2014 Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, and Mt. Rushmore - 3 weeks in June!

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by kmeece, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. kmeece

    kmeece New Member

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    Looking for must see ideas and activities. Leaving out the June 13 arriving home on July 5!
     
  2. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Use the search functions. Lots of info from other posters on their trips.
     
  3. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    To name just a few---

    In the Tetons- Jenny Lake, Signal Mountain, Jackson Lake

    In Yellowstone - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Fire Hole Canyon and Falls, Lamar Valley, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful and The Old Faithful Inn, the Hoodoos near Bunsen Peak, Golden Gate and Rustic Falls.....I could go on forever .....

    BLACK Hills - Needles Highway, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Spearfish Canyon

    Have fun!!

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk HD
     
  4. Rusty

    Rusty Don't worry, everything has a way of working out.

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    [RTM] Ditto with novagirl, make sure to see the badlands too!
     
  5. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    When you are in the Black Hills, you will only be about an hour away from the Badlands. Be sure to go there because it is a totally different experience than anything else you will see on your trip. Here are a few photos I took in September.

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    Very unusual place....
     
  6. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    We did this trip two years ago - in mid to late June. Got home just around July 4th. We went from Maryland to Yellowstone and back. Stopped in the Badlands for two nights and went over to Mt. Rushmore in a day trip (they encourage you to leave the camper at the campground - not alot of large parking spaces at Rushmore). We base camped in West Yellowstone and toured all over - it included a day trip to the Tetons and Jenny Lake. Was a GREAT trip and would love to do it again. You need reservations and do it as soon as possible. If you want to camp in the park, there is at least one campground (I think it is Fishing Bridge) that does not allow any soft sides (hard sided only). Yellowstone in June still gets pretty chilly at night - be prepared. You will have a great time.
     
  7. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    A clarification on the reservations thing. There are four CGs is the park where you can make reservations (Madison, Grant, Canyon and Bridge Bay). These are the CGs operated by Xanterra. (There is actually a 5th but it is irrelevant because it is Fishing Bridge RV park and it only takes hard-sided campers.) There are seven park-operated CGs that are FCFS. You don't need a reservation to get a campsite in Yellowstone -- you just need to arrive at the right time which is usually early to mid-morning (except for Mammoth, which doesn't fill until late PM and sometimes not at all). I've been there many times and don't make reservations.

    Hook-ups are another matter. Except for the Fishing Bridge RV park, none of the CGs in the park has hook-ups. If you feel you must have hook-ups you will need to stay outside the park at a private CG and pay more. That will probably require reservations.

    I recommend staying a few days in the Grand Tetons as well. The Gros Ventre CG in the southern end is no hook-ups, FCFS and rarely fills. Expect to follow bear safe rules in both parks, i.e., no food, stored, cooked or consumed in any soft-sided camper.
     
  8. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    As UT said, Gros Ventre Campground on the South end of the park is a good place to stay. We stayed there in September and didn't have reservations. It was a quiet place with no hookups.

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    Some visitors to the campground....

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    Elk herd in the park

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    Our campsite at Gros Ventre

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    Jenny Lake

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    Up on top of Signal Mountain

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    Jackson Lake Dam
     
  9. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    Great pics. We did want at least electric, so yes that was the basis of my reservation comment. And the campground was full. I am realizing I may be somewhat OCD as I needed the peace of mind that we had a spot waiting after traveling 2500 miles to get there. It made for a very smooth trip and we loved it. Maybe once I retire I can become freewheeling :)

    Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    I can't wait until you go on this trip! If you stay in one of the parks in Yellowstone, quiet time is 8pm, so a generator isn't a good idea.
     
  11. marrobinson

    marrobinson New Member

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    We did Yellowstone two years ago. We won plane tickets and flew out, so we stayed in motels, but I noticed that the campgrounds required a hard-sided camper (bears). You will probably want to check out the requirements.

    We started at the north entrance and really enjoyed the Mammoth Hot Springs. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is UNBELIEVABLY beautiful. We also stopped at a hot springs spot where we walked through -- I can't remember the name. Old Faithful also has hot springs walkways. We ate at the Old Faithful lodge too.

    We then drove out the East entrance and stayed in Cody, WY. The terrain driving out was steep, scary, and amazing! The Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody is alone worth the trip -- 5 museums in one. Google it!

    We also stayed in Jackson Hole. I enjoyed the trip through the Tetons and suggest the small Jenny Lake hike. You can swim there too!

