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 > HELP! Summer 2013 MA to Mt.Rushmore & Yellowstone,etc...

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LSJM2012

Massachusetts

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Posted: 05/31/12 08:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi All!
I am looking for advice... traveling with Husband, 2 children & 2 Golden Retrievers from Massachusetts to Mt.Rushmore,Black Hills, Yellowstone, possibly Grand Tetons. (3 weeks in total)

Anyone have any recommendations for places to stay with a 38 foot fifth wheel near the National Parks and monuments?

On our way out there & home again...any suggestions on where to stay along the way? Anything to avoid?

Best travel route?

What are the best National Park sites to hit in our timeframe, especially with a 6 & 8 year old?

Looking for any suggestions in general. Tell me your experiences!

yalerider

Woodland, WA

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Posted: 12/19/12 12:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We stayed at Rushmore KOA, its awesome! Lots of things for kids to to and shuttle to Rushmore if you want to use.


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party of 5

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Posted: 12/29/12 06:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back in 2010 we took two weeks and went North West. We went from upstate Ny to Yellowstone National park in Wyoming and back. Because we only had two weeks we pretty much blew through most of the states until we got to South Dakota. Once in South Dakota we visited the Corn Palace, Wall Drug store, 1880's town, and the Badlands all on the way to Rapid City. We enjoyed them all with the exception of the 1880's Town. Out of Rapid City we took a 9 hour guided bus tour via Ft. Hayes. The tour took us to all the main attractions (Mt. Rushmore, Needles highway, Custer State PArk, Crazy Horse) and then some. We like taking guided bus tours because it gives us educational information on the area and gives my husband time to relax and enjoy the views as well. A few days later we returned to Custer State Park, if you get some down time check out sylvan beach there in the park. The kids also like Bear Country USA. From there we went to Yellowstone National park. Beware of the route you take to get to Yellowstone. We went over the Big Horn Mountains. Breath taking views, but white knuckel drive with the camper. On the return we took a longer route over to Montana and back down. On our return we visited Devils Tower and KeyStone. We stayed at KOA's. Our favorite ones were in Cody, WY and the Devils Tower location.


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TXcampingfamily

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Posted: 12/22/12 07:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went in 2006 when our sons were 7 & 9. We stayed at Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone, it's the only full hookup. Lots of kids to play with every evening when people return from touring the area. After Yellowstone we headed up to Montana to see Litte Big Horn (Custers last stand). My husband and oldest son are big history fans. On our way to Mt. Rushmore through WY we stopped at Devils Tower. To tour Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, we stayed at Beaver Lake CG.

On a different note, I would think carefully about taking the dogs. At most of the National Parks you can only have them at your campground. They are not allowed at a lot of attrations. Please checkout this site for more information.


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jrw1550

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Posted: 12/22/12 12:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went to that area in 2009 and had a blast. We liked Crazy Horse Monument a lot better then Mt. Rushmore so my advice is to go to both and make up your own mind. As far as where to stay we went to the KOA in Rapid City and thought it was pretty nice. I really don't have much input on where to stay but I can tell you that the drive through South Dakota was a bear due to it being long and the same view all the way other then a single dead tree every 60 or 70 miles. Plus this is the only place that had gates on the freeway entrances, used to close the freeway oof during the winter due to bad weather.

lmsteck

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Posted: 12/22/12 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went to Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons this past June with 2 small children and a dog in a 37' FW. We stayed at Fishing Bridge, Bridge Bay in Yellowstone and Colter Bay in the GT. Fishing Bridge is good for the FUH's but that's all, which was enough for us. I can't believe they'd put a 40' RV in Bridge Bay, not recommended. Our site was questionable. I was amazed we got in. There's also a KOA in West Yellowstone which we stayed at for 1 night that's GREAT for kids, just very pricy. Colter Bay RV Park has FHU's and it was our favorite campground. If you go to GT's and want FHU's I highly recommend Colter Bay.

Also, when sightseeing my husband stayed in the truck with our dog at both parks. We were gone too long during the day to feel comfortable leaving her in the trailer. Your dog will have to stay, I think, 100' from the roadway and is not allowed on the wood walkways in Yellowstone.

