We've been to Yellowstone three times and always used the north entrance based on advice from rv.net. Haven't been for about 5 yrs now but headed back this month and I'm considering the East entrance since we'll be coming in on 90. Any current construction news? Has the mountain shrunk to less than 8000 ft by any chance. Should I do it or go back through Billings and use the North entrance again?
I took Beartooth summit once just for the fun of it, and to see what it was like. Yes it is fun.
We have an advantage that I did not have back in 1994, Google Maps. You can click on Yellowstone, then zoom into an area you are interested in, then while on "Map" (upper right hand side) you can click on "Terrian" if you are zoomed out far enough. It will tell you the altitude. If the lines are really close together, it is a bit of a cliff, while further apart is a small hill, or flat area when there is a large area without elevation change lines.
Each line is about 100 or 300' elevation change - depending on the zoom level you are at. Usually you can find a elevation, it is a darker line that might say 8000 and then look for another line that might say 7500 and count the number of light lines between them, if 5 then each is 100' elevation.
Look around your neighborhood, you will get the idea, where the rivers are, the elevation changes to go down to the river, then back up on the other side, or a circle will go around a mountain top, indicating the location near the peak.
When you see a road going fairly straight, it is normally going to have a 55 MPH speed limit. When it is following a river, and makes a lot of curves, then normally the speed is a bit slower, with 45 MPH curves, sometimes less. When it is making switchbacks (180 degree turns on a steep section of the mountain) normally these are restricted to 15 MPH or so, to keep you on the road, and it indicates a very slow mountain pass, especially if you end up behind a slow moving trailer.
Good luck, enjoy the view, and if you are that slow moving trailer, be sure to use the turn outs to let the faster moving traffic pass.
if you're talking about going in through Cody on 14, you shouldn't have any problems considering you've been in through the north gate. yes, there's a pass, but it's not that bad.
but coming on 90, you have to cross the Bighorn Mountains, and those passes are tougher. Use 16 from Buffalo to Worland.
Or cut southwest from Billings down to Cody and then go into Yellowstone. Give Cody a couple of days. There's a great western museum there and eat at Irma's downtown.
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We've entered and left Yellowstone by all the entrances. Doesn't make any difference to me. Depends on where we're coming from. I favor the northeast entrance for the scenery. I don't have any issues with the Big Horns, either. I'm a flatlander but I love mountains.
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Hwy 16 over the Big Horns (Buffalo to Worland) is a piece of cake. You'll do some climbing and a few 35 mph curves the first 10 miles after leaving Buffalo, then it's fairly moderate rolling hills and gentle curves until descending into Ten Sleep Canyon on the western slope. There you'll come to a couple hairpin curves (20 mph?) and then it's an easy descent to the bottom. There are a few pull-outs with nice views of the canyon, and I suggest you use one to check for hot brakes if you're heavy. It's really a good two-lane highway all the way across and shouldn't be of any concern if you take it easy.
We used the east entrance on our visit back in 2004. We got off I-90 at Ranchester and took Rt. 14 west to Cody then on to Yellowstone. Just beyond Dayton you have a tough climb going into the Bighorns and then a similar descent on the other side into Shell but it is do-able. Take your time. The scenery is spectacular, both on the ascent/descent and the alpine plateau at the top. If you have time spend a day or two in Cody - it's on our list of places to get back to. Enjoy & safe travels.
We're back. Used the southeast entrance for the first time and guess what? The drive was OK until I got almost to Dubois and hit 2 sections of road repair. A couple of nice long sections of soft dirt, mud, rock surface under reconstruction. And all late at night to top it off. Same thing happened back in the 90's when we made our first trip to Y'stone. Crossed Beartooth in the middle of the night that time and snow was piled up higher than the rv. This time once we got into Grizzly I drove us over Beartooth again only this time in a car and during the DAY. Still an exciting drive but much more scenic with the sun up. My grandson and my wife were very excited as was I. Had a great 2 wks in the area. We sighted more wildlife this trip than ever; bison by the dozens, antelope, black bear and best of all a large grizzly who happened to be strolling along the side of the road on Mt. Washburn. I managed to slow down long enough for my grandson to get some good photos. I don't know when we'll go back to The 'Stone but it is always worth the trip.