It’s time to head west to Wyoming and, eventually, Yellowstone National Park. And this year, instead of repeating past routes, I thought it would be fun to get your suggestions, to crowd source our trip by drawing on the collected wisdom of our readers.
In other words, tell me where to go.
Here’s the particulars:
I’ll be leaving Kalamazoo, MI about 9AM Friday June 14. I need to be in Gillette, WY by mid afternoon Monday June 18 for the annual Family Motor Coach Association Reunion and motorhome showcase. That’s about 1,230 miles.
I don’t want to drive more than 400 miles a day so there’s time to discover cool places, see great things, meet interesting people on the way that we can photograph, video and report about to you on this blog. I’m on the lookout for truly unique places and people. I’ve already written about the touristy things along the way on previous trips. The Corn Palace. Wall Drugs. We reported on the Badlands and Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore last year. So I’m looking to forgo those spots and travel off the beaten path this time. What are the stories along the way unique to the land?
They can be a cool photo. A fun restaurant. A unique campground. A local character. An historic spot. I had an old editor once tell me decades ago that everyone has a story. My long journalism experience has told me that is indeed true. That’s also true of places. All you need to do is meet them. So make some introductions to me.
Plot out the route and e-mail it to me under the subject line “To Gillette.” You can use comments under this post to ask questions or share observations.
As to where to spend the night on route, scenery trumps everything for us. We can boondock or hookup. I’d love your recommendations.
We’ll leave Gillette late Friday, June 21 afternoon after I finish leading a seminar at the FMCA reunion.. I’m planning on heading to Yellowstone again for a few days and then taking our time heading back so that we’re back in Michigan by the 30th. So if this group planning thing works on the way out, maybe we’ll crowd source the return trip, too.
But for now, let’s collectively plan the route to Gillette. Tell me where to go, what to see, who to meet, where to overnight.
For my part, I’ll try to take in as many of your tips as we can and then share what we find in daily reports here, as well as tweets and Facebook posts.
To whoever comes up with the most detailed route and suggestions that we follow, I’ll let them pick out the item of their choice from The Roadtreking RV Store and then send it to them free.
I can’t wait to get your ideas.
81 Responses to “Tell me where to go: Help plan my RV trip to Wyoming”
Comments are closed.
June 28, 2014at12:57 am, Brita Stern said:
Go east young women
June 28, 2014at12:48 am, Robert May said:
Don’t miss Yellowstone..,
June 27, 2014at7:00 pm, Stephanie Sandbank said:
June 27, 2014at4:46 pm, Kim Colerick said:
From Rawlins north to Cody. Just came back from wonderful trip Loved the Wind River Canyon. Completely unexpected
June 27, 2014at4:44 pm, David Stallard said:
Try Flameing Gorge for fishing, across to Vernal, Utah to see the National Forest, if you were heading the other direction, head to Jackson Hole and along the way you may spot some old falling down sheds that were former Pony Express waypoints?
June 27, 2014at4:19 pm, Pamela Stauffer said:
Looks like a road going through Wyoming
June 27, 2014at4:15 pm, Betty Olsen said:
Devil’s Tower, the Big Horns,both Deadwood and Wall Drug are in South Dakota
June 27, 2014at4:15 pm, Ann Valus said:
This is a little unusual, but the highlight of our trip to Wyoming was driving the back roads northwest of Rock Springs to see the wild horse herds. We also saw a badger and pronged horn antelope.
June 27, 2014at4:00 pm, Charles Cowles said:
Could not find a Walmart in eastern Wyoming, so this is where we parked. It was a small parking lot to see a historic marker.
June 27, 2014at5:40 pm, Connie Lyons Shook said:
Cheyenne has one , Laramie ,
June 27, 2014at3:46 pm, Deb Benton Gevock said:
June 27, 2014at2:59 pm, Lisa Duke Denney said:
Yellowstone, the Big Horn mountains northwest of Sheridan, the LDS (Mormons) Martin’s Cove and the Sweetwater River crossings, the Snowy Range mountains south west of Laramie…all great place to visit and spend a little time!
June 27, 2014at2:12 pm, Janet Williams said:
June 27, 2014at12:42 pm, Robert Liggett said:
Like Janet said… You need to do 14a because a 10 mile 10% grade is not to be missed. I’ve seen full size RV’s turn around to avoid it but your rig should do it without breaking a sweat.
