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Road Trip: SD, MT, WY, ID, Banff

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Old 06-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Road Trip: SD, MT, WY, ID, Banff

To break in my new Tacoma, my husband and I are taking a trip out west. It has taken me ten years to get him to do this with me. We're leaving mid-July.

Any hidden gems that we should know about? Great restaurants? Awesome local drives? I've done some research and know the obvious stuff (Beartooth Highway, Going to the Sun Highway, etc) but just wondered if there's something out there that can't be missed.

Thanks in advance for all your help!
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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Yeah where are you going through each state
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #4
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Good choice on coming up to Banff, that is where I grew up and where my parents still are. I'm back there every second weekend or so. We should talk and I'll tell you guys where to avoid and what you should definitely make time for.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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The Better half and I are doing a train ride from Vancouver to Bamff in one week.
Rocky mountianer train I think.
We chose to fly up as opposed to driving and are looking forward to a fun trip.

There is great national parks and old lodges to stay at out west in Glacier, Yosemite, and Yellowstone along with other parks.

You will not regret the trip.
Remember to scheduale some time in all the stops to take in the scenery and sights.

There are amazing national parks a bit south in Zion, Canyonlands, Grand canyon, area.
If you are interested in ruins the Chaco Canyon in New mexico is unbelievable, also in Colorado is Mesa Verde.
Of course Arizona has some cool places as well.New Mexico has some great sites too along with Chaco Canyon. The Pueblo sites are awesome, Taos is one not to be missed.
Do you have a year to visit?
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Wow! Thanks everyone!

So far we're going to the national parks- Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, Wind Cave- and just planned on doing a lot of driving and gawking. It's a pretty open trip. We're taking a month to do it so we've got the time to take detours.

We are NOT going to be camping. We don't mind hiking. I'm really interested in seeing the wildlife and the landscape. My husband doesn't care what we do as long as I find someplace to feed him three times a day.

If you have any wacky, weird, wild, out of the way places, please let me know. And thanks! You guys are awesome! If you need any East Coast or European travel advice, I'll be glad to reciprocate!
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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Denise - Not sure when you are planning on coming through - the end of the Summer will be best to avoid the main crush of crowds in the parks you mention. I can hopefully help a little with some of the Yellowstone part...

Old Faithful Lodge is an amazing building, largest log structure ever built. If you can get a room you need to stay there.

The Lamar Valley in northern Yellowstone is a must, tons of wildlife and if you can drive it around dusk you will see wolves - take your time! You can enter the Lamar from either end, if you aren't camping try to stay in Cooke City, MT. Take/invest in some good binoculars, you won't be sorry. North of Yellowstone (Gardiner entrance), drive through Paradise Valley; hot springs in Chico, good food at the Old Saloon in Emigrant. You could easily make a really fun trip following the hot springs north from Yellowstone to Glacier to BC/AL.

Also, you will see more big game, including wolves and bears either early in the morning or towards evening, and ideally you need to be off the road. Have a great trip!
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbur970 View Post
Denise - Not sure when you are planning on coming through - the end of the Summer will be best to avoid the main crush of crowds in the parks you mention. I can hopefully help a little with some of the Yellowstone part...

Old Faithful Lodge is an amazing building, largest log structure ever built. If you can get a room you need to stay there.

The Lamar Valley in northern Yellowstone is a must, tons of wildlife and if you can drive it around dusk you will see wolves - take your time! You can enter the Lamar from either end, if you aren't camping try to stay in Cooke City, MT. Take/invest in some good binoculars, you won't be sorry. North of Yellowstone (Gardiner entrance), drive through Paradise Valley; hot springs in Chico, good food at the Old Saloon in Emigrant. You could easily make a really fun trip following the hot springs north from Yellowstone to Glacier to BC/AL.

Also, you will see more big game, including wolves and bears either early in the morning or towards evening, and ideally you need to be off the road. Have a great trip!
Wilbur- Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have printed your email and packed it in with my maps so we'll have it when we get there. I am going to take your advice and follow the hot spring route. Actually, I'm going to take all of your advice but I needed a route through WY, MT through to BC/AL so you helped me decide the way. We leave mid-July, so unfortunately can't avoid the summer crowds. I'm a teacher and need to be back before school begins in mid-August.

We do have several pairs of good binoculars- they're a little bit of an obsession with my husband. As soon as I read your email, I got up and packed them so now I know I have them.

Thanks also for the animal viewing advice. We will now be taking some early morning and twilight rides. We had planned to do some night driving to find a good place to star gaze (my husband's sometime hobby) so we'll start a little earlier and follow your route.

Off the road as in, in the car or hiking?

Thanks for all your advice! It is really appreciated!
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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SD: black hills, sturgis, ..

MT: glacier nat'l park
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:20 PM   #10
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If you are driving I90, which i suspect you are. Stop in Manhattan MT, and eat at a place called "Sir Scotts Oasis" Best steak in town hands down.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:51 AM   #12
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One from Glacier NP
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:56 AM   #13
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Banff area

Lake O'Hara is pretty amazing, if you are into hiking, tenting, or can afford the lodge there. 3days there would do. West of Banff, just beyond Lake Louise.

or if camping out of the truck and day hikes (or backack trips) are more your style, its hard to beat the Kananaskis area just east of Banff, by Canmore. Never been in a cave before? There is a guided small group experience you can do there in a place called Rat's Nest cave. Its an adventure.


EDIT: Crap just noticed this thread is a few years old. lol.
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