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Old 10-15-2012, 12:54 AM   #1
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We are starting to look at next (2013) summer trip.

We live in Calgary AB and are going to head to Yellowstone which brings up several questions.

What is the difference between East Gate and West Gate?

Where is a good campground close to Old Faithful?

Is the 500 mile trip worth going to Mount Rushmore? This would be out of our way.

Thanks
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:58 AM   #2
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We visited Yellowstone a couple of years ago. At that time the campgrounds in the park were being upgraded and no services were available. We stayed at Wagon Wheel RV park in West Yellowstone just a few miles out of the park. We would make day trips into the park and it was great. We did stay in the park in the Grand Tetons ... A little $$$ but worth be close to make day trips there too.

Mount Rushmore is a place to stop if you can. I must say it is a quick stop with touring and maybe a short hike to the face to look up at the carvings. The night show is something else to see. It is wonderful to see what man can do with their hands




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Old 10-15-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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We stayed in the park at the Southern part. Near west thumb in the Grant Village campground. Found it to be perfect. No hookups but with a genny to recharge with during the day, we stayed for 4 nights without maxing out our water use and holding. We did take advantage of the showers and did not use the onboard water for that.
Distance from Old Faithful was about 30-45 minutes I think but a lot depends on traffic in the park. With a lot of animal sightings and slowdowns an hour trip could easily become 3 hours.
The East vs West entrances once in the park are similar with the West having little major grade changes prior to Old faithful.
If you want full hookups then go to fishing bridge campground. But in my opinion you may just as well stay in a Wal Mart parking lot 'cause that is how they stack you into that place. Not my choice at all.
Let me know if you want more into. One of the best trips so far in our 10 years of RVing.




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Old 10-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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If you go to Mt Rushmore, go check our Crazy Horse as well. Not far from Mt Rushmore but an interesting place to visit.





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Old 10-16-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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I've been to both twice and they are both worth it. Interestingly when I visited Crazy Horse in 1990 it was free, last summer it cost me $20 for my car to get in. But, they have come a long way and it was nice to see after so many years. For my 2 cents we will be going back there in another year or two, this time to stay longer and enjoy more of what there is to offer.

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Old 10-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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tator447

What exactly is there to do there?
I know I am asking a silly question, none the less I am asking
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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Egrum,
I think to get a better answer you could give a little more info.
Such as,
How long a trip are you planning.
Do you want to stay in one place for awhile?
Kids/grandkids and what ages?
Do you need full hookups, cable etc? or can you get by on 12 volt only for awhile.
Are you more a state/national park type, or a KOA or similar type.

Then maybe we can give you some better answers on where to stay.
Right off the top of my head, unless your trip is a few weeks long, I would likely say save Mt. Rushmore for another trip. In my book, your trip would be to the black hills and Mt. Rushmore is just a part of it.

Thanks




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Old 10-16-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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mnsunset

we are from Canada
Planning a trip south would like to hit Yellowstone, grand Canyon The Red woods in CA and OR and then head home.

We have almost all summer as I teach and my wife works from the home. We have 10 yo twin boys. After looking at the distance from Rushmore to YS I was starting to think Rushmore is another year.

We are fine with no services for a few days as we have a generator if needed.

This past summer we did the Northern half of Oregon we camped in one location for a few days and did day trips then moved the trailer and did day trips again so that would be the plan.

Last year we did KOA ($$$) due to no planning, this year I would like to do state/national parks (less $$$) and more of our kind-o-camping. WE were jammed in in some of the KOA's we hit last year.

thanks
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:04 AM   #9
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Great, that helps a lot.
I have two boys 7 and 10 and they loved Yellowstone.
I would suggest again saving Rushmore for another year.
For Rushmore I would suggest staying at Custard State Park just South of the Black Hills. From there you can make day trips to Rushmore as well as some of the historic towns nestled in the hills. Plus a day trip or two for nature and the scenic roads/tunnels and switchbacks. You would also not be far from Crazy Horse if you decided. If you wanted a full hookup for a night to recharge things and get the kids into a pool, the KOA in Rapid City if very nice. They have everything from cable, water, sewer, pool, to a breakfast and dinner service. We often throw a stay at a KOA in during our travels just so we can break up the 12 volt camping a bit.

