Tennessee to Yellowstone

Discussion in 'On The Road' started by Buttermilk, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk New Member

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    I promised my wife I would take her on a long trip next summer. To Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore and places in between. I have a brother that lives in Neche, ND which is right on the Canadian border and we will swing by there and visit them for a day or two before we head back home. We won't be pulling the camper. We will be staying in motels. We are old people, so bull riding, 5 mile hikes and white water rafting will be something we won't be doing. We do plan on stopping at Wall Drugs along the way. We saw something about it on TV a couple of years ago and she has been wanting to go there ever since.

    Anyone having any tips or suggestions for sights to see along the way will be appreciated. We will likely be going through St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha and Sioux Falls along the way.
     
  2. apopkabob

    apopkabob New Member

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    Wall Drug South dakota is a lot of fun to see as is Deadwood South Dakota and the Blackhills have a lot of history. As does the George Custer Battlefield museum near Little Big Horn Mountain Montana

    enjoy your trip
     
  3. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    Good for you. I am sure that you will enjoy the trip. It is a dream of ous to head out that way. As much as we enjoy camping, sometimes it is good to just get in the car and head out. In October we rented a house on the beach on Tybee Island. It was a beautiful place and it was nice to sit on the deck and watch the ships and dolphins play around. At night when there was a chill in the air, I just pushed a button on the fireplace and DW snuggled up with her book on the recliner. No, it's not camping, but it was a great relaxing trip. Best of luck and hope you enjoy all the great places in that neck of the woods.
     
  4. cirrus

    cirrus New Member

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    St. Louis, The Arch http://www.nps.gov/jeff/index.htm

    Kansas City, World War 1 Museum, http://www.theworldwar.org If its open take the elevator to the top of Liberty Memorial next to the museum
    Steamboat Arabia Museum http://www.1856.com The Steamboat sank on the Missouri River and was excavated. Many artifacts well preserved.

    Omaha, Henry Doorley zoo http://www.omahazoo.com Really!!!! One of the best zoos in the nation, No Really!!!!

    Allow yourself time to travel south of Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park. If you are planning on staying inside Yellowstone get your reservations in early(now). Even though it will be summer, take a sweatshirt and a jacket, in can turn cold.

    Enjoy!!!!!
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Yes, it can get cold at night even in July and August because Yellowstone is at about 8,000 feet of elevation. I second cirrus' suggestion to see Grand Teton NP as well. It is beautiful. There are several places to stay including Jackson Lodge and Signal Mountain Lodge, both at the northern end of the park, and other accommodations farther south, near Jackson. Dornans is on Highway 191 near the town of Moose and has lodging too. You can buy a bison burger there.
     
  6. coverus

    coverus castra magna est

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    Here are some things that might interest you that were not mentioned yet.
    • The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD
    • Badlands National Park near Wall Drug
    • Devils Tower National Monument in NE Wyoming
    • Drive the scenic drive of US 14 through Bighorn National Forest
    • Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, WY
    • Drive the scenic Beartooth Highway (US 212) through the Beartooth mountain range
     
  7. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk New Member

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    Thanks, I'm gonna make a list of all this stuff to try to map out the trip.
     
  8. hotrodcamper

    hotrodcamper Member

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    If you are heading anywhere near St. Louis check out the Arch as you cross the Mississippi River. Really neat museum under arch. Tells story of Lewis and Clark heading west.
     
  9. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk New Member

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    We stopped by the Arch once, but it was like a two hour wait to get to go up, so we didn't.
     
  10. kevmann

    kevmann Member

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    You can prearrange an appointment to see the arch and then you wont have to wait. I believe you can do it online. I highly recommend the arch and Cahokia Mounds too. They are in Illinois but very close to St. Louis. There are also a lot of antique and museums in South Dakota.

    Kevin
     
  11. ricko

    ricko Member

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    Buttermilk:

    We did this trip a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it (we live in Nashville) - so much that we haven't found any family trip to top it. I'd suggest that you reconsider taking the PUP - camping there and back only adds to the enjoyment of the trip.

    Here are some suggested stops -
    St. Louis - (the arch)
    Overnight 1 - Arrow Rock State Park - quaint little town with a great, quiet campground
    Kansas City - get some BBQ
    Pray that the river is down and you can take Hwy 2 from I-29 to I-80... and check out Lincoln, NE
    Overnight 2 - North Platte, NE - check out the Golden Spike Visitors center.
    Head up through Casper and Buffalo, WY
    Overnight 3 - Deer Park campground in Buffalo... another quaint town with gorgeous views

    Then cut over through the northeast entrance to the park - either camp in the park or one of the commercial campgrounds just outside. Make sure to have full tanks of propane for the furnace and some extra blankets... even in July it can get a little chilly.

    Route out through your brother's place, the black hills, Omaha and MO on the way back to the volunteer state... enjoy!

