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Thread: Traveling Question - cross country in January

  1. #16
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    The roads from Cooke City, Gardenier and West Yellowstone are plowed all winter. Cooke City would be cut-off otherwise. We’ve ridden into the Park from Paradise Valley thru Gardiner and the Mammouth Gate in April 3-4 times. We spend our anniversary at Chico Hotsprings near Emigrant north of Gardenier. The road is normally open to Old Faithful; good to be there with 20 people instead of thousands. We ride out the West Yellowstone gate to get home, but park signage says the way to Cooke City is open.

    Edit: Found this on the park website; we have always found the West gate open as well as the connecting roads to Tower Junction.

    https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm

    The only road open year-round to automobiles is from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through the park to Cooke City, Montana (via Tower Junction).
    Thanks for all the info! Yes ... the Gardiner entrance is where we expected to enter. We stayed in Gardiner a few times and have always wanted to stay at Chico Hot Springs Resort but never made it. My wife has been to Yellowstone / Grand Tetons at least one a year for the past 10+ years. I have been about 7 times. But we have never gone in winter. Well ... she has once about 12 years back with 2 girl friends. We assume most of the park roads are shut down. Thanks for all the great info.

    One question ... if I do drive .... based on the comments I assume to head home my only option would be back to Bozeman and then on I-90 east?
    Ed Apelian
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  2. #17
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Since you'll be driving right past it, I'd suggest a stop at Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. A lot quieter and another treasure . . .

    Voni
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  3. #18
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    Since you'll be driving right past it, I'd suggest a stop at Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. A lot quieter and another treasure . . .

    Voni
    sMiling
    Thanks Voni ! My wife and I spent 3 days there 2 years back. We loved it !! My favorite or all was the hike past "prairie dog city" !! I love those guys. Oh and the wild horses!

    We stayed in Medora which was really neat.

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    Ed Apelian
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsinnc View Post
    One question ... if I do drive .... based on the comments I assume to head home my only option would be back to Bozeman and then on I-90 east?
    Pretty much! When you leave you will need to go north out of the park. After that it depends on time and how adventurous you are, but if you are planning on heading straight back, I-90 east is about it. Summer time would allow more adventure, but I would be careful of the weather in the winter.

    Certainly, if you feel adventurous you can head east, then south into Wyoming and take any of the well traveled two lane roads, but weather might be the deciding factor. You could head down to Cody, it is a tourist hot spot in the summer. Chief Joseph highway is open all winter if you wanted to see some beautiful mountains in the winter, but you will have to double back as it is a dead end road in the winter. One good stop is the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum. Then from there you are limited by time, weather and road conditions.
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  5. #20
    Once (if) you go south to Cody the routes east from there go high over the Bighorn Mountains which is dicey if even possible in the winter, even though 14A, 14, and 16 are some of my favorite roads in the summer.
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  6. #21
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    Pretty much! When you leave you will need to go north out of the park. After that it depends on time and how adventurous you are, but if you are planning on heading straight back, I-90 east is about it. Summer time would allow more adventure, but I would be careful of the weather in the winter.

    Certainly, if you feel adventurous you can head east, then south into Wyoming and take any of the well traveled two lane roads, but weather might be the deciding factor. You could head down to Cody, it is a tourist hot spot in the summer. Chief Joseph highway is open all winter if you wanted to see some beautiful mountains in the winter, but you will have to double back as it is a dead end road in the winter. One good stop is the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum. Then from there you are limited by time, weather and road conditions.
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Once (if) you go south to Cody the routes east from there go high over the Bighorn Mountains which is dicey if even possible in the winter, even though 14A, 14, and 16 are some of my favorite roads in the summer.
    Totally agree on both counts. Thanks for confirming the basic option home is I-90. I have been through Cody a few times and stayed there as well, it is one of my favorites as is Rt.14 into Yellowstone. But agree with Paul that 1) roads east from there go pretty high up and 2) they may not be open. I love Chief Joseph too but assumed that was a nonstarter this time of year. And for sure weather will be a big factor.

    As of right now we have 2 first class tickets booked with miles so fully refundable if not used. I also have a AWD Rental car booked from Charlotte also fully refundable. So ... if weather looks good 3 or 4 days before departure I will make the drive and my wife will fly out and then ride home with me. If storms are brewing or it looks bad I will probably bite the bullet and fly.

    Thanks for all the guidance and responses.
    Ed Apelian
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