Jan 15 2009, 02:04 PM
I have heard that the road from Yellowstone east to Cody WY is not easy for RV travel. I have done an online search on this topic, but have not been able to confirm what I have heard. We will be traveling in a Yukon XL pulling a 30' travel trailer. Any help would be appreciated.
Jan 16 2009, 01:00 AM
Some time back we traveled same road in a snow storm and had no problems. Road at the top was under repair work but that should be completed. Sun was out at Fishing Bridge, as we traveled to top of mountain (8530 ft) we had lots of snow. As we went down the east side snow stopped and as we left the park sun come back out. We were in our 36 ft motorhome with tow. Snow at top was about 12 inch's deep. Lot of buffalo's were in road as we started down in snow and that helped as well.
You should be OK. Use care as road has drop offs and it is a long ways down to bottom. Hwy 550 in CO makes this road a piece of cake.
Jan 16 2009, 01:22 AM
It depends on your definition of "not easy". I most recently drove this route (US 14/16/20) both ways this past summer. From the middle of the park at Fishing Bridge to Cody is about 80 miles and very scenic almost the entire distance. The first 30 or so miles you are still in the park, climbing from the low (7700') elevation of the park at Yellowstone Lake, over Sylvan Pass (8500'), then down to the east entrance (6900'). This road has it share of ups and downs and lots of curves. That said, thousands of RVs make this drive every summer. As long as you are alert and obey the speed limits, there should be no problem with a rig your size. From the east entrance to Cody you drop another 2000' going through several canyons and past a couple lakes - a piece of cake after the climb out of the park.
When we came back this route late last August, there were still several fires in the area - the road had been closed several times earlier in the summer due to fires. As long as there are no fire closures or construction delays, you should have no problems as long as you are traveling in season (July and August). Late snow can keep the road closed until June and early snows can shut roads down in September. While June and September are, at worst, "iffy", earlier or later than those 2 months are not advisable. If you are talking about a trip in the next few months, contact the park to find out what roads will be open when you plan to visit..
We must have been writing our replies about the same time - you finished about 25 minutes before I did. Just out of curiosity, what month was this trip? I am wondering how this jives with the second paragraph in my last post.
Jan 16 2009, 12:06 PM
RC: For more information on this question you might check the Roads and Routes Forum on GoodSamClub. A thread entitled "Driving Through Yellowstone (1/14/09)" has some replies that are relevant. We're heading west for April/May/June and have decided to stay outside of Cody and just drive into the park rather than drag the 5'er over that pass.
Jan 16 2009, 12:54 PM
We were in park in middle May or way to soon. We had stopped and spent time in Jackson WY. Then the snow storms hit Yellowstone. We checked the weather each day to see if park was open. In a short time gates were open and we moved up to Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone in case snow set in again we would have 50 amp and could stay warm. Each day we checked the weather reports and most days were good to go. On last day in park we checked weather again. This was May 24, sun was out not a cloud in sky. At Fishing Bridge we hit rain and them snow as we went up the mountain. Use a little care and you will be OK. Remember it can snow in Yellowstone on July 4th with no problem.
Jan 16 2009, 03:39 PM
Thanks, John. It's good to hear some "real life" validation of the view I expressed in my post. At the other end of the spectrum, I was at Grizzly RV years ago at the end of September. Although we only had snow flurries our two days there, there was heavy snow in the park. The real problem was that the lows both nights were around 10F. Fortunately, we were experienced enough to unhook and drain our water hose. There were a lot of frozen hoses that first morning - even those that people unhooked from their RVs but did not drain them. Some folks even curled the hoses up and left them on the ground to freeze in that shape. Live and learn.
Jan 16 2009, 06:00 PM
See this all the time, people think if we roll hoses up they will not freeze. Water will start to freeze at 32F or 0C as best that we know. We see sewer pipes and water hoses out in some very cold places. Our bays and tanks are all heated so if we move water line inside we have no problem then we run on 12 volt pump.
This is right up with people who open the Gray and Black dump valves and walk off. Works for sometime but hard to clean up the mess later.
Hard to understand how the weather can be good at Grizzly with sun and snowing 25 miles east.
Jan 16 2009, 08:06 PM
Hey, you guys are talking about ME! In the early 1980's we had a very small class C. On one of our first trips we went to the Davis Mountains State Park. We did not know that it was going to freeze, and even if we had known we were so new to RVing that we would not have known to bring in the hose. I forget just how long the hose was (probably 20-25 ft.), but I do remember that it barely reached the water faucet so it was stretched out straight for the whole length of the hose. Of course it froze solid in that position. Fortunately there was no damage to anything, but since we were supposed to leave that morning we now had to figure out how to get that hose back into the RV. We couldn't roll it up. It was too long to put inside the RV. We thought about dragging it behind us, but decided that wasn't the best idea. We finally took it into the showers and ran hot water on it and through it. Guess we all have our moments when we are newbies. Course we still have those moments after 9 years of RVing. That's what makes life so interesting.
Jan 16 2009, 11:50 PM
I would never think of that trick, we would have left hose in park and moved on to buy a new one. That is a good one!
Jan 17 2009, 01:20 AM
The original poster (RCDCTN) must be wondering what all these forum members are doing yaking about frozen hoses when all he asked about was the road.
TX: You were lucky that you were able to get your 20' "stick" into the bathroom. There are a lot of bathroom facilities set up in such a way that you would not have been able to get the hose thru the door or to the hot water. Think of the facilities where you have to make a turn or two to get to the door or a turn or two after you got through the door.
John: In Yellowstone, the main factor between clear skies and snow is the elevation. Mountains can create their own weather. Ever notice how on an otherwise clear day, the only clouds you see are over the mountains.
