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Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

oklahoma city
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Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

We are planning a road trip this summer round trip from Denver. There will be 5 adults and 3 kids (ages 4, 6 and 13). I'd love some feedback on our loose itinerary (below). We will be going June 13-23 2015.

I wasn't sure if this would be better posted in the YNP forum or here.

We are also debating between 2 cars (a sedan and a minivan) or one 12-passenger van (for about $400 more than the 2 cars combined). Open to thoughts on that, too.

We like to leave some time open to just go where the day takes us, but I'm open to other stops we should try to add to the list. I know that our initial day seems long. We like to do outdoor things and things that are unique to a given area. Budget-wise, we are pretty conservative, but willing to splurge when the experience calls for it. We plan to do a lot of picnics for lunches. With 2 little kids and a senior citizen (68) our hikes won't be too long. I've heard we should plan no longer than 1 mile per year of age (so no hikes over 4 miles). We are pretty casual, not needing anything fancy. We've done long road trips with this same group of family. Our kids are pretty-seasoned travelers considering their age.

Day 1: Denver (arrive at 7:30 am)

Laramie

Medicine Bow National Forest

Vedauwoo

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Rawlins or Rock Springs - Dinner and overnight (not sure if Rock Springs will be too far for a first day of driving/flying)

Day 2 -

White Mountain Petroglyphs

Grand Teton National Park (3 hour 11 minute drive)

Hike – hidden falls, inspiration point, cascade canyon

Day 3

Grand Teton National Park

Snake River Float

Moose Junction

Day 4 6/16/15

Yellowstone National Park (2 hour 35 minute drive)

Day 5 6/17/15

Yellowstone National Park

Grand prismatic springs

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Overnight – West Yellowstone

Day 6 6/18/15

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful and the old faithful inn

Overnight – West Yellowstone

Day 7 6/19/15

Yellowstone National Park

Overnight – Mammoth Hot Springs

Day 8 6/20/15

Cody

Day 9 6/21/15

Thermopolis – Hot Spring, dinosaur Dig?

Overnight - Evansville, WY

Day 10 6/22/15

Overnight – Estes Park (Murphy's Lodge)

Day 11 6/23/15

Estes Park

Denver Airport flight home (flight departs at 8:50 pm)

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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1. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

When you drive out to White Mountain Petroglyphs, be careful on those roads. If it has rained recently, the roads can get slick as well as muddy, what we call Wyoming gumbo.

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

On Day 1 Rawlins is about 3 hrs from Denver and given your arrival time I may suggest going up to Lander or riverton

On day 4 where are you staying?

On day 9 Id try and drive to Estes Park. Rocky Mountain NP is better for pics in the morning.

With rocky Mountain national park--ive been here a few times at this time in June. I don't know current snow pack and conditions here now but my times visiting in the past....

You should see wildflowers in the valleys. The snow pack could be covering some high elevation trails still in the area of bear lake. There is a trail that is all up hill from bear lake to Nymph and Dream and emerald lake. Usually you can hike to Nymph fine, near dream you start to get some snow over the trails and emerald is all snow. thois could be different. For pics you want to do this in the morning because the sun is behind you of the views and the water may be calmer on the lakes for good pics. You should be fine for the altitude at this time but make sure you drink water.

With Yellowstone.....

day 4...drive via lake Yellowstone...stay where???

day 5 Lamar Valley/Canyon-Norris areas..stay west yellowstone

day 6 old faithful area stay old faithful

day 7 explore more of Norris/Madison then upto Mammoth stay mammoth hot springs

day 8 mammoth hot springs to Cody via bear tooth highway

oklahoma city
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3. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

Thanks. Very helpful information.

Days 4-6 we rented a condo in west Yellowstone because we couldn't find in park accommodations.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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4. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

Not sure about lodging availability in Rock Springs due to oil and gas workers, check to make sure you can get rooms if you get that car.

oklahoma city
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5. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

Right now we have rooms in rock springs but are considering switching to Rawlins so we aren't driving as far on day one.

Moose, Wyoming
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6. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

There's no place to stay between Rawlins and Rock Springs, with the exception of a couple of fleebag motels. I stayed at one years ago and let my horse out in the pasture behind the motel, and I'm pretty sure my horse had the better accommodations.

7. Re: Weigh in! 11-day WY, YNP, CO road trip itinerary (with kids)

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