you can visit the Hot Bath Houses.

6 Take Hwy 120 from Thermopolis to Cody, WY. Plan several day here. Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 1 to 2 days.

7. Take Hwy 14/16 to the East Entrance of Yellowstone.

8. Leave Yellowstone by the South Exit into BridgerTeton National Forest then into Jackson, WY.

9. Leaving Jackson take Hwy 190 south to Rock Springs Wy. From there you can decide to go on West or Back East.

10. Going back East on I-80 to Cheyenne you will have some strong cross winds. The locals say that if the engineers followed the Indian trail they would have missed most of the wind.

You are planning a wonderful trip. Enjoy your retirement and have great time.

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September/October will have you playing in the snow in Yellowstone and likely some surrounding areas. That's not a bad thing, just a heads up.

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Thank you Ron, Herman and Bill:

So many options! I copied and printed them so that we can study on the map your wonderful ideas!

I forgot to ask if on the way there is a "Dude Ranch". I love Horse back riding and up at those mountains it would be a great experience! (If my back permits...:-) )

Again, thanks!

Jocelynn Wirshing-Power

Gainesville, Florida

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Sounds like Terry Bison Ranch in WY. We have heard great things but never been able to stop. If you do, please let us know what you think.

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I know that Terry Bison Ranch is a nice RV Park with other attractions but I don't know if they have trail rides. I will check with my son this AM to see.

You might check around the Cody, WY area.

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Went to Terry Bison RV Park's site and looks very nice...however, too close to Ft Collins, CO where we'll spend the previous week.(Though good for a one day side trip!) We were thinking of driving north towards Glacier on roads 789/287 for about 5 hrs/day... noticed one RV PK on Passport America by the name of Powder River at Kaycee, WY. Anyone heard of it?

Not so good reviews on the internet.... Any others in that area?

Or, we could overnight there and next day go up to Montana and spend 2 days before Glacier... Where?

Thank you!!!!!!!!

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