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West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

Chester, United...
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West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

We are intending to spend 2 nights in Jackson Hole

(after travelling from Salt Lake City) then 2 nights in West yellow stone next May and then intend to go on to Rapid City. Is it best to have an overnight at Cody or Sheridan..we are wanting to see Teton NP, Yellow stone NP and any other attractions en route.

N. Idaho
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1. Re: West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

Cody is the more interesting of the 2 cities, but not sure time-wise how you will do. Cody-Rapid City is 391 miles, Sheridan-Rapid City is 245. The leg from Sheridan is all Interstate which means quick travel unless you divert for a quick trip to Devil's Tower just before you enter South Dakota.

Are you able to spend more than 2 days in Yellowstone? It is huge and awesome! When in May are you traveling? It can be pretty cold and snowy in May in Yellowstone and the East entrance road (to Cody) did not open until I believe June of this year so the later in May the better. I will check back for you.

There are many people on this board who have combined Grand Teton/Yellowstone along with the Mt Rushmore area so will be able to give you solid advice on timing.

Pam

N. Idaho
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2. Re: West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

OK, so this is from the Yellowstone News Archives from 6/6/11.

"Yellowstone’s East Entrance Open For 24-Hour Travel

The latest forecasting by Yellowstone National Park snow experts indicates the snow pack above Sylvan Pass has stabilized, significantly reducing the risk of further avalanches this season.

As of 8:00 p.m. Sunday evening, June 5, the road between the park’s East Entrance and Fishing Bridge Junction over Sylvan Pass is open to travel 24-hours a day, subject to temporary closures due to weather.

This road section opened for the season as scheduled on Friday morning, May 6. However, unstable snow conditions and repeated avalanches across the road through Sylvan Pass resulted in a temporary closure of the road between May 11 and May 18, and limited travel over the road between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. from May 18 through June 5."

OK so they had it open at NIGHT only and closed it in the daytime when the sun was on the heavy snow pack which increased the risk of avalanche except for 5/11-5/18 when it was closed completely. Impossible to predict what the situation will be by next May, but you would do well to have an alternate plan in case the East entrance is not open. You can go from West Yellowstone up US 191 to Bozeman and pick up Interstate 90 there to head east to Rapid City. (Bozeman-Rapid City 516 miles + 90 from West up to Bozeman for a total of 596....whew, long day!)

Pam

Chester, United...
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3. Re: West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

Thanks Pam...really had not given a thought to the road being closed ... so far I haven't made a Plan B !!!! you have given me food for thought....Here in UK we obviously do have snow but usually only the minor roads in the highlands get closed ...maybe I should plan in flexible day so if we need a long detour it will not be too much of a problem. We are planning to be in the area around the 20 May.

N. Idaho
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4. Re: West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

Good, I am glad it is later in May, altho not all services will be open in the park yet. Yes, might be a good idea to build in a flex day. You will possibly know a bit ahead of time (especially if it has not opened yet for the season!!). It would be good to spend the night in Cody as there is a lot to see there.

Can you squeak another day into Yellowstone?

Yes, the terrain and climate is vastly different from UK! You will need to have some cold weather clothing as well...at least a jacket, light gloves and warm hat. May can be warm or still snowing. Kind of like UK, lol. I have been in UK when it was sweltering in July and also when it was so cold I had to buy socks and a jumper. (The cold year was when I visited Chester...what a lovely place!!)

Pam

5. Re: West Yellow Stone to Rapid City

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