Travel

Yellowstone National park & West Coast Driving trip

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  • Sep 16th, 2011 12:53 pm
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l69norm wrote:
Apr 29th, 2011 11:36 pm
Gardiner to Lethbridge is about 7 hours driving time. I'm assuming that you would be spending about 2-4 hours in Yellowstone before proceeding onto Lethbridge?
Probably add an additional 3 hours for breaks and meals = 12- 13 hour day. It's doable. I believe one of the hotels in Lethbridge has a waterpark

Did you have the drive from Ottawa to Yellowstone figured out?
toronto- south dakota - YNP - Calgary (Drumheller, banff gondolo, columbia icefields)-- drive through rockies (lake louise-- okanagan and down to Vancouver -- seattle-- redwood forests-- SF --utah-- Nebraska and back. we have decided No theme parks this time around.

pcbc168 wrote:
May 1st, 2011 6:48 pm
We also are planning to go to YSP, Grand Canyon, Utah etc. in this July, but our routes are different, We will fly out from Buf to LAS, then rent a car for 2 weeks from LAS, drive up through Utah, Utah has so many national parks such as Zion NP, Bryce NP, Arch NP etc. then go through Salt Lake City, then to YSP, then back down to Grand Canyon North Rim. We already booked our 2 nights in YSP last year because our dates are so specific and must plan accordingly, we will stay at Canyon Lodge, East entrance, cost around $90 for the room for 4, 2 double beds with private bathroom. Here is the website that you can book YSP accomodations:

https://ynpres.xanterra.com/cgi-bin/lan ... 1;0;010;?/

Most of July dates are already sold out. Good luck.

thanks. All sold out. we will stay a couple of nights at West yellowstone. This will be our last joint driving trip and possibly next yr will do what you had planned flying down to las vegas. Are you also planning to stop at Hoover dam. My neighbour told me to visit the south rim instead of the north ( the Glass platform is in the north rim and you enter a Native reservation IIRC. )
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South Dakota:
Devil's Tower (featured in the movie "Close Encounters of the 3rd kind)
Mt. Rushmore
Crazy Horse
Sturgis (Harley Bike Week fame)
SD Air Museum (museum is free - both inside and out, but AFB base bus tour costs $ - note there is a strict security checkpoint at the start of the AFB base bus tour)
Badlands Natl Park
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GC south rim glass bottom bridge is very expensive. Heard my friend said that they went last year, it cost around $80 per person because it is inside the indian reserve. That is why we go from the north rim and stay overnight there, it is cheaper that way.

Years ago we did Vancover, Seattle, then across into YSP, then to Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, then back to Waterton, AB, then to the rockies and then back to BC. It was a very nice trip. This time we do differently.
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l69norm wrote:
May 2nd, 2011 6:00 pm
South Dakota:
Devil's Tower (featured in the movie "Close Encounters of the 3rd kind)
Mt. Rushmore
Crazy Horse
Sturgis (Harley Bike Week fame)
SD Air Museum (museum is free - both inside and out, but AFB base bus tour costs $ - note there is a strict security checkpoint at the start of the AFB base bus tour)
Badlands Natl Park
mount rushmore and minuteman silos are on our list. will look at the other particularly devils tower
pcbc168 wrote:
May 2nd, 2011 6:44 pm
GC south rim glass bottom bridge is very expensive. Heard my friend said that they went last year, it cost around $80 per person because it is inside the indian reserve. That is why we go from the north rim and stay overnight there, it is cheaper that way.

Years ago we did Vancover, Seattle, then across into YSP, then to Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, then back to Waterton, AB, then to the rockies and then back to BC. It was a very nice trip. This time we do differently.
here is another site about the GC..
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everylittlecent wrote:
May 2nd, 2011 9:18 pm
mount rushmore and minuteman silos are on our list. will look at the other particularly devils tower here is another site about the GC..
I believe you have to book the silo tour ahead of time (i.e. make reservations). It also runs only on certain days of the week. Take the AFB bus tour as they take you down into a training silo. As you go north of Great Falls, MT on the I15, you'll pass several live silos
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l69norm wrote:
May 2nd, 2011 9:57 pm
I believe you have to book the silo tour ahead of time (i.e. make reservations). It also runs only on certain days of the week. Take the AFB bus tour as they take you down into a training silo. As you go north of Great Falls, MT on the I15, you'll pass several live silos

the Silo tour is not on wednesdays but we should be there on tuesday. is the AFB bus tour different to the Silo tour since i though we could go directly to the Minuteman silo tour.

as for Devils tower & Crazy Horse we will have to make a last minute decision since both involve a fair bit of walking and with mount Rushmore which we are going dont know if the kids will enjoy similar type outings :) . If there is a scenic route we would prefer that.
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AFB Bus tour and silo tour are going to 2 different silos. Silo tour is to a preserved silo site and control facility. AFB tour has a training silo that you can actually enter and go down into.
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Hi,

Have you been to Vancouver, B.C. before? How many days have you planned for Vancouver?
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l69norm wrote:
May 5th, 2011 11:50 am
AFB Bus tour and silo tour are going to 2 different silos. Silo tour is to a preserved silo site and control facility. AFB tour has a training silo that you can actually enter and go down into.

wonderful, thats good info.
Fraser River Rat wrote:
May 8th, 2011 3:12 am
Hi,

Have you been to Vancouver, B.C. before? How many days have you planned for Vancouver?

never. 2 days is the plan now. capilano, stanley park are the two places we have planned. Wont be going to Victoria.
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everylittlecent wrote:
May 9th, 2011 7:54 am
wonderful, thats good info.


never. 2 days is the plan now. capilano, stanley park are the two places we have planned. Wont be going to Victoria.