If you choose to do both Yellowstone and the Black Hills then the drive is not too bad. You go through the Big Horn Mountains and that is a beautiful trip that is not too bad of a pull depending on your TT and truck. But you do have a long drive through Wyoming with out a lot for the kids to see. One thing I would suggest is spending a night in Cody. Be sure to hit the museum. My kids loved it. We actually came out of Yellowstone a day early to go back to Cody and visit the museum again as we could not fit it all in on one stop. Plus your entry fee is good for 5 days or something like that. The museum has a good exibit on the animals of the area as well as a good exibit on Bill Cody. And thousands upon thousand of rifles and guns in the collection. Quite amazing. The KOA in Cody is good, has a fun jumping thing for the kids as well as a pool. Also in Cody, but we didn't go is the nightly Rodeo.

I hope this helps.
Let me know if you want more info on Yellowstone, I would be happy to give you my opinions.






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Old 10-17-2012, 04:02 AM   #10
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If you go to Mt. Rushmore (Rapid City) from Yellowstone, it is a full day's drive. But once you are there make sure you see:

Mt. Rushmore
Needles Highway
Custer State Park

Both times we've been to Yellowstone we stayed at West Yellowstone KOA. Nice park.

If you come through North Dakote, try to see Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:51 AM   #11
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You can have a lot of options depending on what time of the year you visit. If you have that much time, plan on spending at least a couple of weeks around Yellowstone. Planning is a priority if July and August is your time frame.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #12
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We were at Yellowstone in late August. Found it to be very quiet. The campground was not full except for maybe one night. Also, keep in mind that the schools in Minnesota, N Dakota, S Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, etc... have mostly started by the last week of August so a lot of the pressure is off of the area for visitors. We find that is a great time to travel. (Minnesota by law can not start school prior to Labor Day.).



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Old 01-28-2013, 02:13 AM   #13
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We were marred in Yellowstone 42 yrs ago. Been back 25 times since.
West Yellowstone is a great place to stay. Several parks , all good.
Easy day drives.
Rushmore is fantastic, a trip tho.
Have a great time you will always remember it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:22 AM   #14
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We have been to both several times. The west side of Yellowstone has Grizzly RV park. Top of the line. Then some smaller ones. With the exception of fishing bridge in the park, the rest are dry.
We have stayed at the north entrance and did day trip loops from there. We stayed at rocky mountain in Gardner Montana.
Old faithful is kinda in the middle maybe a little south and West side of the park.
Lots of other thermo features too. Landscape in the park is very diversified. We stop there when ever we can.
Driving out through Cody is very nice. On your way to South Dakota too.
Out the northeast, you can travel the Bear tooth highway. I think 212 is the number. Very nice scenery. I am told. Lol I had to watch where I was driving.
We have towed a previous fiver out over the pass. I don't recommend that but can be done.
I'll post another for mg thoughts on South Dakota.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:31 AM   #15
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South Dakota is one of our favorite states too. Mt Rushmore is very cool to see. A must do one time.
We stay at rafter j or the koa right there. Both are close to Rushmore. Yet not far from Hill city. Custer state park is a nice day trip and needles highway as mentioned above. Bear country USA is very nice with kids. 1880 train takes you from hill city to keystone. Very nice ride.
Crazy horse is neat. The sculpture isn't much IMO. The museum is nice to check out.
Other stuff is deadwood. Kind cool to see. Devils tower.
These are just some highlights from our experiences. You can check several forums too. There is lots of great info available.
If you do take enough days, the ride down to the grand Tetons from Yellowstone is worth it IMO.
Very awesome area.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:09 AM   #16
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Currently staying in Grizzly RV Park at West Yellowstone for 5 nights. Highly recommend it to anyone travelling to this side of Yellowstone. Excellent full service park! We got the recommendation from the forum here and booked back in May. It's a busy park so best to have reservations well in advance. It is definitely the best in the area from what we have seen.
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