I'm on the other Coast so I can't really help much on things to see from Philly to Cody. Cody is a cool town and there are quite a few attractions, including the rodeo. We did not have reservations and got into town about 6:00 or 6:30 pm and got a space at the KOA, it was Feb and crowed.. The DGKs loved it, giant chess set, pool, bouncy pillow, horses next door and rabbits in the campground.
We took the highway over Buckhorn Pass, now I liked it but a lot of folks don't, some even say it's steep, windy and has horrific dropoffs, we didn't think so. It's just a warning.
The drive in from the East is nice, we've never been that way before and enjoyed it. Smooth, pretty level and no drop offs. Must see's in the park, Old Faithful area including both lodges and the geysers. In summer there isn't the wildlife around the lodges there is in late winter like when we were there last. You should try Geyser Basin, the Roosevelt area and the LaMar Valley and Yellowstone Falls. Thats a fair bit of driving no matter where you're camped. There can be some bugs in the evening so bring some repelant. Bring lots of memory for the digital cameras, good binoculars, 10/50's if you have them and any bird or wildlife books you have that will cover the area.
You didn't say how big your rig is but remember the bigger it is the harder to get around and to park at attractions. We pull a towed and it was invaluable. We can get in very small spaces and through the traffic with the Sidekick. If you don't have one just relax in the traffic jams and don't worry about it.
Have Fun and let us know how you did, pictures are always appreciated.
"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson
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I just got back from the Yellowstone area a week ago. Started in North Carolina, took just over 3 weeks to make the trip spending 7 nights in Yellowstone, 3 nights in Grand Teton, 1 night in Badlands, 3 nights in Black Hills/Custer and the rest of the time either heading out or home.
The first 3 nights were purely travel time. The 4th night we spent in Cedar Pass campground in the Badlands which we really enjoyed and could've easily spent another night. The next 3 nights we spent in the Black Hills/ Custer State Park area. This was another area we could've spent more time in - Rushmore, Custer, all the little towns in the Black Hills, Wind and Jewel Caves, The Mammoth site in Hot Springs, tons of hiking!
Seven nights in YS was perfect for us. We got to about everything we wanted to and didn't have to keep a blistering pace to do it. We were there June 16-23 so the crowds weren't too bad yet.
Three nights in Grand Teton was also about right. The last 4 days of the trip were spent getting home. It was terribly hot all the way home so we cut a day off by driving longer days choosing to spend time in the air conditioned car!
Leaving from PA, you'll need 3-5 days just to get to Yellowstone depending on how you drive and which route into the park you take. We entered through the East entrance. I had read that it would be a tough entrance to use, I disagree now that I've done it and can say that it was actually the most appealing scenery of all 5 entrances with the Northeast being slightly better in this aspect. I would not trailer the Northeast entrance though due to the Beartooth Pass!
I could go on forever, PM me if you'd like more info.
* This post was
edited 07/09/12 07:03am by dlos *
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x10 you need more time. We did this when I was a kid from the Philadelphia 'burbs. Three weeks - out I80, Black Hills, Badlands, Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, some other stuff in between worth seeing. We could have spent more time in Yellowstone easy, although we didn't just blow through.
This was with conservative distances a day, as my parents liked to give us kids (and themselves) time to stretch our legs, relax, get out of the Winnebago, and swim in the pool at the end of a long day crossing Kansas. It was a well-paced trip and we saw a lot. Two weeks seems a bit ambitious.
Maybe just do the South Dakota stuff in two weeks.
We live outside Philadelphia and did a trip to Yellowstone several years ago. We spent exactly three weeks on our trip, but we made several stops in South Dakota and Wyoming and took our time coming home.
We drove pretty hard for the first three days and then slowed done as we approached South Dakota.
If you only have two weeks vacation and are only planning to go to Yellowstone and there are two of you willing to drive some long hour days, I would say that you could manage the trip. Just push the driving at the front end of the trip.