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Old 08-02-2014, 09:34 AM   #1
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Best Route To Yellowstone

We would like some advice on routes to Yellowstone from Little Rock, Arkansas.
Mapquest shows two versions, one going to Oklahoma City, then to Kansas, Denver, and up through Rawlins, Wyoming and then on to the Tetons and YP.
Another version is going through Kansas City, Lincoln, Nebraska, Cheyenne, Wy., then on to Billings, Montana and then to the Park. The Montana version is a little longer than the route through Wyoming and then to the Tetons.
Has anyone considered both of these routes. Would you offer your input on which of these two would be best as far as traffic and scenery?
We would appreciate your advice. Hope to leave in mid-August.

Rick
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:45 AM   #2
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Hit the Tetons. You will get Jackson WY as a freebie too.

Many people, myself included, like the Tetons even better than YStone. Don't miss the chance to make your own choice.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
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If you have a chance to route through OKC for a night, I highly recommend swinging through. Have dinner on the river walk, and then go visit the bombing memorial. That memorial touched me in a way I didn't expect, and ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. We didn't go there for it, we were just looking to see something on a free evening, but it was amazing. I recommend everyone stop by if they have a chance to do so.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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Have done both. Personally like the route through the Tetons. All entrances to Yellowstone are interesting. Gros Venture in Tetons is a good place to stop on the way in.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:19 PM   #5
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time permitting I would go to the Badlands of SD, Rapid City, SD, Sheridan, WY, and enter Yellowstone thru Cody, WY; then return south thru the Tetons and Jackson WY. Also look at leaving Jackson and head for Moab, UT (Arches and Canyonland NPs), Monument Valley UT (Gouldings Resort), Oklahoma City and then Little Rock via I40.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:50 PM   #6
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Great advice from all.
Thanks. The route to Wyoming going and Utah coming back sounds great.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:59 PM   #7
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Don't miss Devil's Tower, north and west of Rapid City.

If you go into Yellowstone using the east entrance (which is the Wyoming route you'll probably take), make a point of spending some time in Cody. There, you find a museum that has Buffalo Bill memorabilia, as well as Remington and Russell art. If you're lucky Cody has rodeo in season.

Have fun. That whole area is great!
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:26 PM   #8
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Don't miss Devil's Tower, north and west of Rapid City.

If you go into Yellowstone using the east entrance (which is the Wyoming route you'll probably take), make a point of spending some time in Cody. There, you find a museum that has Buffalo Bill memorabilia, as well as Remington and Russell art. If you're lucky Cody has rodeo in season.

Have fun. That whole area is great!

Or you could just whip up a bunch if mashed potatoes and build your own Devils Tower on the table in your AS! #closeencountersofthealuminumkind


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Old 08-02-2014, 02:49 PM   #9
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The route via Rawlings through the Wind River range is one of the most beautifuls drives ever. The little town of Dubois is positively charming. I would recommend this route. Then enter Teton park from the east.

I found the road south of Jackson, once out of the forest, to be desolate. It was very unsettling and middle of no where with nothing but sage brush as far as you you could see in any direction. Made me a bit panicky actually. Couldn't wait to get out of there.

South Dakota is a nice journey as well, and wouldn't dissuade you from that if you haven't seen it. It is a Long way across either SD, NE, OR KS. Now I live in Missouri so we usually drive across KS. Growing up in Nebraska we would drive across SD as there was less truck traffic than Nebraska.
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:07 PM   #10
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We are from GA and went to Yellowstone a few years ago. we went up to SD saw the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse and then across Wy. to Cody, Then we cam back thru the Tetonsand also don't miss The Mountain Man Museum in Pinedale, WY. This makes me want to do the trip again it was a fantastic trip.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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Thanks. We did the South Dakota trip once before, and it was very worthwhile.
I am now thinking the Rawlins, Wy. route might be best for us.
I appreciate the post on that suggestion.

Rick
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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When you get to Rawlins you will have some decisions to make as you consider your approach to Yellowstone. If you will enter from the south via Jackson Hole you can go west to Rock Springs and take US 191 north to Pinedale and then on. Or you can go north on on US 287 to Lander and Dubois. But let me suggest another route. South of Lander take WY 28 southwest through South Pass and on to Farson, meeting US 191 there. The road through South Pass traverses arguably some of the most historic landscape in the country, where all the traffic on the Oregon, California, and Mormon trails passed over the Continental Divide and ('til 1848) out of the United States. And as you round the southern tip of the Wind River Mountains you will get a taste of wonderful things to come as you wend your way to Jackson Hole. Of course, if you will be going to Cody first you just keep heading north from Rawlins, most likely up through Riverton. In any case, the country just keeps getting "interestinger and interestinger!"
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:25 PM   #13
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We used to drive through Denver annually and the freeway traffic was generally awful. We'd do a lot to avoid it.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:42 PM   #14
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To Youngpeck,
Is Wyoming 28 paved?
Thanks,

Rick
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:54 PM   #15
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Len and Jeanne,
Denver does have some very heaving traffic. But they have added a new tollway belt line highway around the city. I would suggest that, no matter what the cost, as it has hardly any traffic. We were in Denver last week visiting DD, and I-25 has a LOT of road construction going on right now.

You don't have to stop and pay a toll. Big brother cameras scan your license plate and you get a bill in the mail.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:20 PM   #16
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I wonder if they will accept a photo of some cash for payment! This road is the best way to bypass Denver.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #17
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To Youngpeck,
Is Wyoming 28 paved?
Thanks,

Rick
Yes, indeed it is. It's a good road. There's lots to see as you go through the South Pass area, especially on the west, or Pacific side. Several good roadside information kiosks explaining all the history that passed through the area. There are also two historic towns (sad to say off the pavement on gravel roads), South Pass City and Atlantic City, restored and run by the National Park Service. As a treat, you get to skirt the Wind Rivers just to the north (the highway easily climbs to over 8,000 feet and you don't even know it) and then have them at your side as you drive up toward Pinedale.

If you don't have one, pick up one of the official Wyoming state highway maps along the way. This has been one of the most informative state highway maps for over forty years. Very well annotated with historical points, all the historic trails that passed through the state, and beautiful shaded relief so you can visualize what you are driving through.

If you go through Rawlins you might want to find the old state pen (Wyoming parceled out its various state institutions to small towns around the state--that's why the prison landed in Rawlins.) where Butch Cassidy spent some time for robbing the Union Pacific. The old prison--not the new one--is right in the residential area of the town, on Walnut Street just west of 6th Street, just a few blocks west of Highway 287 (not the bypass) as it passes through town. There is also a really good and quick Thai restaurant (advertised along the freeway coming into town) downtown if you are so inclined.

Once you get off I-80 in both Wyoming and Nebraska the country gets very interesting. Any route you take on your drive to Yellowstone will reward you. Yellowstone and the Tetons are just the jewels in the crown.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:21 PM   #18
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Youngpeck,
Very informative, very detailed.
Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:44 PM   #19
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Youngpeck,
Very informative, very detailed.
Thanks.
Have a great trip! Travel safely.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:48 PM   #20
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I would like some opinions on which entrance to go into the park. We were originally thinking of going in from Rawins, Wy. and then to Colter Bay and then to Yellowstone. That would be the south entrance? Or going in from Cody, Wy. and into the east entrance. Any thoughts would be appreciated. We were thinking of a few nights in Colter Bay and then to Grant Village, if we can get in, and then to West Yellowstone to Wagon Wheel, Rustic Wagon, or Grizzly Park.
If we go in through the East entrance, I am not where we would stay or if that would be the best route.
Again, any thoughts would be valued.

Rick
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