10-Day Road Trip to Yellowstone From Wisconsin
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jul 24, 2012 1:17 PM Last Post By: zeldasdad
Jul 19, 2012 6:32 AM
10-Day Road Trip to Yellowstone From WisconsinPlanning a 10-day road trip with the family (4 people total, two kids 15 and 12). I was curious if anyone could offer up their opinions on whether or not we're trying to accomplish too much in that time frame...sorry in advance for posting our itinerary, as I know some don't like that on here:
We are not camping type people, and will be in hotels of any/ all kinds throughout the trip...
Drive to Badlands National park, with a stop at the Corn Palace ( was told we had to stop here). Then just the day at Badlands.
Drive to MT. Rusmore for overnight stay, then a day there to see what we can.
Drive to Deadwood for overnight stay.
All day dinosaur dig the next day. ..then stay in Deadwood another night.
Drive to Devils Tower for a visit.
Drive to Yellowstone. Four days here, possibly two nights on one side of the park, and two on another.
Drive home and maybe catch a few small sites on the way back but not sure what.
Any thoughts or suggestions on what can't be missed?
I realize that this is OUR trip, but it certainly doesn't hurt to get ideas from others.
Jul 19, 2012 6:50 AM
Jul 19, 2012 7:13 AM
Jul 19, 2012 10:44 AM
3Yes, the Corn Palace is recommended. I skipped it on my first trip thru SD 'cause I thought it was probably a tourist trap. Then when I saw it years later, I realized I'd been wrong.
Skip Mt. Rushmore (you'll see it as you pass on the road) and head over to the Crazy Horse Monument which is still in progress. A lot less crowded.
Jul 19, 2012 11:52 AM
4I have spent a fair amount of time in Yellowstone (9 trips in past 11 years), and there is always more to see and always new places to explore. That said, you can do a decent tour of Yellowstone in 4 days. Bzookaj has good suggestions on how to break up the hotels.
I'd spend 2 nights in Roosevelt or Mammoth as he suggests. Spend at least one full day exploring the northern part of the park, spending morning and evening in the Lamar Valley (fantastic for wildlife, especially wolves, black bears and grizzlies), and walk around Mammoth in the afternoon. Another day for hiking in the northern part of the park: Trout Lake, Hellroaring Creek, etc.
Third day: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Norris Geyser Basin, Sulfur Cauldrons. Fourth Day: Old Faithful Geyser Basin and other geothermal features in that area.
That's a pretty good and unrushed time in the park. I have done very similar trips with first-time Yellowstone visitors and they always had a great time.
Jul 19, 2012 9:10 PM
5If you can, I would drive from Spearfish, SD(on the northern side of the black hills) across the middle of Wyoming on why 90 over the Bighorn mountains (SPECTACULAR DRIVE!!) and into Grand Tetons. I would definitely not miss the Tetons - these mountains are so beautiful and in my opinion, even better than Yellowstone (for different reasons, of course). The drive from Spearfish to Grand Tetons goes from desert to mountains to desert - a crazy canyon drive and then more desert (through the depressed Arapahoe and Shoshone Indian reservations) and up the back entrance to the park with incredible views as you approach the Tetons. Also, the small town of Buffalo, WY is worth a lunch (or breakfast) stop. Super cute. From the Tetons, it's only a short drive into Yellowstone.
The pass through the Bighorn Mountains is breathtakingly beautiful with alpine and then classic red-stone desert vistas. It's also uncrowded and very pristine. I've also been on I-94 which is the northern option, and it is an inferior choice by far. If you have a choice for a driving route, you should try route 90 out of Spearfish, at Buffalo, head west on hwy 16, and then at Riverton, west toward Jackson on 26/287.
Jul 24, 2012 7:49 AM
Jul 24, 2012 1:17 PM
That depends on your wife, your finances, how much baggage you will be carrying, and how tolerant your wife and kids are to playing sardines. That will be your call. My first wife DECREED a minivan when my kids were 15, 12 and 9.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$208.00 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$110.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$139.99 per night