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Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

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  • #46
    Re: Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

    Originally posted by Brenthoven View Post
    Very much worth it. That is one thing I remember I liked when I went on a family vacation.

    And as for the Sturgis thing, we accidentally went during that week. Isn't bad at all. Most of the people (even the "seedy looking ones") were more than polite and civil, etc etc. Zero worries. And overcrowding wasn't an issue at restaurants and such.
    Originally posted by JuveGG24 View Post
    I can second that. We camped at Mt. Rushmore for a night during the height of rally never had a problem.
    For the record, I didn't mention avoiding Sturgis because of the bikers themselves, just because of the added traffic on the mountain roads and in the park itself. I have more than a couple memories of that week trying to get somewhere and getting stuck behind a pack of Road Kings that couldn't even manage the speed limit on Mountain roads. I've been to the Sturgis rally and I'd like to think that in my biking gear or out, I am a fairly polite and civil person.
    Orginally Posted by Sloe Gin - Legal is the Queen of the board.

    Race Diva and "Ruler of the South"

    Originally posted by UMDbulldogs#1
    I must say that I was impressed by the amount of alcohol she coud handle.

    Originally posted by Markt
    That almost lifts the sadness of realizing just how far out of my league Legal is. Almost.

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    • #47
      Re: Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

      Originally posted by JF_Gophers View Post
      Granted its been awhile since I've been there, but I don't recall there being anything to do at Mt. Rushmore that would warrant a 2 day stay. You could probably do everything there is to do in a couple hours.
      There's 2 days worth of stuff to do there. We spent the AM @ Rushmore, ate lunch, then went to the drive through zoo thing. The other day we drove back east to the Badlands, which was amazing. Drive all the way through the Badlands. Get off @ Wall Drug, then you make a giant circle around and through it. There's places to get out and actually climb around on the Mars like rocks.

      We also ended up out there during Sturgis. It was fine, you just have to be more watchful of the motorcycles on the highway. My 10 yr old was asked by a pack of snarly, burly but freindly bikers to take a group picture for them @ the Badlands.
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      • #48
        Re: Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

        Originally posted by alfablue View Post
        Being 20 years ago, I can't remember the name of the road, but is that the one that leads toward the two hot springs where people liked to sit and relax in? There were two areas- one that was a "built" pool area, just sitting water, and the other has a small waterfall to have the warm water massage you gently. I lightly burnt my foot in the hot mud in the second one once.
        Hmm, I'm actually not sure as I don't recall hot springs but it's likely the same road. Were those near the ranch? IIRC, that road stays paved for about a half mile and then goes dirt about the time it enters the Targhee National Forest. If you go far enough at all of 12-15mph you run into Grassy Lake Reservoir thanks to a dam constructed by the CCC back in the 30's. Keep going from there and you hit more fire lanes and lakes with camping on all of them. There's also a pretty badass boy scout camp back there if you go far enough.

        Google Earth is telling me the road is actually Grassy Lake Road AND Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road, fwiw.
        I wish I am able to live long enough to do all the things I was attributed to.

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        • #49
          Re: Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

          Originally posted by XYZ View Post
          Hmm, I'm actually not sure as I don't recall hot springs but it's likely the same road. Were those near the ranch? IIRC, that road stays paved for about a half mile and then goes dirt about the time it enters the Targhee National Forest. If you go far enough at all of 12-15mph you run into Grassy Lake Reservoir thanks to a dam constructed by the CCC back in the 30's. Keep going from there and you hit more fire lanes and lakes with camping on all of them. There's also a pretty badass boy scout camp back there if you go far enough.

          Google Earth is telling me the road is actually Grassy Lake Road AND Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road, fwiw.
          Doesn't sound like it- the road to the springs is on the same road as the campground was, just in the opposite direction from Flagg Ranch. They ended up being really close to the Yellowstone border. And it was only a mile or so before a fence prevented cars from going any farther....

          Targee National Forest is more west than north, right?

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          • #50
            Re: Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

            Originally posted by alfablue View Post
            Doesn't sound like it- the road to the springs is on the same road as the campground was, just in the opposite direction from Flagg Ranch. They ended up being really close to the Yellowstone border. And it was only a mile or so before a fence prevented cars from going any farther....

            Targee National Forest is more west than north, right?
            You know, looking at Google- Flagg Ranch has changed A LOT since I was there. Like the entire resort has been torn down and moved. I heard there may have been some damage from Forest Fires... that's kind of sad.

            If you look at the sat view, the clear area near the river used to be the entrance of the resort, with a gas station and store. Where the resort now is (generally) is where just the campground was. Down what's now the Ashton Rd, in the clearing, there were the two springs were we swam....

            Oh, well, gotta get back someday.

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            • #51
              Re: Yellowstone/Mt. Rushmore Advice

              Originally posted by Larch View Post
              Moose - I lived in Billings, MT for a while, and our second office was in Jackson, WY., so I had to "cut" through Yellowstone quite often and I've been to the Black Hills a couple of times as well. Everybody has pretty much covered everything.

              Jackson, WY is a very cool town, but expensive.

              Look up Quake Lake north of West Yellowstone. It and the story with it are impressive and IMO interesting.

