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Main Forum => Adventure Anywhere => Topic started by: Bill G on August 19, 2018, 04:51:22 pm

Title: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: Bill G on August 19, 2018, 04:51:22 pm
Karen and I are leaving Cincinnati after Labor Day for the rally in Duluth. Afterwards, heading west through North Dakota to possibly Glacier NP. Any recommendations as to places to visit/stay, routes to take or not to take with a toad? We have 3 weeks and plan to circle down through Yellowstone area and back through Black Hills, and Bad Lands.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: KB9OMH on August 19, 2018, 05:41:56 pm
Kern & Bill have a great trip, Will see you there, Heading out Tue. 9/4 for Duluth Rally the heading South to do the Mississippi River Road trip.

Jim & Rae Anne
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: fandj on August 19, 2018, 08:44:21 pm
If you are coming through Yellowstone I would highly recommend traveling the Beartooth Highway.  It runs between Cooke City just outside YNP northeast entrance and Red Lodge, MT.  It is has some beautiful Alpine scenery.  There are a couple of NFS campgrounds and a private campgrounds along the Beartooth but could get pretty chilly.

From the Cooke City area the Chief Joseph highway has some nice vistas and leads you to Cody, WY.  If you haven’t been to the Bill Cody museum it is worth a day or two to see the western exhibits of early settlers, Indian artifacts, and very nice western art.  If you are into firearms they have a fantastic collection of some of the earliest European up to modern day firearms.

From Cody one travels up the Bighorn range to the plains and to the Badlands.

Many other stops but those I listed along with Glacier are some of our favorites along the northern Rockies of Wyoming and Montana.
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: Bill G on August 19, 2018, 09:36:12 pm
Thanks, making a list, where did you stay in Glacier? Maybe we're foolish by plan on winging it.


Bill Graser
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: donc13 on August 19, 2018, 10:08:32 pm
The Spearfish City Campground is very comfortable.  There is a restored fish hatchery/museum on site.  If you ask the registration folks, they can probably make arrangements for you to tour the very old but still working hydro-electric plant, also on site.  There are wonderful walking/bike paths along the river and wild turkeys in the trees.
Custer State Park is a great place to encounter more wildlife just in case you didn't get your fill of buffalo in Yellowstone.  We stayed at the Legion Lake C.G. last fall.
If you are coming in from Wyo.  there is Devil's Tower  and of course Mt. Rushmore and Crazyhorse just because you should see them at least once- same with Wall Drug.  It is a total tourist trap but at least you'll know what 100 miles of billboards was for.
The Badlands are incredible but the Nat'l. Park C.G. not so much.  The campsite is parking along the curb of the road.
Happy travels, Patti
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: PC on August 20, 2018, 12:39:55 am
We have made the majority of our reservations in the morning the day of – with the exceptions of Sat/Sun – which we found we needed to plan a few days ahead.
We second Spearfish City Campground and the fish hatchery. The Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is spectacular – switch backs, canyons, great waterfall... We took this from the Badlands to Spearfish.
Badlands/White River KOA – no Verizon signal in the park – older but clean – typical, tight KOA
Wind River RV Park – gravel parking lot - $ showers – felt safe – many FT - Riverton, WY – stocked up at Walmart here before we headed to Yellowstone – big box groceries are sparse/non-existent after Rapid City I believe. Took the Wind River Scenic Byway outside of Riverton towards Moran Jct. – another spectacular drive – canyons – switchbacks – bears…
Moran Junction – not a town – no stores – gas here was less than @ Yellowstone - Fireside Buffalo Valley RV Park – parking lot – gravel dead grass - no trees – close to Grand Teton National Park – safe – but location is what it has to offer
Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park & Cabins – very nice rv park – very close to the west entrance. Road to west entrance just past the hot springs is under construction for maybe 5 miles – down to dirt – but still reasonable – this area of the road is closed from 10 pm to 7 am for construction.
We wish that we had spent just one night in Moran Junction and moved on after we visited Grand Tetons.
It’s hazy throughout the area – cannot smell smoke though. Some areas of Yellowstone not accessible to RV’s – MOST are. We could have stayed in Yellowstone – full hook ups or dry camping – if you check now this could still be an option for you. We liked this map: nice because it gives mileage and helps provide perspective. Lamar Valley Drive: great for animal viewing. You might check out TripAdvisor for the most popular sites within the park – there’s so much to see and it’s incredible!
We didn’t check out potential rv parks at the other Yellowstone exits and would have at least looked into doing that in retrospect - more time/less miles maybe. By the time you’re at Old Faithful you’re quite close to the west exit where we are tonight. It’s amazing – enjoy and safe travels!
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: fandj on August 20, 2018, 04:56:06 am
We have stayed on both the west and east side of Glacier NP and prefer the east side.  Similar but different.  Definitely do the drive (with a toad) or take a tour or shuttle bus across the “Going to the Sun” highway.  This road connects the east to the west side.  RVs and other large vehicles are prohibited.  You will see why the restriction when you get to the narrow road on the west side.