    Ricko
     
  12. jhowe327

    jhowe327 New Member

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    Buttermilk -
    I second the trip down to Jackson Hole and the Tetons.
    You can get fantastic pictures of the Grand Tetons from Coulter Bay on Jackson Hole Lake
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art
    http://www.wildlifeart.org/
    [​IMG]
    (Most of the Museum is indoors)
    And even take a raft trip down the Snake river (not whitewater rafting - my mom was 75 when she planned this trip with us) and see eagles and get more views of the Tetons...
    If you have more time you could even Take in Glacier NP in Western Montana, our current photo of the week is from St. Mary's Lake on the eastern side of the park, which is where most of the in Park Lodges are. I think the doing the going to the Sun road through the park would be worth the 3 extra days (1 day getting there, 1 day for the Sun road, and one day back).
     
  13. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I agree that if you are going to Yellowstone you should also see the Grand Tetons. The two parks are adjacent and there are several lodges in the immediate area. Here's a shot of the Tetons from Schwabacher's Landing (a short, easy walk from a scenic pullout spot on the road).

    [​IMG]

    Here's some actual wildlife near the museum. This guy was in a pond just a few hundred feet off the road.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    We took the same trip from Ohio a few years ago....absolutely loved it!!
    I think everyone above has hit everything we saw.

    If you get to Signal Mountain Lodge at GTNP, get the nachos appetizer. It will feed 3-4 people for lunch! It's HUGE!
     
  15. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    Beautiful Photos [8D]
     
  16. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

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    I've been to Yellowstone 4 or 5 times, it is probably my favorite place on earth.

    Our original plan was to pull the PUP, but like you, we opted for motels. With 3 kids under 10, it was a full 3 days' drive from Buffalo, NY. We stopped at Mt Rushmore (well worth it, only 1/2 hr off I-90) and got a room in nearby Custer, SD.

    Make sure you don't cut your "time in the park" short to see all the other things out west. Try to spend at least a week inside the park. Last time (summer 2011) we stayed at Grant village, kind of in the southern side of the park. Accomodations were comfortable but spartan. No TVs in any rooms in the park, anywhere, period. No swimming pools. It's OK, the park is the attraction.

    The main park road is kind of set up like a figure 8. Go to Hayden Valley and Lamarr Valley to see wildlife, although you will see some wildlife anywhere you are. Visit the upper, middle, and lower geyser basins. Do not miss the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. For piece of mind, if you are going to hike get a can of bear spray. We had one, but didn't use it. Someone was killed by a bear about 2 weeks before we got there. We saw a bear from 20 feet away. We could have touched bison by reaching out the car window (don't do it, though. Bison injure more people than bears).

    Have fun, it's the trip of a lifetime.
     
  17. Shuswap

    Shuswap New Member

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    Ditto on Beartooth in Montana. This incredible hwy was built in just a few years in the 1930's - loved the many switchbacks and constantly changing views. [​IMG]
     
  18. rsdata

    rsdata Member

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    BADLANDS
    I lived in Omaha for two years in the late 70's. Once my wife and I drove the state route secondary roads from Omaha into the badlands from near Chadron, NE. on our way to Yellowstone. We enjoyed that part of the trip so much we made it a point to return nearly the same way. By taking any one of a number of roads into the park from the south, you see so much more than just taking the loop road from the interstate south into and through the park. This is a great way to travel to that area IF you don't mind getting off the interstate highways. The roads were good, and the terrain was flat to gentle hills. While we did encounter somesections of graded non-paved roads, we were able to travel at 50-55 as these roads were well maintained.

    Also make sure to take a detour to Devil's Tower, WY. This is a site not to be missed especially if you like natural geologic scenic wonders. I also suggest trying to get in the Crazy Horse Memorial just SW of Rapid City.

    I hope you are going to be able to take some time on this trip. There are so many sights to see in that Black Hills area.

    Yellowstone though is the best... enjoy yourself. I was able to go the last weekend in September and the summer crowds were all gone. The cool air in the morning at that time of the year made all of the steam generated by the hot springs seem like there was smoke throughout the entire area.
     
  19. Shuswap

    Shuswap New Member

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    Just reread the OP and saw you will be near the border in northern ND. We've done hwy 2 a couple of times and it has some long boring stretches but last year we were astonished to see the activity in that area - there is no unemployment problem there - the beehive of activity was amazing.
     
  20. Ken1967

    Ken1967 Can't wait to Camp!

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    Too bad you are not camping... Custer State Park is magnificent! Well worth staying several days! We did Mt. Rushmore! Also went to the Reptile Gardens in Rapid City. The wildlife drive in Custer SP is worth doing and is free (bring crackers to feed the begging burrows). Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD was fun. We did Wall Drug... was not overly impressed... lots of shops selling the same touristy stuff every gas station had in SD. We stayed outside of Sioux Falls both ways... nice camp grounds... but no need to name them if you are not camping. Have a great trip! P.S. We hope to go to Yellowstone this year and will go back throught SD and hopefully hit Devils Tower on way through!
     

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