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Old 06-16-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
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Route / camping advice Hou TX to Yellowstone

I'm taking kids to Yellowstone in July, and I have first leg planned only, Houston to Lake Murray Park in OK which looks pretty cool. will plan on spending a couple nights there and play. Figure about 400-500 miles a day max I'm guessing. I have not done long trips with TT / TV combo.

I"m thinking of leaving Hou on Wed arriving LMP, then and departing LMP Saturday, but not sure what route to take from there. I am off work for the moment so my schedule & kids is wide open except for have to be back before August 1.

I'm wondering do I go through Kansas, then 70 to Denver, which I've done when taking minivan to snowboard in UT, or go through NM / then try to hit Carson national forest area for boondocking, up through canyonlands UT, then north via 15 to SLC area and up to the 20 for hitting the West entrance. Obviously the Kansas route is pretty fast and flatter, but also sightseeing challenged until you get west a good bit.

Any good places to stop between LMP and yellowstone that folks recommend?

I have done some looking and the East entrance is supposed to be pretty steep roadway so I was thinking of just going west and then north to the West entrance. I do have a WDH now and brake controller, and the brakes on the '10 Tundra are good but worried about grunt going up hills as its only 4.6 half ton. It does pretty well here but we're flat. My TT is no-slide Jayflight 27 BH so its tows pretty well. Obviously I'd love a diesel but we're not in a hurry. I am part time mechanic and have driven in mountains when lived in different locations so no need to advise on driving, just what routes are advisable.

Further info - I bought a "america the beautiful" pass for the trip, and as having tented for majority of my life, we actually prefer National Forest sort of camp sites hookups or not. We also have backpacks and hiking boots, would like to get out and do some day hikes along the way, get off the beaten path a little time permitting.

I've gotten some great info here adn hope y'all can help me. If I missed a thread on this subject sorry been searching stuff for days.

While I'm at asking questions - my goodyear radial tires that came on the TT look good, date good, and have worked great, plus I have a new spare tire, but wondering if maybe I should get a second spare given the crazy stories of tire failures and TT's even when owners minded the speed ratings, inflation and load.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:33 PM   #2
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Also, while I was pontificating, the spot I wanted inside the park was filled and now I'm thinking I'll have to stay outside the park and drive in. Any advice on this appreciated, I would prefer hookups but not needed.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:24 PM   #3
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I see a lot of RV setup camps outside of the park on West entrance. I am also wondering about leaving TT in NForest campground and then taking my tents inside YNP and tent camping at the first come sites and dealing with the lock boxes and wildlife etc but being able to get into more places.. a lot more places to camp w/o TT setup. Hmm... I don't have stuff worth stealing really on my TT (no TV or electronics) but wonder about that idea. Good gosh this trip is complicated but will be epic I'm sure. Just want to avoid driving from place to place having them all sold out. Willing to roll dice some...
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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Found "Baker's Hole" campground in West Yellowstone area that's US Forest Service, was rated really high for location and scenery. First come first served. Looks good to me. Enough boondock sites I think the RV types who want full hooks may leave some open for me. Plus we'd be coming on a weekday. Private options if that's full as well.

Also will look at the south entrance and see what's there as have someone flying into SLC to meet up with us.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:41 PM   #5
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Baker's Hole is excellent, it's perfect for day touring the YNP, I think you'll be fine leaving the trailer a few days, however, check campground rules in all the national forest sites, most have a limit to how many days you can leave the trailer unattended.

Another campground to consider inside the park is Lewis Lake campground, south entrance coming up from grand teton, it will fit your needs for tent camping, caution, there are bears in the area all the time, I was visited once when camping in a pop-up, (sold the popup after that trip) no harm done, but scared the poop out of us. Your trailer is too long for any of the sites in that campground.

Stay away from Fishing Bridge, if you like typical nation forest sites, you will hate fishing bridge, crowded, no camp fires, parking lot type campground.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for info!
I did make 2 night reservation at FB when some popped up, but can cancel for $15, just wanted a 'sure thing' more or less.

Q: Colorado - if I come across I70 and have a bit of time to take a day camping, my "day travel" from where I'm coming from ends up somewhere the front range. Most USFS campgrounds where I think look cool are only water, and maybe up some nasty roads to negotiate as this is the rocky mountains. The USFS site doesn't really get into much details on this sort of thing and I don't want to "that guy" who gets stuck on a hairpin curve or something. Is there way to tell what roads are negotiable by my rig and which ones are to be avoided?

Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee National Grassland - Peaceful Valley Campground

This one is on the "peak to peak" road which I can imagine is not one I really want to do with my TT rig.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:48 PM   #7
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Forget about this thread for TT purposes, I decided to heck with pulling the TT all the way from Texas, my TV isn't super robust and the TT is too big for most of yellowstone, its cool enough at altitude I can tent camp. I did buy cans of bear repellant. Taking backpacks and going a different direction.
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Old 07-11-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkdaddy View Post
Forget about this thread for TT purposes, I decided to heck with pulling the TT all the way from Texas, my TV isn't super robust and the TT is too big for most of yellowstone, its cool enough at altitude I can tent camp. I did buy cans of bear repellant. Taking backpacks and going a different direction.

By "cans of bear repellant", I hope you mean "boxes of .454 Casull". In all jest, steer clear of a brown bear.


The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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You may have changed your plans ready, but I live outside the park in Bozeman, MT and frequent this area. When in the West Yellowstone area, we stay at Rainbow Point a few miles north of town. The have power, but no water/sewer hookup. There is potable water and your trailer size is no problem. Another area I would look at is in the NE corner just outside Cook City, MT. There are some nice and very scenic CG's, and less people. Enjoy the area.....it's amazing!
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