Trailer Bob

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Posted: 01/01/13 08:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We also did this trip in early summer of 2008 in 38' fiver. Stopped overnight in Wall to see Wall Drug and Badlands both a must. We then stayed at Custer State park(
Grace Coolidge campground site 13) one of our favorites. So much to see from this location! Not to mention Buffalo roaming through campsite! We next went to Jackson WY stayed at the Virginian Lodge campground.(pricey, close but in town and only for 2 nights). West Yellowstone was our next stop, stayed in the Grizzley RV Park, one of the best on our trip. Hopefully you will make it to Glacier for The Road To The Sun is a must see. Stayed at the KOA in St Mary MT. Hope this is helppfull.

campersuzid

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Posted: 01/01/13 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take a look at Baker's Hold campground (Gallatin National Forest) on the west side of Yellowstone NP and 3-mile cg (Shoshone NF) on the east side of Yellowstone NP. If you are going through Cody, WY take US 14 through Shoshone Canyon - awesome - into the Park. I would suggest taking a look at Horsethief Lake and Bismark Lake cgs (both in Black Hills NF). Make time to explore Custer State Park; they have a huge herd of bison that are totally un-impressed by automobiles. If you find yourself traveling along I-80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, WY there is a wonderful little cg (no hookups) called Vedauwoo; great hiking trails, rock climbing areas and moose that wander through the campground. It seemed like they felt it is necessary to check on campers .

One of the reasons I'm suggesting national forest campgrounds is because your pups will be welcomed to join you and you won't have to leave them behind. (I think there is an extra fee for pets at the Black Hills NF but at least you can hike with them.) FYI: Be sure to have some flea and tick treatment for pups. They were really bad last year in many areas. And make sure their shots are up to date, just in case. Our Golden thinks it is her responsibility to keep all squirrels, rabbits, and skunks at bay so we are careful to keep her on a leash and under control at all times to make sure she is safe.

You'll find *everything* pricey in West Yellowstone. As a matter of fact, gas was cheaper in the Park than in that town but there are some "slick" tourist stuff to do there. For what we thought was a super experience, take Firehole Road (its a one-way road just after Madison and follows the Firehole River) in the Park to the swimming "hole" on the west side of the road. You'll recognize it by all the cars and the installed stairway. Pack a lunch and your swim stuff for a refreshing break.

One last point, you might be aware of it already but the air is very dry west of the Mississippi River. Between that and the change in elevation, folks forget to drink enough water or non-caffine drinks and succumb to feeling they have a flu bug. Just keep the intake of liquids up and enjoy.

jrw1550

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Posted: 12/30/12 06:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I forgot to mention, when you go past Mitchell, SD make sure you stop at the Corn Palace. It is a auditorium made out of corn. You will see signs for it when you get off in Mitchell, we found it when we stopped for gas and glad we took a couple of hours to do it. They have parking for RVs that is a short walk away.

redavis

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Posted: 12/30/12 06:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In 2007 we took pretty much the same trip (different starting point). We stayed at KOAs all the way. One night stays were at:
Kennebec, SD (going out)
Mt. Rushmore KOA (going out)
Buffalo, WY (going out)
Gothenburg, NE (coming home)

We spent 5 nights at the Cody, WY KOA.

As with most KOAs, not much in the way of shade trees or the feeling of staying in the woods. But for a multiple day stay, it's nice to have full hookups so you don't have to make an in-between trip to the dump station. All of the owners were very nice and helpful and the campgrounds were all clean and well maintained.

If you go to Mt. Rushmore, you need to be there for the night lighting ceremony. I thought it was the best part. We stopped at Devil's Tower but I didn't find it overly interesting. I'm sure others feel differently and it's pretty much on your way from Rushmore to Yellowstone, so you might as well decide for yourself.

You could probably spend a month in Yellowstone and not see everything but I would suggest going to the Plan Your Visit web site. Lots of good information.

My Wife, Daughter-in-Law and Granddaughter all took a bus tour to see wild mustangs which they all thought was great.

If you're interested, I have several photos Here.

Enjoy your trip.
Randy


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