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Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Cody, WY to Rapid City, SD

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AntiqFreq

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Posted: 08/12/10 02:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

We have trip planned out as far as W. Yellowstone (next week) then we plan to cross through the park to Cody, WY. (Not sure what to do there, but I am sure there is stuff).

After that we are trying to make our way over to South Dakota, I guess around Rapid City.

(we want to do South Dakota & then North Dakota)

So what route can I take out of Cody to head towards Rapid City
without having to go through the Big Horn Mountains? --really don't want to do that--

Any thoughts?

Jo


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skipnchar

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Posted: 08/12/10 02:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From Cody, unless you're willing to go a LONG way out of your way, then you're going through the bighorns. They're a beautiful drive and can't imagine why you'd want to miss them anyway. Take route 16 out of Worland and the drive is still pretty scenic and a pretty easy drive also. Otherwise it's all the way up to I-90 or down through Casper to miss the Big Horns.
Good luck / Skip


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Kanyonkitty

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Posted: 08/12/10 02:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As Skip stated, 16 is very doable. I would not want to go up to I-90 as you will miss some beautiful scenery.

Just one word of caution, please take note of this news article for Yellowstone:

Fugitives may be in area of Yellowstone




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DesertHawk

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Posted: 08/12/10 03:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Perhaps this link will be of help: *** Black Hills-Devil's Tower-Cody WY-Yell'stone/Tetons-T.Roosevelt Plus ***

Cody is a neat place to see. Neat Buffalo Bill Museums, and nice art display at the Cody Visitor Center east of the BB Museums. Clicky They also have a rodeo each night too, if into rodeo. Very nice Wal-Mart as entering Cody from Yellowstone. Buffalo Bill State Park Headquarters, nine miles west of Cody on US Highway 14-16-20. The majestic peaks of the Absaroka Mountains dominate the scenery. We drove by this lake & campgrounds last Aug. 2009.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center with Five Museums Under One Roof Clicky
These 4 were really great:
Buffalo Bill Museum
Whitney Gallery of Western Art
Plains Indian Museum
Cody Firearms Museum
as was The Draper Museum of Natural History

Boysen State Park is one of the larger parks in the State Park System. It is a lake-orientated park at the south end of the Owl Creek Mountains at the mouth of Wind River Canyon now part of the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway. And offers 3 entrances: U.S. Highway 20 (east side), U.S. Highway 26 (south side) and Bass Lake Road (west side). It was very near Hot Springs State Park in the town of Thermopolis. There is no fee for using the State Bath House. Very neat. We over nighted in the Wind River Canyon in Aug. '09 & at one of the campgrounds by the lake some years ago.

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. But last time, we stayed at the campground at the Tower, would do it that way again.

Thermopolis and the free Hot Springs Bathhouse is neat, south of Cody on WY 120, then US 20 to US 16 to Buffalo & I-25/I-90. But would be out of the way somewhat for going to see Little Big Horn Battlefield. Not sure which would be the best, depends on your like to sees and like to dos and how much time you have for doing them. WY 120 was a very easy route, I have never been on US 16 to Buffalo. Shouldn't be a bad route from what I have read.

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.

** NorthDakota+ ** Lake Metigoshe State Park Bottineau, ND ** *NoDak* ******* North Dakota Campgrounds

Not sure if you will be going into Kansas/Nebraska, but in case you do: **Camp-sites Western Kansas following US 83 ** Smith Falls State Park, Nebraska

* This post was last edited 08/30/10 03:48pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


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AntiqFreq

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Posted: 08/12/10 03:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess we'll do the Big Horns......
I was just worrying about 10% grades in/out of the Big Horns.

So let me ask, when leaving Cody should we take 14A?

I had read before NOT to take this with an RV as there ARE 10% grades there. Our truck is having an 'oil' issue so we try not to do grades over 6,7,8%.......

Thanks,

Jo

DesertHawk

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Posted: 08/12/10 03:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No, do not do 14A; For an excessively steep drive, one would have to go up to WY US 14-A. We did the downward drive on US 14A after the split off of US 14 from Ranchchester, WY 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 2nd in gear manually 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.
US 14-A

US 14 will be steep enough for you IMHO. US 16 the easiest for steepness as I understand it.

Check this old post out: Routes to or from Yellowstone

fullautodave

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Posted: 08/12/10 09:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

14 and 14A both have long and steep grades, not sure they are over 8% tho. 16 has some long grades but not nearly as steep. All three have beautiful scenery. If you absolutley dont want any hills take Wyoming 120 north out of Cody to Montana border and then to Billings. From there I-90 to Rapid City. One short downhill about five miles north of Cody and then flat to South Dakota.


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plainsman48

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Posted: 08/13/10 10:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are no 10% grades on US16 - I drive thru there once a month now. A14 has the steep grades, but if you're in good physical shape and your truck is capable, then you won't have any problems with the highway. I prefer A14 instead of 16 because it's more beautiful.

* This post was edited 08/13/10 10:56am by an administrator/moderator *


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plainsman48

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Posted: 08/13/10 07:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No, I have a complaint for the admins who don't let me ask the obvious question - if you're scared of mountain driving why are you going to the mountains?

newk

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Posted: 08/13/10 10:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jo,
Just head east to Greybull, south to Worland, east to Buffalo and I-90. Hwy 16 over the Bighorns is a piece of cake if you're careful the last 5-10 miles down the east slope. I'm thinking there are a couple 8% grades, maybe it's only 7%; whatever it is, it's not bad for any rig in good shape.

The road is generally wide and smooth with mostly gentle curves and easy hills. (There's been a half-mile of road construction in east Buffalo for the past month or so. It may be about complete by the time you get there.)

Buffalo is a neat little ranching community with lots of history, but it's not a tourist trap. Unless you want to explore it a little, I'd suggest you make an easy day of it from Cody to Devils Tower -- about 5 hours. Just exit I-90 at Moorcroft and head north for about 30 miles. There's a nice KOA if you need hookups or a lovely primitive campground inside the monument borders.

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