June 27, 2014at12:30 pm, Robert Liggett said:
Excellent post by Janet Arnold! The camping near Medicine Wheel is amazing and the food at nearby Bear Lodge is very good. Beartooth pass is a must and I’ve been to Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel for buffalo burgers more times than I can count. The bar at the Irma is amazing and rodeo in Cody is a slice of America that’s hard to pass up. And Beartooth Pass is a must, not an option.
June 27, 2014at4:49 pm, Kim Colerick said:
June 27, 2014at12:27 pm, John Spears said:
Pick up Hwy 14 from I-90 north of Sheridan and enjoy the great views of the Big Horn Mountains. 14 goes through Cody and all the way to Yellowstone.
June 27, 2014at12:13 pm, Mary Bird said:
A must see. http://www.wyodino.org
June 27, 2014at11:45 am, Louis Goldman said:
From Cody head north to Red Lodge, great restaurant on Broadway for breakfast or lunch. Then drive Beartooth pass to north entrance to Yellowstone
June 27, 2014at11:27 am, Jeff Gach said:
Happy Birthday! Have a greT day
June 27, 2014at11:13 am, Duane Metz said:
Alt rt 14 thru the Big Horns was great last week. Was snowing so bad we missed the Medicine Wheel.
June 27, 2014at11:11 am, Julie Larson Smith said:
Vedauwoo west of Cheyenne! Amazing rock formations and beautiful scenery just off I-80.
June 27, 2014at10:14 am, Randy McKinnis said:
You’re not getting very far, driving in the left lane! Is this your first time behind the wheel? And you’re taking pictures while you’re driving? “SNIGGY!”
June 27, 2014at10:10 am, Janet Arnold said:
I found the county and state roads in South Dakota to be deserted and beautiful. Hot Springs South Dakota is quite interesting. There is a wild mustang preserve down that way that I have always wanted to go to. But the real feature is the Mammoth Site. Well worth the stop. I think I am going to stop and map out a route. This sounds like fun.
If I were you I would divert north as well and go to Little Big Horn. Hire one of the Crow Indians to give you a tour. They are great. You find them in the visitor center. Right across the street from the entrance is a general store that is not to be missed.
I agree with everyone that has mentioned the Alt route 14 across the Big Horns. If you have never been to the Medicine Wheel on that route it is amazing, and in such a beautiful spot.
If you have already done 14A then ride the 14. It takes you through spectacular high country. Lots of moose. Stop at Shell Falls on your way down the west side.
Cody…The Buffalo Bill Historical Center. No more needs to be said. Check out the Hotel Irma, especially for the bar. It came as a gift from England.
Check out the Buffalo Bill Damn. The lake is known for the international wind surfing competitions. The camping to the west of there is wonderful. I heard moose bugling through the night.
I agree about Pahaska Teepee. You can pay a small fee and tour the hunting lodge. Great trading post with lovely jewelry and more. Sometimes you see moose, bears and red foxes there.
The drive over Sylvan pass into the Yellowstone is a gorgeous drive from the moment you leave Cody.
OK I will stop here and pull out my maps. more to come. LOL
June 27, 2014at9:37 am, Rose Pennacchio said:
Semi broke down in Cheyenne for a week last summer. What an awesome place Cheyenne is on the weekend! The train depot and the whole outside area ROCKS on weekends! There’s a model train museum to check out if you’re into that AND the massive steam locomotive Big Boy #4014 has been brought back to the Cheyenne depot for restoration! That must be a sight to behold!
June 27, 2014at9:36 am, Tracy Lynn Gutierrez said:
Come back to Colorado and drive the million dollar highway from Ouray to Durango. It is an awesome drive.
June 27, 2014at9:28 am, Clarence E. Springer said:
Nice. I 25 through Wyoming
June 27, 2014at9:22 am, Vikki Kyffin said:
Stop a few days and stay in one of the forest service campgrounds between Cody and Yellowstone. FABULOUS no experience like it in the world. Check Pahaska Tepee while your there. Its Buffalo Bill’s old hunting lodge.
June 27, 2014at9:20 am, Deb Lane said:
Yellowstone. Again and again
June 27, 2014at8:59 am, Teri Bell said:
Devils Tower, Dead wood, wall drugs
June 27, 2014at10:48 am, Renee Blanchard said:
Deadwood and wall drug are in South Dakota, right?
June 27, 2014at5:39 pm, Connie Lyons Shook said:
Cheyenne Frontier Days. last week of July
June 27, 2014at8:36 am, Natalie Jean said:
Texas to pick me up
June 27, 2014at8:25 am, David Roy Fuller said:
looks like ur in the area of Midwest in this pic, i could be wrong tho lol
June 27, 2014at8:25 am, Glen Smith said:
To do list!
