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LindaAnn

Columbus MS

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Posted: 02/06/10 07:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been gathering info for our trip to the Oregon coast (and received so many good ideas here). I have a new question! We want to see the California Redwoods, but I noticed there are so many areas to visit. I'd like to see the Avenue of the Giants, but the actual Natl Park seems to be in another location. I'd like a little advice about the best way to see them.

We have just about decided on our route: after about 4 days of travel, we will stop near Devils Tower for maybe 5 days and take day trips to Mt Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer Park, etc.

Then to Yellowstone for maybe another 4-5 days.

On to Oregon and a week at Cannon Beach.

After a stay in Cannon Beach, we plan stops in Coos Bay OR, then Fort Bragg CA and then start back home via Hollister CA (Casa de Fruta).

I'd appreciate information about the Redwoods, but any other suggestions or ideas would be great.

Several of you have PM'd me, and I will be asking for more help from you as our plans progress.

Thanks so much.





bikendan

Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 02/06/10 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i suggest visiting Prairie Creek Redwoods SP. it next to the Redwood National Park and the Klamath River.
it is a wonderful state park that you can see redwoods and prairie elk. the famous Fern Canyon is there also and next to the ocean.


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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 02/06/10 07:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You mentioned, "..stop near Devils Tower for maybe 5 days and take day trips to Mt Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer Park, etc."

Wow, except for Rushmore & Custer, these are really seperated by many, many miles and some twisting roads and some pretty good dips.

I have not gone by the Badlands in SD, but would suggest, it might be easier to stop by it on the way to the Black Hills (Custer/Rushmore). Spend more time in the Black Hills by Rushmore/Custer. Then on the way to Yellowstone, stop by Devil's Tower. Maybe a day or two at the Tower and Badlands. Or at least camping in Blacks Hills/Custer and do day trips to Tower and Badlands.

We stayed at Key Hole SP and did a day trip to Devil's Tower the first time we went to see it. It was very nice camping by it on the second trip. Key Hole State Park is located on the western edge of the famed Black Hills, between Sundance and Moorcroft, and is easily accessed off Interstate 90, Exit 165, or take Exit 153 or 154 in Moorcroft, then U.S. Highway 14 north 6 miles, then take State Route 113. We used it years ago to over-night & base to go see Devil's Tower on our way to Yellowstone.

Black Hills ***** Simular Plans & Routes

Yellowstone ***** Wyoming State Parks

Off the same route you will be able to visit Custer State Park & Mount Rushmore as well as the Devil's Tower Nat'l Monument use exit 185 I-90 by Sundance, WY and then return to I-90 by Moorecroft.

Also you will be going by Badlands Nat'l Park in South Dakota before you get to Mount Rushmore area. We have not gone to the South Dakota Badlands, but have enjoyed the North Dakota ones by and in the T. Roosevelt Nat'l Park and Teddy R's North & South Units.

We stayed at Grant Village in Yellowstone, the last time we were there (time before last year), it is huge but nice campground. At the time it was all without hookups...my son stayed at Canyon and it was very nice, somewhat smaller I believe, I understand all without hookups. I would believe I would try it next time. The Nat'l Park web site list what each has and has not, number of sites, hookups or not, etc. There was another one on the west side, I would consider, Norris. The first time we stayed at Bridge Bay in '86. I believe only Fishing Bridge RV has the hookups. But it is more of parking lot campground. To get a better camping experence any of the others would be better in my thinking. We tend not to want full hook-ups, nor feel we must have them.

I believe Canyon would offer excellent scenery, at Grant you may or may not be near to see Yellowstone Lake. Camping

The ones without a Dump Station, I mark off for us. And would like Flush toilets as well, but can go without. Some are harder to get huge RVs into, maybe nice for our little guys (We are in a 16' Scamp) and less crowded. But last Aug, we stayed a Mammoth without a dump site I believe. Ha!

To see the Park, there is a lot of driving. But we made Grant Campground our base and saw a lot of the park and we did the same using Bridge Bay the first time. We were in a Travel Trailer 20' Komfort Lite both times we visited the area.

