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Old 01-10-2016, 06:26 PM   #1
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Trip out West

My family is planning a trip out west this summer from WV to glacier NP then down to yellowstone, I already have an idea of where to stay but not sure how to see as much as possible at each park and what route is best for hauling a TT. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:02 PM   #2
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I would be interested in hearing this input as well. We aren't going for another year or two, but a similar trip - going from Glacier down to the Grand Canyon. How long are you planning to be there? I'm saving vacation to make it 5 or 6 weeks... So far, I've mapped the basic loop we will take. 3 days to South Dakota and four days from Grand Canyon back to MD - the rest will be between those points.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:10 PM   #3
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We are going to Mt. Rushmore for 2 days, glacier for 3, and yellowstone for 3,plan on taking about 4 days out an 4 days back because my parents are going with us.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:18 PM   #4
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Sounds like a great trip! I'm sure you will get some feedback - there have been some other discussions on here lately about trips out west (that's what got me planning). BTW - last summer we went out by you to Canaan Valley SP and had a great trip. Went to all the railroads (passing my love of trains on to my kids). I love WV!
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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I would find a way to go through the Enchanted Circle area of NM, north of Alburquerque. Then head west back to Grand Canyon.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:29 PM   #6
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We go to Canaan Valley once in a while it is about 15 minutes from the house, but we like Blackwater Falls SP better. It is only 5 minutes from the house...lol
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:41 AM   #7
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We go to Canaan Valley once in a while it is about 15 minutes from the house, but we like Blackwater Falls SP better. It is only 5 minutes from the house...lol
We went to Blackwater, but camped at Canaan. If I remember right, when I was making reservations (because we went over July 4th) we could not get into Blackwater.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:59 AM   #8
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4 days from the East Coast to SD is the minimum. 5 would be better, but if time off is at it's limit.....
Plan ahead carefully - highway one night camping opportunities in eastern SD are spread out fairly thin.
We love stopping at The Badlands in SD - highly recommend the KOA near the park. But getting to it may be very hard in 3 days. And the park itself will eat up a few more hours as you drive through on your way out.

There will be an awful lot you'll have to skip, just because of the time constraints. And a lot of boring as you make the drive. The curse of limited vacation time.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:34 AM   #9
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We are going to Mt. Rushmore for 2 days, glacier for 3, and yellowstone for 3,plan on taking about 4 days out an 4 days back because my parents are going with us.
This trip sounds like you're trying to pack 10 lbs into a 5 lb bag. The distances are great and the destinations are packed full of attractions. Can't help with specific CG's but you mention summer so you'll need to plan well ahead. Some NP cgs don't take reservations and the ones that do fill up well before spring. If it were my trip, I would cut out a destination [probably Glacier] and add a week to your overall trip. Mt Rushmore is a good 2 day stay as you might want to include Devils tower and sites of interest in Spearfish. Yellowstone is huge and 3 days is not enough time to see a lot of it without mostly doing drivebyes. The Teton NP is less than 100 miles south of Yellowstone and well worth 2 or 3 days before heading East.

We did this trip many years ago pulling a popup and our 3 kids. Stopped near Mt Rushmore, on to Yellowstone [week] and down to Tetons [week] and then back home to Indiana. Total including travel was 17 days. 2 overnites total with stop out at Custer state park and someplace I don't remember on the drive home. It is a long way out there with a lot of boring country side along the way/.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:05 PM   #10
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We are going to Mt. Rushmore for 2 days, glacier for 3, and yellowstone for 3,plan on taking about 4 days out an 4 days back because my parents are going with us.
We spent a week in Rushmore/Black Hills area and felt like we needed another week.

We spent 2 weeks in Yellowstone and felt like we did ok, but still missed stuff. We moved to different campgrounds within the park to be closer to the different areas. Like 3 to 4 nights each. Don't remember where we stayed, but it was all no hookups. I remember it being 3 separate areas of the park.

We are doing two weeks in glacier this summer and are doing 4 nights on the west side (Fish Creek) and 7 nights at St Mary. We will drive really long days and overnight on the road to get there in 2 days from Michigan (Detroit area). DW, 12 and 10 year olds and myself. We all agree we'd rather spend fewer long days driving than more shorter days driving. Anything west of Rushmore had to be a two week trip to be worth the driving to get there and back.

You're really packing a lot in a short time and doing a lot of driving, but if that's all you can swing, better to see a little than to see none! I'd suggest trying to break this into 3 trips if at all possible, but I don't know your situation.
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