Hi,

It's not in any of the travel guides but it's the thing to do, if you're up for it. It won't be a problem for your kids. The average time for the hike up the mountain is 2 hours, but there's no shame in taking longer. If you do go, pack lots of water & a picnic lunch to eat at the top of the mountain. You'll be hiking along side other tourist from all over the world.
http://www.upmagazine.com/story/article/grouse-grind

A cheaper version of the Capilano Suspension Bridge is at Lynn Canyon Park. There is also a nice hike up to Rice Lake. Same deal, bring water & snacks.
http://www.yelp.ca/biz/lynn-canyon-susp ... -vancouver
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pcbc168 wrote:
May 2nd, 2011 6:44 pm
GC south rim glass bottom bridge is very expensive. Heard my friend said that they went last year, it cost around $80 per person because it is inside the indian reserve. .
I believe you are talking about west rimm, not south.

Don't remember the exact cost but it is pretty expensive and not worth it, you have wonderfull views from just about anywhere.

It is also a shame they build this ugly glass thing and ruined the nature.


BTW, this sound like a dream trip, enjoy it!!!
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Fraser River Rat wrote:
May 10th, 2011 7:40 am
Hi,

It's not in any of the travel guides but it's the thing to do, if you're up for it. It won't be a problem for your kids. The average time for the hike up the mountain is 2 hours, but there's no shame in taking longer. If you do go, pack lots of water & a picnic lunch to eat at the top of the mountain. You'll be hiking along side other tourist from all over the world.
http://www.upmagazine.com/story/article/grouse-grind

A cheaper version of the Capilano Suspension Bridge is at Lynn Canyon Park. There is also a nice hike up to Rice Lake. Same deal, bring water & snacks.
http://www.yelp.ca/biz/lynn-canyon-susp ... -vancouver

Thanks for the info. The first one looks a bit tedious after our long drive but Lynn Canyon park sounds interesting. Looks like Capilano added another feature this spring.
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just thought i will update this thread with the wonderful trip we had


Total Distance Approx 15K kms
Time 32 days
Vehicle 2005 Sienna XLE with a roof top carrier.
Temp range 13C - 40C
rain - a few hrs in Kelowna BC
Sunny and cool weather most of the time
Cost approx $8500 per family
My GPS indicated we were using it for about 210 hrs but I guess that includes the time we had it turned on (and not driving) and sometimes Off .

carried a extra spare in the trunk. battery booster kit and a few tools but only the booster was used once as we left the lights on overnight.
Had 2 GPS units and 2 cell phones from both Rogers and Telus. also had a CB but it wasnt used much.

windshield cracked at two spots on the passenger side. Brakes overheated twice as we could smell it. Once we pulled over for about 15 minutes and the second time we continued to drive as we knew we were a only a few kms away from flat land. lots of Huge mountains and valleys so you have to use a combination of engine braking with a low gear (since the van didnt have a tranny cooler we were careful not to use the low gear for a long time and then if one uses the brakes then it over heats. Just got to use both moderately !!

Oil changed at 5700Km mark and then topped up with half a litre around the 12000km mark.
Air pressure was 35 in front and 37 at the back. every week or 10 days we had to chk and put some air in the back tires.

http://tinyurl.com/5s4bl75

The link above will give you the approx route we took. We ended up in LA as well for a day but mainly stuck to the schedule. spent 5 days in SF, 2 nights in Denver, yellowstone and Vancouver. Everwhere else it was just a night. The van was extra comfy that we didnt feel the distance traveled. The vast majority of the Interstate was at 75MPH or 70. small distances were 65.

if youre into sight seeing this is one trip you need to make. wonderful sights pretty much anywhere you look. roads through mountains going up and down, turquoise lakes with mountains as a backdrop some snow covered. The temp would be around mid 30's and if you look up into the mountains there will be snow. Drive into them and the temp falls to the high teens to low 20s with a nice cool breeze. We ended up visiting Yellowstone, glacier national, Lassen Volcano national , Muir woods and Yosemite national parks. Each park will cost about $25 but we ended up getting an annual park pass for $80 which is valid for all national parks in the US. also visited Banff/Jasper , Moraine and Lake Louise, Columbia ice fields, hot springs, geysers (all geothermal areas) , water falls, Bonneville salt flats. The Cable/Trolley ride in SF was something exciting as well and unique. Just inside the northern entrance (Gardiner) in Yellowstone national park there is a marker that says its the halfway point between the north pole and the equator.


pic as a slide show here.
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Just came across this post. Glad you enjoyed the road trip. I can appreciate the smell of burning brakes . Mine were glowing as we made our way up and down the divide. Like yourselves, we have done a lot of road trips. This year we camped using a tent trailer and the money you save on rooms as well as the ability to stay right in the parks makes it worth while($15 to 20/night). You save a ton on food as well.

If you ever head back west make sure you check out Custer State Park in SD. A nice size park with bison, wild donkeys(they come right to your vehicle and will eat from your hand) and some great hikes. Wall Drugs is fun...touristy but fun

Enjoy the next trip
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I have done the drive up to Whistler and the Yellowstone. The drive Vancouver->Whistler is much more breathtaking than Yellowstone. Into Yellowstone I did the Bear Tooth Pass (which is nice, but again not as nice as the Whistler drive) into the park via Red Lodge from Billings, Montana, saw Old Faithful (disappointing), exited via the east exit back to Billings. Overall kind of disappointed after hearing all the hype.

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