Our two favorite areas are Two Medicine and Many Glacier.  Both have NP campgrounds. Both have lakes that offer boat tours with access to numerous hiking trails if desired.  There are private campgrounds also on both east and west side but we have always stayed in the NP campgrounds.  I suggest you get on line and insure the campgrounds are still open for the time of your visit.  September is getting late in the season.  Online will also tell you when the campgrounds typically fill.  This is important as the NP campgrounds are first come first served.  The last time we were at Many Glacier we were there at 7:00 AM and we got one of the last sites available.  We were there during the peak period of mid to late July.  I would expect getting a site would be much easier in September. 
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: PC on August 20, 2018, 09:41:55 pm
Excellent point about access - I should have added we have a 2551 but do not tow - which has it's pluses and minuses... I misspoke about the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway - we took it into Riverton - not Moran Junction. I might add that the same day we did Devil's Tower we also enjoyed the Crook County Museum in Sundance, WY
Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: Bill G on August 28, 2018, 06:35:23 am
Thanks for all the good tips....has any one driven the the Beartooth Pass 212 and/or Chief Joseph Scenic Hwy? We have a 2552 and a Ford Focus toad, and wondering about any driving issues on these roads, other than weather/snow. Will my V10 be red lined up/down hills, brakes smoking?  :help

Thanks again  thousands safe travels,


Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: fandj on August 28, 2018, 07:37:57 am
I have driven the Beartooth Highway several times but not in my 2552.  I do not pull a toad so I can’t say if that creates an issue or not but I would not be concerned about taking my PC across the highway.  I have driven on steeper highways before.  The side going down to Red Lodge, MT is steeper and has a number of switchbacks.  To save your brakes keep it in tow/haul mode and slow down and let the engine do the most of the braking.

If you are concerned one could go up the Cooke City side and along the crest area and turn around before dropping off the Red Lodge side.  The majority of the alpine scenery is along the crest section of highway anyway.

Another option is to stay at one of the National Forest campgrounds east of Cooke City and take your toad across the Beartooth to Red Lodge.  This is a nice day trip.  We have stayed at Fox Creek NFS campground 3 times and find it convenient to explore the Beartooth as well as the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone.  As I recall Fox Creek has electrical hookup.  There are a couple of NFS campgrounds near the crest areas of the Beartooth but I would expect them to be cool to cold in September.  Fox Creek is quite a bit lower elevation thus warmer but still could get chilly.

Any time we visit the Yellowstone area we make the Beartooth a part of the trip.  Typically it is not overly crowded like Yellowstone and has the most awesome high Alpine scenery.

As to the Chief Joseph Highway I drove our 2552 up from Cody to Cooke City on this highway.  I do not recall any concerns.  I have seen a number of RVs on this road.  There is a pretty good grade up and down on the Cody end of the highway.  As in most of the mountain roads especially out west the key is to keep the Ford E450 in tow/haul mode and slow down going downhills to let the engine do most of the braking.  Do not ride your brakes but rather use your brakes rather hard to get your speed down then let off the brakes to allow them to cool and then reapply rather hard braking again as needed to maintain a safe speed.  I do not push the engine going up hills.  I slow down going up steep sections not for concern about the engine but to control transmission fluid temperature. I have a ScanGauge and try to limit transmission temp to about 207 degrees.  It is shown that the cumulative effects of running excessive temperatures can lead to premature transmission failure.

Revision:  After posting this I went to the Fox Creek CG website and found it was closed for road construction.  There are other NFS campgrounds in the same general area that you could use as a base to explore the Beartooth and Lamar Valley areas.  Sorry I should have looked first rather than after posting.

Title: Re: Duluth rally then points west.
Post by: Bill G on August 28, 2018, 08:10:16 pm
Thanks Fandj,

This really helps!  tymote

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