If time allows, try to get by Thermopolis (south of Cody) & stop at the State Bath House - In 1896 a treaty was signed with the Shoshone and Arapaho, which gave the public use of one of the largest mineral hot springs in the world. The hot springs was known as having "healing water". There is no fee for using the State Bath House. Very nice when we stopped by it some years ago. Thermo

In Cody try to see the Buffalo Bill Historical Center with Five Museums Under One Roof. Cody
These 4 were really great:
Buffalo Bill Museum
Whitney Gallery of Western Art
Plains Indian Museum
Cody Firearms Museum

North of Cody is the town of Powell which has a free campground at Homesteaders Park. The park was clean, safe and friendly. Dump services are free. Watch out for the lawn sprinklers, they will also water the parking area (soaking your unit). Free

US 14A after the split off of US 14 from Ranchchester heading down hill to Lovell, pulling a 1983 20' Komfort Lite Travel Trailer with a '83 Ford F250 4 speed manuel with granny gear. I had to hold granny in gear and ask my wife to manually apply the trailer brakes now and then. They had a sign warning of the steep down grade, I should have taken the fork to Shell/Greybull. Most of the route was neat, all very pretty execpt for the 14 miles with 10% grade and sharp curves which I am sure was also pretty but I was to occupied to really notice the scenery. 14A
Video

The Colter Bay Visitor Center and Indian Arts Museum by the Colter Bay Campground in the Grand Tetons is really a neat one.
Museum
Colter


If you have time, try taking a detour to Devil's Tower off I-90 at Sundance & taking US14 to Route 24 to the Park, then return to US14 but go toward Moorcroft & I-90 & on to Rapid City. About a 24 miles detour.

[image] Campground @ Custer State Park

[image]
1880's Train, Hill City-Black Hills

[image] Leaving Campground Devil's Tower

As I mentioned, we were there in early August this year. Perhaps, a short recap of our trip will be of help to you in making plans.

On a Monday, we drove to the north entrance to Yellowstone near Gardner, Montana. We got there around 5 pm. All campgrounds were full. A nice lady gave us a paper where one could find a place to camp outside of the park. We looked around, stopped at one commercial campground, full. But the man was friendly and gave some advice. I mentioned boon docking in leaving. He called to me & told me the town would not say anything if we just boon docked along the main road to the park. We did, but the small parking lot to the Forest Ranger Station was just there. We did an over night in it. A little traffic nose, but not too bad.

We got up at 6 am Tuesday, dressed & headed to Mammoth Campground. We got there by 6:30. We were the first in line. Linda cooked breakfast & made coffee. We took the man’s advice on a nice sit. It was very nice, at the end of the campground, two nice trees. Very quite. After setting up & showering, we went on a drive to see the sights. We decided to drive the upper loop with a side trip toward the northeast entrance.

From Mammoth Campground we drove through Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris without stopping to visit anything. At Norris junction we turned toward Canyon Village area. We saw one lone bull Bison beside the road. He was in poor shape. We started visiting the over looks and did some hiking to see the Canyon & Falls. Then we did a U turn & went north toward Tower-Roosevelt Area. At Tower we hiked to see the falls there. Then we went into the large store & got ice cream, yum. It was good. It also rained very hard while we were there & was raining as we left. At Roosevelt we made a hard right turn to do the road out to the NE entrance. We began to see some Bison alone this route all out at a distance. Then we notice a black bear right off the road. It was raining again, the bear was wet, but he was very close. He was eating berries off bushes beside the road. It was a neat drive. After getting to a sign warning of road construction coming up, we turned around. At Roosevelt junction we turn north again, heading back to Mammoth Hot Springs. It is a very curvy road, goes up high, very pretty country. This Loop took us 7 hrs 19 min, we drove 141.5 miles, 4 hrs 48 min moving, 2 hrs 31 min stopped. 20.8 mpg on the trucks computer. Top speed in the park is 45 mph, some 35 mph and some 25 mph or slower.

After a good night sleeping, we did the lower loop on Wednesday. From Mammoth we drove to Norris stopping at a few attractions after getting past Norris, mainly geysers as we worked our way to the Old Faithful area. We lucked out, after a long search for a parking spot, as we walked up to the Old Faithful viewing area, it was going. After walking just a little we left. All the geysers & things just did not seem as active as we remember them from years ago. From there, we headed to West Thumb area, stopping to see some of the attractions. West Thumb is on Yellowstone Lake. Very pretty area. From there we headed north again toward the Canyon area. Very neat along the lake, then the road follows the Yellowstone River & through the Hayden Valley to the Canyon area & the Falls. There were a few Bison in the Hayden Valley, not as many as we remember from the other times we have been there. Five Bison along the road created a 5 miles traffic jam for the cars heading down, but not for us. At the Canyon area we turned west to Norris. We stopped at some of the attractions, mainly geysers around Norris, took a side tour to see a falls. At Norris, we turned north to Mammoth, taking a tour by the Upper Terraces. We also spotted a bear along the way, across a valley. A very large grizzly. This Loop took us 9 hrs 5 min, we drove 153.7 miles, 5 hrs 7 min moving, 3 hrs 58 stopped.