June 27, 2014at8:16 am, DC Royalty said:
Just completed a car trip through Wyoming. Love, love. Enjoy
June 27, 2014at8:13 am, Ginger Ellis said:
June 27, 2014at7:56 am, Daniel J Diller said:
the wranglers store in Cheyenne is a real hoot, the rhinestone cowboys dream store
June 27, 2014at7:35 am, Rose Pennacchio said:
Well, as a truck driver/future roadtrekker, one of my favorite runs (in the summer) is picking up a load in Worland and heading south to Rock Springs. It takes me through the Wind River Canyon and Thermopolis as well. Breathtaking views through the canyon, and Thermopolis is on my list of places to visit when not in a 70+’ long vehicle! Lol!
June 27, 2014at7:32 am, Kevin Arnett said:
four corners where only 4 states touch, and red wood forest in oregan
May 19, 2014at11:17 pm, Julie Hippler said:
Chief Joseph Highway/Sunlight Basin, http://wondersofwyoming.com/secluded-scenic-sunlight-basin/ outside of Cody, and Beartooth Highway http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28947-d267833-Reviews-Beartooth_Highway-Montana.html …go in to Yellowstone one way and come back out the other!
May 17, 2014at8:46 am, Wild N. Wooly said:
May 17, 2014at12:12 am, Morin Herrod said:
Been down that road and
May 16, 2014at9:24 pm, Jed Cook said:
Thermopolas for a hot soak!
May 16, 2014at7:29 pm, Mary Bird said:
Crazy Horse Memorial in SD a MUST see.
May 16, 2014at10:38 am, Shelley Gosselin said:
We visited Mount Rushmore last year when we finally found a place to park turned around seen the statues it took our breath away. We are from Canada 🙂
May 16, 2014at9:46 am, William Cogle said:
i will go with you
May 16, 2014at8:50 am, Steven C. Luke said:
Southeastern South Dakota and Northeast Nebraska. First, June 12th-15th is Kolach Day’s in Verdigre, NE. On to Tabor, SD June 19th-21st, Tabor Czech Days. Camp, fish and golf at Springfield and then celebrate the Springfield 4th of July Celebration . So much to do in Southeast SD. .
May 16, 2014at8:43 am, Steve Luke said:
I would stop in some sleepy little towns along the way. Don’t take the interstate! So much history getting lost in town’s like Vermillion, Yankton, Springfield, Pickstown, Tyndall and Avon!
In Vermillion you could visit the National Music Museum and W. H. Over Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Then down the road you can visit the Missouri River and Meridian Bridge, Yankton, S.D.. Nickname(s): “Mother City of the Dakotas”. You may want to visit the Dakota Territorial Museum and the newest museum in South Dakota, the Mead House on the grounds of the old Human Services Center in SD. So much history here! A Walmart just south of the entrance to the museum. Yankton also has the Lewis & Clark Campground, one of the best campgrounds in the state!
Plan your trip for June and head to the Czech communities for their summer celebrations. Tabor, SD just north of Springfield a few miles and across the bridge from Historic Springfield, SD. is Verdigre, Nebraska. Known as the Kolach Capital of the World and it’s community celebration June 12th thru the 15th, 2014!
Camp in Springfield State Park along the Lewis and Clark Lake or Drive across the bridge and stay overnight at the Niobrara State Park. The Nebraska campground is only 10.8 miles from Springfield, SD near Niobrara, Nebraska.
The next stop would have to be Tabor, SD and Tabor Czech Days Home, June 19 – 21st.
I could go on and on. The Springfield chamber of commerce puts on a wonderful July 4th celebration. Bull riding, a street dance, park games, reunions, 5k run and the best Fireworks Display are a few things to do. Perhaps you want to golf on one of the best 9 hole golf courses around. Just above the State Camp Ground. Also try fishing while visiting the area. But you could spend all summer attending the small celebrations in most Southeastern South Dakota communities and the Northeastern Nebraska small town’s and villages celebrations.
