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pioneer
We are planning on visiting South Dakota and Wyoming in the middle
of May. We would like to hear from anyone who has traveled
out west in May. How was the weather?
We are wondering if we are going too early in the season.
Big Ben
South Dakota will probably be Ok, But trying to predict the weather is a matter of luck. Wyoming is the land of extremes.If you are planning on going over the Big Horns you have a good chance of seeing snow. I 've seen snow in Yellowstone in July. It may not be enough to bother with. The bright side is you really haven't seen the mountains if there is no snow on them.
If wild life is you cup of tea that is an great time to see the little guys. You will beat the crowds. Hope for the best and go.
RLM
Big Ben> I visited Wyo, MT, N and S Dakota during the first week of June a couple years ago. There was no inclement weather on that trip. Temps were in the 60's during the day and perhaps a bit cooler at night. That is one of the most beautiful, "Kodak moment' parts of America.

If I were doing the trip again during the May time frame, I'd error on the safe side by checking the weather channels and also stay off of the high mountains routes.

Rick
pioneer
Did anyone travel on Rt 26 in Wyoming? Is it an easy drive or are there alot of rough roads?
Big Ben
Well RLM you are probable a lot better at forecasting the weather than I. If you really read my post , I said go for it . But the fact remains there is a real good chance of snow.
Pioneer, we have driven 26 several times. It is a wide 2 lane that was in good repair last time we were on it 2 years ago. Might want to check out the first JC Pennys store in Kinnear. Dubois is a really cool little town with some neat shops. The Hardware store on the right after the turn is fun to go into. The owner has a pet lynx that is some times in the store. The drive from Dubois to Moran Jt. is beautiful. There are 2 spots where you climb to over 10,000 ft. Some very pretty spots to pull over at. I'll be surprised if you don't see snow up there. There is a long grade down after the Continental Divide. Keep it in a low gear. The road has a few curves but nothing real tight..
At the bottom there is a restaurant and motel called Hatchet's. Great hamburger and fresh cut french fries that are the best. Don't miss the Ox Bow in Grand Teton Park Great wild life viewing. We have spent a lot of time in the area and if I can be of any help let me know.
No matter where you are even the weather people have a hard time with how the weather will be next month. And for those who have spent any time in the the western mountains it is absolutely impossible.
Cheryl Fuller
Pioneer, I live just north of Denver, about 80 miles from the Wyoming border. We have a general rule of thumb around here that we do not plant before Mother's Day because we can still get freezing temps and snow up until Mid-May. You run a greater risk of it in mountainous areas. I am not sure of the roads we have traveled on but have taken the RV from here to Mt. Rushmore and were never on any terrribly steep roads. Believe me, even though I am not the navigator, I would have noticed those because I normally go to the back when we are on what I call "scary roads" and there are none between here and there with whatever route we take. I know we start out on I-25 N but couldn't tell you after that...
Big Ben
Cheryl , you basicly go to the north from your place and Pioneer will be traveling east to west.
John Blue
I think you will OK if you check the weather and keep a eye to the sky. As other post have said it can all change in hours. We have been in Yellowstone with the sun out and run in to a snow storm. Remember as you go up the mountains and move north the more snow you will hit. Travel in the flat lands as much as you can them move up into the hills. You may need to stop your travel couple days due to bad weather, this is better that to sit on side of road and wait for help to pull you out. Most RV people travel south of I-10 to the May time frame then start moving north.

Enjoy the trip!
Jerry S.
As you have already read, there is a risk of snow in the mountains of WY in May. I agree that it is better to spend an extra day or two someplace than try to cross the mountains if snow is predicted. You should not have a problem in the Black Hills in SD. In fact, Rapid City will often hit 90 in May. The May weather in your destination area can go from 90 in SD to a snow storm in Yellowstone a few days later. It's a crap shoot.

One concern I would have traveling to those areas that early would be all facilities being fully operational. Many places out there don't really get going until Memorial Day or later. Pools, shops, tours, restuarants, etc. may not have opened yet for the season. Again, this probably won't be as much of a problem in SD as WY. You will beat the summer crowds but may miss some little things because they are not available until the crowds show up.

Good luck with the weather and enjoy the trip.

Jerry S.
pioneer
Thanks everyone for all the info. This trip sounds beautiful, exciting and scary
at the same time. We are trying to beat the crowds but are afraid of being
stuck in the snow. Of course it would give us alot to talk about when we get back!
I think we will go for it. If it gets too bad with the weather, we can always turn
around. But it's worth a try.
Big Ben
I'm sure you will have a great trip. you be sure to tell us about it when you get back.
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