The next day, Thursday, we drove from Mammoth, to Norris to Canon to Fishing Bridge and on out of the park to Cody, WY. We had entered from there the last time, but I did not remember how steep and high one goes to do so. In Cody we stopped at a visitor center to get a WY map then after eating a late lunch we went to the Buffalo Bill Museums. There are five different one there. We did 3 of them before it closed. We spent the night in a very nice Wal-Mart parking lot with a great view of the mountains.

We saw the Red Woods somewhere south of Crescent City in 1986, may have seen but can not remember just where or what trees we saw.

* This post was last edited 02/07/10 02:14pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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tiptoe tommy

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Posted: 02/06/10 07:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jedidiah Smith SP is the best for camping in the deep redwoods. Prairie Creek SP is beautiful with Roosevelt Elk herds in the meadows nearby. Our favorite is actually not in the redwoods, but an easy drive. We love the trails, ocean, and headlands of Patrick's Point SP.


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BB_TX

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Posted: 02/06/10 07:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can't go wrong with the Avenue of the Giants. Truly amazing.

JT

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Posted: 02/07/10 08:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A couple of points about Redwood National Park: RNP is not a "traditional" national park; it was created from lands around the three state parks within the area in 1968 to protect the remaining stands of redwoods (some virgin, some second and third growth) from logging. RNP has been jointly "managed" by the National Park Service and by the California state parks system since 1994. Highway (199) and 101 wind in and out of the national park/state parks from northeast of Crescent City to around Orick. Stop at a visitor center nearest the point of entry to the park to look at the maps, pick up information, and ask questions of visitor center personnel.

The best source of information on RNP is its website:

http://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm

A good starting point is the "Plan Your Visit" link at page left.

There are three state parks within the boundaries of the national park: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. You can look at the California State Parks website (www.parks.ca.gov), but the information offered on each park is minimal. (Each park page *does* show icons of facilities ate each state park and any vehicle length limits or restrictions.)

Understand that these three state parks are *very* popular, especially during the summer months, despite the increased campsite costs; you may luck out and find a site in one during the week, but if you want to be guaranteed of a site, especially at Smith, make reservations.

The redwoods are unique, majestic trees; enjoy your visit.

badbob1

Lewiston

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Posted: 02/07/10 08:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can find the time I would plan on spending 1 or two days at Patrick's Point State Park. One of the most beautiful spots on the coast. Trinidad is a fun small town to visit.
Have Fun
BadBob

LindaAnn

Columbus MS

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Posted: 02/07/10 06:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great information--I really appreciate it. While we have a general route in mind, we haven't completely narrowed down the time we spend in and around Yellowstone, so it really helps to hear from those of you who have "been there, done that"!

And the info about the Redwoods gives me something to make plans for.
I have loved trees since I was a little girl and I can't wait to see those beautiful giants.

leesan

California

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Posted: 02/06/10 10:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lets not forget about Humboldt Redwoods state park. This park to me is one of the best out of all the Ca. redwoods.We were there 2 years ago and it is beautiful.One of the campgrounds within the state park is deep in the forest Albee Creek. Check this state park and you will not be desapointed.

bukhrn

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Posted: 02/06/10 07:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DesertHawk wrote:

You mentioned, "..stop near Devils Tower for maybe 5 days and take day trips to Mt Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer Park, etc."

Wow, except for Rushmore & Custer, these are really seperated by many, many miles and some twisting roads and some pretty good dips.

I have not gone by the Badlands in SD, but would suggest, it might be easier to stop by it on the way to the Black Hills (Custer/Rushmore). Spend more time there. Then on the way to Yellowstone, stop by Devil's Tower. Maybe a day or two at the Tower and Badlands. Or at least camping in Blacks Hills/Custer and do day trips to Tower and Badlands.
This would be "more correct", by doing as DesertHawk says, you can spend 4-5 days in the Rushmore/Black Hills area, with a day trip to the Badlands, & stop at Devils Tower on your way west, as Devils Tower isn't even an entire day trip,you can see the Tower in a few hours.


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