May 16, 2014at8:26 am, Douglas Stall said:
Don’t forget Medicine bow a lot of nice campgrounds there
May 16, 2014at8:23 am, Daniel J Diller said:
we love Yellowstone and the Tetons, one drive that is worth it’s time is rt 212 NE toward Red Lodge MT, it is on the 10 most scenic highways list, need to check the weather conditions as elevations hit 10,000 ft. We enjoyed the National Historic trails interpretive center near Caspar. Last but not least Cheyenne, I’m a train buff and it is a rail head for the Union Pacific. Another place that is interesting is the Wrangler Store, this store is the rinestone cowboy’s dream store.
May 16, 2014at1:47 am, Cheri Tice said:
Ruth I envy you your road trip I just got done talking to my cousin and I told her I thought you were going to travel,she’s getting ready to leave for Alaska! Its going to be fun following you on your trip! Do you think you well be visiting Kenton?
May 16, 2014at12:55 am, Ruth Boyd Parent said:
What a neat idea
May 15, 2014at10:12 pm, Gayle Fadden-Keffer said:
HI..I READ MOST OF YOUR POSTS..VERY INTERESTING AND ENTERTAINING….WE LIVE HALFWAY BETWEEN CHEYENNE AND LARAMIE, WYO…..WITHIN CURT GOWDY STATE PARK…WESUGGEST YOU CK OUT “HOLE IN THE WALL”…. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO VISIT THAT PLACE….I THINK ITS WEST OF BUFFALO…QUITE HIDDEN…I HAVE READ ALMOST ALL OF C.J. BOX BOOKS…HIS JOE PICKETT NOVELS…ALL THE STORIES TAKE PLACE IN WYO ABOUT A GAME WARDEN AND HIS ESCAPADES…FUN TO READ! ALSO CK OOT THERMOPOLIS HOT SPRINGS….THERE IS A NICE RV PARK JUST NO. OF TOWN….IF YOU ARE NEAR US ..FEEL FREE TO GIVE US A CALL…YOU CAN PARK ON OUR PROPERTY WHILE VISITING THE PARK AND THE 2 LAKES….JUST EMAIL US AT………….email@example.com…………THANKS FOR YOUR TIME…….WE ARE QUITE INTERESTED IN YOUR MODE OF TRAVEL…..WE ARE RETIRED AND TRAVEL WITH OUR 5TH WHEELO EVEN SINCE YR 2000. WE HAVE DRIVEN UP TO HAINES, ALASKA 6 TIMES WITH IT….LOVE THAT DRIVE..HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU…G & K…
May 15, 2014at8:02 pm, Bob Clark said:
Custer SP in SD is great. About 25 miles South of Rapid City. We are there right now. Lots of wildlife, beautiful scenery … kind of a mini-Yellowstone. Have around 1,500 Bison roaming around free, deer, turkey, wildcats, wild turkey, pronghorns, elk, … There is an 18 mile wildlife loop that runs in the southern part of the park. Nearby Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are both cool to visit.
Mesa Falls on the back side of the Tetons is also pretty spectacular. Non-tourist views of the Tetons and two beautiful waterfalls. Pretty easy drive from there to West Yellowstone.
May 15, 2014at8:01 pm, Paul Dutilly Jr said:
Just be ready for high winds. When I go through Wyoming I just keep going. The best part of Wyoming is when your not in it.
May 15, 2014at8:00 pm, Gary Harrington said:
May 15, 2014at7:52 pm, Steve Bouton said:
I grew up in Wyoming. Don’t forget to drive through the Big Horns. Follow Hwy 14 from I-90, getting on just north of Sheridan. You can take it all the way to Yellowstone. At the Alt 14 / 14 split at Burgess Junction, take Alt 14 (to Powell). Stop at Observation Point, 9430 Ft. Enjoy the fabulous view and a snowball fight in July. Best make sure your brakes are in good order, first.
May 15, 2014at7:46 pm, Sharon Baker said:
How about John Day Fossils?
May 15, 2014at6:45 pm, Rhonda Wilkerson said:
Devils Tower, Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole.
May 15, 2014at6:40 pm, Carol Berger said:
May as we’ll go on to Mt Rushmore too
May 15, 2014at6:39 pm, Carol Berger said:
Loved Custer State Park to stay
May 15, 2014at6:39 pm, Sharon Hartung said:
Go to Medicine Wheel (up on the high land above Sheridan); swing by Hell’s Half Acre (stop for lunch and buy a souvenir hat) near the Colorado border. Definitely go to the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Try to go to the rodeo in Cody, WY if you exit out of the East road from Yellowstone. Go to Grand Tetons and stay a few days; it’s beautiful.
