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Help with Plan B for YNP/GtNP

Vancouver Island...
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Help with Plan B for YNP/GtNP

Hi folks,

We are driving from Toronto back to our home on Vancouver Island.Had planned to stay in Billings on Sat Oct 5, then drive Beartooth Pass to YNP.

Have booked the next 2 nights in West Yellowstone,to drive around the sites, then had planned to stay in Jackson before heading back up to Hwy 90 and west.

Since my husband is in a wheel chair, hiking was not part of our plan, but certainly wanted to see the awesome views and of course Old Faithfull.

Is there any northern route across the top of the park to W. Yellowstone, or would we have to go down 120 to 26 to 89/191 though Jackson?

Or back north (Beartooth again) to 90 then south on 191?

Hotel is prepaid for 2 nights on W Yellowstone, but may have to sacrifice one night.

Any ideas greatly appreciated!!!



Spery, Iowa
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1. Re: Help with Plan B for YNP/GtNP

As of now, roads through the park are NOT open to visitors, so you would have to go around to get to West Yellowstone. If the Beartooth is open, you will get awesome views. You could drive to the Vista and back instead of all the way over, then back north to work around to West Yellowstone. There are things to see and do in that area, then make your way Jackson. You won't get into Yellowstone or the roads in the Tetons, but still get some great viewing.

If your room could be cancelled, I would say to go over and then take the Chief Joseph Highway to Cody, see the museum, drive south from Cody to Jackson. But if they can't refund prepaid, that would be your decision on taking a loss :(

Hopefully things will change by that time, but Plan B is a good thing to have. I don't hold my breath on government issues. Good Luck!

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: Help with Plan B for YNP/GtNP

Plus, be mindful of the weather. It may have cleared thru by Saturday, but there is a storm brewing and looks like Billings is forecast for snow on Friday. Beartooth may not be open on Sunday when you plan to travel. Please take a look at the areas you are planning to drive thru on Thursday and Friday so you avoid any weather related issues as much as possible.

Even if Beartooth is closed, if the roads are clear you could drive down to Red Lodge, then back to I90 to head west. You could stop in Bozeman at the Museum of the Rockies, then down to West Yellowstone via 191.

From there on your full day, you could drive a loop north from West Yellowstone to Quake Lake and over to Ennis MT and Virginia City (ghost town) and back to your overnight in West Yellowstone.

The next day you can leave heading west from West Yellowstone on US20 in to Idaho, do the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway (I am not sure how WC accessible Mesa Falls is itself) and the Teton Scenic Byway down to Driggs, Idaho. http://www.idahobyways.gov/ From there you could drive east over the pass (conditions permitting) to Jackson.

Here are some DOT websites so you can check the road conditions. If their winter road sites are not up yet, take a look at the webcams to see what the conditions are.




Another thing to know about Beartooth is that the end toward Cooke City is kept plowed by Yellowstone National Park. With the government shutdown, my guess (and really this is a guess) is that they will not plow that end of the road, so even if Montana does their side it may still be closed because it's impassable on the Western end. This is an odd set-up as Beartooth is known as an *orphan* road.

Good luck! Let us know how you worked things out once you get back home!


Edited: 9:20 am, October 02, 2013
Vancouver Island...
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3. Re: Help with Plan B for YNP/GtNP

Thanks for all the info...we'll keep watch on the weather and rethink our route!


4. Re: Help with Plan B for YNP/GtNP

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