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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Glacier/ yellowstone National parks

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HBS1226

RI

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Posted: 03/03/11 11:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello campers,
I am planning a trip from RI to MT Rushmore, Yellowstone nat park and glacier Nat park in June through July. I have two children 9&12 and a hybrid travel trailer. Looking for tips, ideas, places to stay things that we must see and overall experiences. we plan too be gone for 6 weeks with about a week or so in each major park with some side trips in between. I woild like to know what part of parks to stay in and good , fun , clean family campgrounds to look at. Please HElP. We are fairly new to camping as we only bought this camper last year with the hope in mind to do some of these big trips while our children are young. Any feedback would be Greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Holly

1stgenfarmboy

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Posted: 03/03/11 12:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Holly this is one of the best things you can do for your family.

The long stretch across SD is boring so i sugest to stop at Mitchel and go to the Cebela's outdoor store it's huge.

I hope it's not to late to reserve a spot in the big park campgrounds, i think it's best to stay in the middle of Yellowstone because it's so big and you will be driving alot of time away on your day trips if you stay outside the park.

My thoughts while on vacation is get up early so you can do and see more...you can always sleep in at home where your not gona miss a bison walking across a field with a geysers going off behind him.

The big parks out west are very magical.

Happy camping Darwin


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Posted: 03/03/11 12:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As was mentioned, make your campsite reservations now. The Grand Tetons National Park is only about 50 miles south of Yellowstone so you might want to add it to your itinerary. When our kids were young we must have taken them to just about every national park in the western half of the United States. Oh how they grumbled and complained during the forced marches on the nature trails. They are grown now with children of their own and have repeatedly told us how they loved those trips and want to do the same thing with their families.


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GBuilders

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Posted: 03/03/11 12:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Holly,
We were in those two parks last summer with our two kids. It will be a great trip for sure. I will pm you latter with some of the things we did that were wonderful.


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 03/03/11 12:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both are really neat areas with lots of history and vistas to see between.....should have a blast.
Hope these post will be of help. Yellowstone Clicky

South Dakota to Yellowstone Plus Twin Cities Etc.

....Glacier Area and ..... More Glacier and some more on Glacier

And some more misc. Stuff: Clicky

We tend to let the plan develop as we go. Pick where we are wanting to go, pick some neat things we want to see along the way and go. Never did any reservations, not knowing just how long it would take to get from one place to the next.

Maybe some of these will be of help in selecting where you want to go:
Parks West

North Dakota

Visiting State Tourism WebSites can help make plans, such as New Mexico's. Ordering State Vacation Guides, such as NM Vacation Guide.

AAA TourBooks are good for making plans as are the AAA CampBooks.

These help at times for a place to spend an overnight:
Free/Low Cost Campgrounds

Free Campsites

Wal-Marts Which Do and Do Not Allow Overnights

An Example of not doing Reservations - 2009 and in Mid-1990s and we went to Yellowstone mid-June 2010, we camped at Colter Bay campground in Grand Teton Nat'l Park; stayed two nights without a reservation and 5 days at Grant Village Campground in Yellowstone without one.

On our first visit to Glacier, we were there in June and the road Going to the Sun was not open yet. But of course there are many other things to see and do there as well. Can not take TT or RVs over it anyway. Glacier

For campgrounds, we always like to stay in public campgrounds if possible, such as Nat'l Parks or Forests, state parks, BLM or COE campgrounds, as well a some nice city parks.

If you use US 89 in Montana to get to Glacier, they have a city park with camping at Choteau which is about 105 miles from the east entrance at St Mary's and 140 miles to West Glarier. We stayed at it, I believe, in '97, but do not remember a creek. We stayed in a city park, in the town, not sure if it is the same town. Looks about right on the map. There is overnighting at a rest area, closer to Glacier as well, near Dupuyer.

Cabela's are neat stores, with neat exhibits. Check the photo galleries: Owatonna, Minnesota ::::: Store Locations

The Colter Bay Visitor Center and Indian Arts Museum by the Colter Bay Campground in the Grand Tetons is really a neat one. Museums
We stayed at Colter Bay Campground without hook-ups in mid-June 2010, it was an OK place for such a large campground. I have heard good things about Gros Ventre Campground...get more animals walking by or close by, etc. Nice views.

Not sure if you will be in this area, but....Things to see along US 26 in Wyoming/Nebraska and on I-80 this should be neat as well: Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park – North Platte, Nebraska and Camping; never stopped here but driven by on US 83; nice looking campground by the river. US 83 is a good road. Near Valentine, Smith Falls State Park, Nebraska I overnighted here once and my son did as well. Just south of South Dakota.

* This post was last edited 03/03/11 04:13pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


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1stgenfarmboy

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Posted: 03/03/11 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was there in 1976 and again with our kids in 2002 a 9 yr old and 15 yr old, they both loved it and still talk about to this day.


you can't do to much research, i can't tell you how many times we have just got back from a trip and i was looking around and found somthing we would have wanted to see.

Darwin

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Posted: 03/03/11 01:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure to visit the Badlands NP and Devils Tower. Cody is another good stop. If you can, drive the Beartooth Highway (in your toad, preferably without your trailer). Save Glacier for last, as the Going To The Sun Road may open late. Save 3-4 days for Glacier and Waterton Lakes (in Alberta), more if you enjoy great hiking. Be sure to bring passports if you go into Canada.


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HTT to be?

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Posted: 03/03/11 03:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tetons are right there ( as two hands pointed out!) and worth a visit. Colter Bay has a campground or an RV park if you want FHU.
Staying inside Yellowstone is what we like best, but only Fishing Bridge has FHU. If you can do without, then you have more choices,and some great campgrounds. Or you could stay in West Yellowstone at Grizzly or one of the other RV parks if you need to have hookups.
As for Glacier, the East side has ST.Marys or the KOA if you need power. It is a good location for seeing the park. Be sure to visit Many Glacier!! It is just beautiful!
There is soooo much to see and do, so as said...research!! List some things you enjoy so we can help you better. Have fun planning, I am sure it will be a great trip.


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Posted: 03/03/11 03:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Search this Forum for the locations you are interested in visiting and you will get lots of information already posted.
For Glacier I would suggest getting everyone a good pair of hiking boots and getting out of the car to make use of them. The hike from the Visitors Center to Hidden Lake, up some 600 steps, will be memorable to everyone. When we were there one August someone had build a small snowman on one of the landings.
I always like the bus tours if you can afford them. You get so much more out of the guides commentary than you would ever get driving around by yourselves.
Rushmore has one, Glacier has one (we took the Indian tour not the Red Bus) and Yellowstone has two.


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keepingthelightson

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Posted: 03/03/11 03:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Holly,
We will be going to Mt. Rushmore also this summer and found some interesting sites to visit. Reptile Gardens and Bear Country are both fairly close to the Mt. Rushmore area. Surf the web for the cities and attractions you would like to see. Some of the planning tools I use are listed below.

www.nps.gov
www.rvparkreviews.com
www.goodsamclub.com

Good luck[emoticon]


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