May 15, 2014at5:34 pm, Yvonne Rene'e Long said:
Go to a rodeo
May 15, 2014at5:32 pm, Rose Castaneda said:
Sylvan Lake is beautiful. Cindy B’s is really good too. hiway 85 from New Castle to South Dakota is nice too.
May 15, 2014at5:25 pm, Jim Rhode said:
Here’s a list of “must stops” Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Hourse monument, Deadwood and don’t miss camping at Fish N Fry campground out side of Deadwood. then there’s Devil’s Tower in WY and if possible lunch at Cindy B’s in Aladdin, WY. Next would be side trip to Garyowen, MT, stay at 7th Ranch campground, and tour the Little Big Horn battlefield/memorial. don’t forget to stop in Cody, WY and just “get lost” in the town and you MUST eat lunch/dinner at irma’s Hotel and then watch the Old West Gun Fight out in the street. have a great trip!
May 15, 2014at5:12 pm, Connie Lyons Shook said:
Cheyenne Frontier Days, last full week of July.
May 15, 2014at5:11 pm, Jim Rhode said:
Mike . . .
May 15, 2014at4:39 pm, Tim Abney said:
May 15, 2014at4:33 pm, Richard W. Morrison said:
Keep going straight.
May 15, 2014at4:02 pm, Ronald Harris said:
Leaving Yellowstone National Park, east to Cody WY, north to Red Lodge MT (good place to stop for lunch) and back into Yellowstone via the northeast entrance, the most scenic of the entrances, about 350 miles, a nice days drive and beautiful scenery, I’ve made this loop a few times and will be doing it again in June 2015.
May 15, 2014at3:47 pm, Betty Yarborough Morrison said:
Are you going to the rally or just going off
May 15, 2014at3:02 pm, Sandy Overton-Stone said:
Have been through this territory and love it there. Looking forward to our next road trip through the countryside of the good ole’ USA.
June 10, 2013at6:01 pm, Gary Fichman said:
Head over to Ft Larmarie Historic Site and stop in Gurensey and see the actual Orgeon Trail ruts and see names carved along the trail.
If you have time go to Casper and visit the Trails Musem and learn about the real migiration west–not the TV verision
June 08, 2013at8:59 am, F Krueger said:
You should see Devils tower and if you can the motorcycle museum in Sturgis SD
June 08, 2013at8:34 am, Lois Underwood said:
We just came through east Wyoming and are now in South Dakota.. We stayed at KOA’s, the Mount Rushmore/Hill City has LOTS of stuff to do, 500 sites.. Deadwood, has a terraced site. It is very beautiful and the owners are great. Devils tower, Wyoming is beautiful, but the KOA is terrible.. Have fun, Wyoming is beautiful.
June 04, 2013at12:36 pm, Nancy Emmert said:
Take time to visit the Teton National Park, the most dramatic mountains in the US. Take the boat across Jenny Lake and do some hiking. Follow the Oregon/ California Trail. Visit the Oregon California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho and experience the tail adventure.
June 04, 2013at9:55 am, Casey Maupin said:
I sent in a suggestion for the VAMC Cheyenne because of the many troopers with PTSD, and the need for outreach. Crowd sourcing is a great idea. Maybe I should do it too when the time comes for me and the wife to begin our trek.
June 04, 2013at8:33 am, James and Elizabeth said:
What a great idea! We can’t wait to see what ideas people have for you. This should be so much fun. We are just starting out and will be in Gillette, too, but heading there from our home in Oregon. Maybe afterwards, we’ll head east to South Dakota and Minnesota to see the things people suggest to you.
June 03, 2013at3:47 pm, Karsten Askeland said:
Gosh Mike … I wish I could offer you some suggestions but I’ve never been out that way myself. I’ll be heading to Council Grove, Kansas in September followed by Minot, ND the first week in October. I’ll have two weeks to kill in between these two events so I’ll be looking for suggestions on places to see and visit as well. Where ever you go I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. I generally limit my travels to a maximum of 500 KM a day. Too much to see and do to travel more than that. I need time to explore and take pictures as well.
Enjoy your travels. I enjoy your’s and Jennifer’s videos/blog and the newsletter.
June 04, 2013at2:08 pm, Rod Taylor said:
Small towns along the way (1/5,00-people max) — it’s the best.
We live in the “People’s Republic of California,” (San Diego).
We cannot take our RT190 west — too much Ocean.
North is LA,
East is desert and rocks.
We are trapped.
Kansas, ND, AL, CO, MT, etc., here we come.
I need to figure out how to retire and get going.