    We river rafted on the Snake River in Jackson Hole -- they had both slow and fast trips. We took the slow trip and enjoyed watching eagles and ospreys. I didn't really care for the town of Jackson Hole -- lots of tourist shopping.

    I hope this information will help as you plan your trip!
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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  13. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    marrobinson said:
    Absolutely false.

    I don't understand why this incorrect info continues to circulate.
     
  14. moose_mom

    moose_mom Member

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    We went to Yellowstone last summer and continued on to Mt. Rushmore via Cody. I LOVE Yellowstone, it is a magical place. I was however, disappointed with Mammoth Hot Springs. Due to shifting of where the hotwater comes out, the terraces just don't look like they do in the postcards you see. We left Yellowstone through the north gate going through the Lamar valley and over the Beartooth highway. I have read many posts pro and anti pulling a PUP up the Beartooth-we did and my husband claims it was no problem, mind you, we have a powerful TV. In any case, whether you decide to cross it with your trailer or just make a day trip of it-the elevation on the top is close to 11,000' and the scenery is SPECTACULAR!
    In Cody, yes, the Buffalo Bill museum is a must stop. There is a rodeo in town every night which is fun if you are okay with that kind of stuff. The rodeo fairgrounds are on the outskirts of town. Beside them is the original frontier town of Cody that you can walk through complete with an old cemetery where Jeremiah Johnson is buried(the mountain man that Robert Redford portrayed). Near Mt. Rushmore is the Jewel Cave national monument. That is also pretty cool to check out; interesting information on the underground formation of the area for miles around, but you have to show up first thing in the morning to book tours for later in the day-they fill up fast.
     
  15. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    It's true that Mammoth Hot Springs don't look as they once did. When I was there as a kid they were fantastic, with hot water flowing over all of the multicolored terraces. But the 1959 earthquake choked off many of the water vents. Most of the terraces dried out and are shadows of their former selves. Today there are only a few tickles in a few places. My advice is that if you are only in Yellowstone a short time you could drop Mammoth Hot Springs from your itinerary and use the time for something else. Do not miss Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

    We've also driven the Beartooth (last summer) but did it as a day trip. We had lunch in Red Lodge, MT and then returned. I would not be concerned about pulling my trailer up there either but I also have a powerful TV. The summit is actually a double peak with the two high points about a mile apart. When we went over it there was a race in progress. Runners ran from one peak to the other and back, at >11,000 feet! I'd have been writhing on the ground after a few hundred yards.
     
  16. moose_mom

    moose_mom Member

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    Are you sure it was a race or were people just running to get away from the mosquitos? JK [;)]
     
  17. Macmean

    Macmean New Member

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    We did this trip last year. In the Tetons, we loved hiking up into to Cascade Canyon. We were run over by a moose the size of a school bus. It was awesome. The family hike around Leigh and String lakes was just going to be a warm up hike. This is where we saw the only Grizzly on the whole trip (Please buy the bear spray if you are going hiking. I was too cheap and regretted it 3 weeks later when I read some hikers doing all the right things were attacked.) We took the Snake river rafting trip through the Tetons. It is amazing the different perspectives you see on the same mountains just by changing your position. The Chapel of Transfiguration. Get your picture taken at the barn. We stayed at Colter Bay and we were the only Pop-up. The kids and I swam at Jackson Lake right out of the campground.

    We stayed at Bridge Bay in Yellowstone. Outside of the normal stuff, we went horseback riding outside of Mammoth Hot Springs and loved it. If you go to the Grand Prismatic Lake and are somewhat mobile, hike the hill across the road for an awe inspiring perspective. We also loved the hike up Mount Washburn.

    Custer State Park is very nice. We met so many nice people and our campsite at Legion Lake was a home base for many activities.

    Several people tried to discourage us from camping in the Badlands. We did it any way and do not regret it. More hiking and Ranger programs.

    The one thing that we enjoyed and I never would have expected is we packed a lunch each day even when we were on the road. We never had a bad lunch spot. Sometimes when all the obvious spots were occupied, we searched and found something even better. The favorite included the a random State Rec Area in the Beartooth Mountains and a short hike when there were no picnic tables available in Yellowstone for a private view of the Upper Falls.
     
  18. ripleyandrew

    ripleyandrew New Member

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    I would recommend Crazy Horse. What an awesome story! You start by going into the theater to see a short film on the history of the mountain. It's just simply an awesome story!

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
     

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