              Red Lodge is also a neat little town and the least pretentious of the "entrance" towns, although Red Lodge is more the gateway to the Beartooth Pass than an entrance town. Finally that late in August, plan for cool weather, especially in Yellowstone, it'll be good campfire weather.
              Yeah that makes me thing, the road construction on the Rockfella last year was the SUCK!!!

              I like Jackson, WY, but it is super touristy and expensive.

              I will agree Quake Lake is pretty awesome, but it might be a bit of a drive further west than the direction they are coming from, and with limited time in the park. The nice thing about it is that quake lake seems almost remote after being in the park, and I believe they do have mountain goats in that area (there are mountain goats in the park but you will need a spotting scope to see them, but on the other hand you may see big horn sheep from the road).

              Originally posted by alfablue View Post
              I worked for a summer at Flagg Ranch Resort, which is in the small parkway between Yellowstone and the Tetons. Go to see the Grand Teton- it's worth it- and gives you an alternate way back- you can keep heading down to Laramie, and take the freeway back for a quick return.

              I've been to many of the national parks in the US, and my favorite is Grand Teton- although I'm biased, as I could see the Grand from my bedroom window in Idaho.
              I agree the Tetons are amazing. I wish when I worked there I had spent more time in the Tetons. Unfortuantlly at the high point of the season when I had a day off I headed out to West Yellowstone (only an hourish from old faithful) to take care of any needs I had, plus it was cheaper.

              One of the reasons I was strongly considering going back was I wanted to spend more time in the tetons and well now I know how to take pictures too, so I wanted a whole catelog of photos.

              Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
              Second, you'll get a chance to see the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota, also part of the Badlands, and it is beautiful. It would also make a good first night's camping spot.

              I regret not having spent more time in Cody, WY.
              Theodore Roosevelet Park is totally on my list of things to do. Its just a little to far from Chicagoland for me to drive out on a weekend (even a long weekend).
              And CODY IS AWESOME!!! I love cody. I dont know if i mentioned it before but they have a rodeo every night in cody during the summer.

              Originally posted by XYZ View Post
              Great suggestions by all here and since you're doing more of the standard family trip as opposed to anything crazy, I think the basics (as awesome as they are in this case) have been covered.

              I will add one thing I don't believe has been mentioned. Old Faithful gets all the press and is worth seeing while there, but if you have the time you might want to check out a geyser like Lone Star.

              Not quite the bohemoth that Old Faithful is, but it's not small, you (last time I was there) can pretty much walk right up to it and it's a very nice easy hike in and out. There are a few others that are quite impressive but require going off-trail to access, but I'd recommend this one if it fits into the schedule at all.
              Yeah lone star is great, but the hike (althought not that long) can turn people off.
              My favorite geyser is Castle. But it has a 3+/- erruption window, which can be a long time for the kids to sit around. But if the timing works, you can always sit there you can see old faithful from it. (which is kind of nice about most of that particular geyser basin). I used to take a book out into that geyser basin and read in the evenings. I would sit on the board walk and let me feet rest just on the ground and you can feel the ground thumping in some places. It was awesome living there, like I said 5 o'clock that place is cleared out!

              The other adventure for me when I worked there was walking back from the pub at night. My cabin was near the old faithful lodge, where as most of the employees live on the other side of the park road. (Our softball field was made of crushed obsidian). Whole new fear walking home at night worried about bears and bisons. I will take muggers and rapists any day!

              Originally posted by Larch View Post
              I haven't used the rafting company, but I will add a heads up. August is low water time on the mountain rivers and many companies shut down by then, not certain on yours but the white water may be running a little clear by then. We went on a company raft trip out of Cody in early August and it was fun, but probably the quietest of any of my white water trips...they didn't even go their normal full route because of low water levels. I know many areas had a low snow year and if there is a warm summer out there...

              Not saying scrap it, just a heads up. You might put a raft in below the Power Dam and float it to Andrusia...it might be the same, depending on the section of the river they use.
              That is a good point. When I went last year we did a float trip in the snake (which was awesome!!!) But the river was really low, the guide had to pull the boat along the rocks in a few places. It was getting almost too low for them to do the trips.

              Originally posted by alfablue View Post
              You know, looking at Google- Flagg Ranch has changed A LOT since I was there. Like the entire resort has been torn down and moved. I heard there may have been some damage from Forest Fires... that's kind of sad.
              I think Flagg Ranch had alot of damage from the more recent fires. It was fine in 2000, but I think maybe it was 06 that there were alot in that area.

              I agree. I need to get back there for a whole summer again. Once this **** student loan is paid off, I am going to make much different employement decisions.

              That being said, back to working for the man.

              Enjoy the trip. It is going to be awesome! Your kids will remeber it forever. My first time in the park was actually in 88, I was in 5th grade and I was in the park early in the season (before the fires), my aunt was doing training because she was going to be a nurse there that summer.

              I think for everyone, be it yellowstone, a local state park, etc. Having that place that you can keep revisit at different parts of your life, that ties all those memories together, that is that truley magical place is great.

              And it is also great you are getting the kids outside. I was actually just talking to my friend about the book "last child in the woods" and the whole "no child left inside" programs that at some recreation departments are doing (at least in mass).
              www.karenwingerphotography.com

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