Back to RCDCTN: Are you planning to go to Yellowstone in the next few months or are you waiting until summer? Also, have we answered your concerns?
Jan 17 2009, 03:11 PM
Sorry! I guess we did hijack the topic, but I just couldn't resist our frozen hose story.
Jan 17 2009, 05:54 PM
Thanks for all of the great advice. The stories of frozen hoses make for good reading on a cold winter day!
We are planning to leave Knoxville and get to Hardin MT for the Custerís last stand re-enactment in late June. From there we will go to Yellowstone/ Grand Teton for three days before going to Cody for the annual Stampede Rodeo. Then itís on to Devils Tower and the 4th of July fireworks at Mt. Rushmore. Finally weíll head to the Badlands, Wall Drug and the Minuteman Missile Historic Site before turning for home.
We will be traveling with our 12 year old grandson and hope to get all of this done in 19 days. Are there any other stops or attractions that you can recommend along this route?
Jan 17 2009, 08:21 PM
This sounds like a great trip. We were at most of these places last September. It sounds like you have chosen to be at places when there is an event going on. I'm sure that will be much more fun for your grandson. Don't forget about the Crazy Horse Memorial. It is very close to Mt Rushmore. If you don't see buffalo in Yellowstone (and you probably will) Custer State Park has a lot. It is also near Mt Rushmore. We went to a place called Bear Country USA. It is a drive through wildlife attraction. The animals are free and you are in the cage (your car). This was interesting, but the best thing there was the bear cub enclosure (not on the drive). We sat and watched them play for almost an hour. This would be great entertainment for a 12 year old. It is located on the southwest edge of Rapid City.
Have fun and give us all a holler if you need more info.
Jan 18 2009, 12:53 AM
Well, it has been a couple years since we were there. I took that route out. It was ok. I have been in worse actually. It was very scenic drive and we liked it. I live in the mountains of VA and we have switch backs and narrow roads.It is just not as high is all. If you know your rig and how to drive hills you will be fine. If you do not then you will by the time you are done.
It is a great place. You have to get down to the tetons as well. I love Jackson Hole too.
Jan 18 2009, 01:14 AM
Sounds like a great itinerary. You may get some some suggestions for other sights to see, but I think you've already got plenty to fill your alloted time. Assuming that you are allowing a bare minimum of 4-5 days to get out to the area and back, 2 weeks will be just enough time to see what you have planned in the area. Adding additional sights or sidetrips will only make the trip hectic and stressful.
TX: Most of the 12 year old boys I've known in recent years would consider the bear cub thing for "kids". I think a 12 year old should be able to enjoy most of the stuff RCDTN has planned, but I don't think watching playful bear cubs is one of them.
Jan 18 2009, 02:30 AM
You are probably right. I just know we enjoyed them so of course everyone else should. Guess I'm too old to know what kids like these days.
Jan 18 2009, 12:15 PM
On I-90 stop by and see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. It is free and lots of parking as well. Anyone would love to see the place. RV sites at exit 332 to spent the night.
Mar 11 2009, 10:15 AM
My husband and I were in the CO. Springs area this past Nov. Friends who live there found a campground for us since they live in the area. We live in Kansas City with an altitude of about 900 feet, our campground was 9000+feet. We reserved our site for 4 days. Needless to say, we had a very hard time adjusting to the altitude and couldn't wait to leave. Even though the temp off the hill was not too bad, the temp at our campground fell well below freezing (at night). It was our first time out in temps that low. We noticed most of the other rvers had wrapped their hoses with insulation and a coil that you wrap around it and plug into the electric outlet, that heats up and keeps the hose freeze proof. Unfortunately, since we didn't have any of that, we just brought our hose in each evening, it was no big deal. We will get another hose and "winterize" it with the insulation and heated coil though incase we do camp in cold temps.
Re: Bear Country in South Dakota and a 12 year old, we took our sons there when they were 12 and 14, they really enjoyed it. We spent a long time watching the little bear cubs playing, infact, none of us wanted to leave, but we had to get on the road. Even my 30something year old "boy" really liked it. I would recommend stopping at Bear Country, the drive through part is worth it as well.
We can't wait until our grandkids are old enough to take on trips like you're doing! What WONDERFUL memories you are making for your grandson to carry with him through life.
Unfortunately, I never really got to know my grandparents, because we lived on the other side of the world and the other set were deceased, what I'd have given to spend such quality time with them!!!!
God BLess you and enjoy it all!!!
Mar 11 2009, 04:42 PM
Good Information. !!!
I was raised outside of Casper Wy. Cody is a nice place to run around. I also like Buffalo, Sheridan, and Thermopolis, Wyoming.
I stayed in Jackson Wy and traveled up every day into Yellowstone because I was concerned about pulling my 5er up through Yellowstone roads. I wish I had stayed at Fishing Bridge, Grizzly RV Park or one of the others.
One other thing.. Jackson is a city south of Yellowstone. There is a nice campground there. Jackson Hole is a large area south of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Do not go to Yellowstone and not go south thru the Grand Teton Mountain range. There are some nice campgrounds on the lakes as you go south from Yellowstone.
Mar 12 2009, 01:35 PM
After reading all of the suggestions (and thanks to everyone for their thoughts) we have added two more days to the trip in an effort to have enough time. The memories we will be making are the most important reason for our trip.
Mar 13 2009, 01:08 AM
OK... now you know after getting all this good infomation you are required to post while your on the trip and show some pictures. It is impolite to not let us see how much you are enjoying your trip.
Have lots of fun, travel safe and may God Bless.
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