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Old 01-20-2023, 07:37 PM   #1
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Trip to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier

We are located in northwest Ohio and are planning a trip to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the Badlands. What is the best time of year to travel? We are considering traveling in May. We heard that some roads may be closed in the National Parks in early May. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2023, 08:09 PM   #2
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I think may is too early for Glacier and probably too early for much hiking in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We did a similar trip in June/July and had great weather.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdrdwd...57668265484464

Years ago while tent camping we have had snow in Yellowstone in August (not normal).
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Old 01-20-2023, 08:12 PM   #3
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I don't think Going to the Sun Road in Glacier will be open much before Memorial Day. We have been there in early June and it was still closed. Yellowstone may not open until June also. The Tetons and Badlands should not be a problem in May.
I have been through all of those locations in May and June a couple of times.
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:03 PM   #4
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I lived south of Yellowstone many years ago. Soda Springs Idaho.

The crew had a big barbecue thing going Memorial Day. The goats were in the ground the night before. We were going prairie chicken hunting in the morning. I was surprised when I opened the door. There was three inches of snow on the ground.

I asked the guys, when does it not snow here. The answer was hardly ever!

North of Jackson’s hole the back roads open in June. Near us the mountain trout fishing opened in July. Roads were an issue.

Temperatures swing 40 degrees commonly. Heat at night. Ac in the afternoon.

Stall till June. The places you describe are otherworldly.

The badlands has a lot to do. Cool place. We stayed near Crazy horse.
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:29 PM   #5
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We are located in northwest Ohio and are planning a trip to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the Badlands. What is the best time of year to travel? We are considering traveling in May. We heard that some roads may be closed in the National Parks in early May. Any advice is appreciated.
You should probably start in the Badlands and see what's open in the other parks from there.
Most of the Yellowstone campgrounds aren't even open til the end of May https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
Conditions in Grand Teton will probably be similar to Yellowstone.
We traveled to Glacier in late July and the roads had just opened.

I think all of those parks have 'current weather conditions' on their websites. The also have alerts as to road conditions in the park. Their 'plan you trip' tabs have lots of useful information.
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:43 PM   #6
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Last spring Going To The Sun Road in Glacier did not open until July 14. There seems to be a good number of storms in that part of the country so far this winter so I would plan any trip to Glacier for something closer to July, if you are traveling that far you don’t want miss Logan pass. Going to Badlands. Teton, Yellowstone and ending with Glacier would be a good plan IMO.
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Old 01-21-2023, 09:07 AM   #7
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Last spring Going To The Sun Road in Glacier did not open until July 14. There seems to be a good number of storms in that part of the country so far this winter so I would plan any trip to Glacier for something closer to July, if you are traveling that far you don’t want miss Logan pass. Going to Badlands. Teton, Yellowstone and ending with Glacier would be a good plan IMO.


And a trip over Beartooth Pass.
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Old 01-21-2023, 09:38 AM   #8
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It is SUPER PACKED. Be sure whatever is towing your rig is road worthy It will challenge your cooling system. Miles of slow stop and go traffic Storms with big hail very common in the summer

Myself if you tow, Id park/stay off the park, and cruise those parks in my tow vehicle
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Old 01-21-2023, 11:37 AM   #9
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May is a great time to be there. The crowds are thin. You get to see all the wildlife babies. My favorite are the bison calves, all red and zooming all over the place. Elk calves, moose calves, young bear cubs.

There can be some risk with the weather. Be ready to have a layover day. Don't start too early in the morning. Be ready for some cold weather. The only time as good to be in that country is the Fall.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:52 PM   #10
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You have two options, one being a good time to visit locations you mentioned at the most favorable weather time of the year, or, when will these places be less packed solid with folks doing the same as you!

My DW and I visited Jackson and The GT on the way to YS last June. The first week in Jackson etc and then June 9 for four nights in YS. Jackson and the Tetons were a perfect time to go with temps in the 60s to low 70s and not jam-packed. Yellowstone was wet and cold and we were evacuated on June 11 with the well-publicized 500-year rainfall. Yellowstone Lake was frozen solid up to about June 4-5. You have to remember that some parts of YS are over 10K feet up! Driving around the park you will cross over the Continental Divide several times a day.

I don't foresee us ever making a trip back to YS, however, if we did we would go at the same time of year before kids get out of school. As it was, there were times the roads got clogged with tourists stopping and blocking traffic to stare at wildlife. This happened a couple of times when during the evac when we had to travel from Fishing Bridge CG in YS to the West entrance/exit, over 40 miles away at dusk trying to get out of the park before night fall and the potential large animals on the roads!
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Old 01-26-2023, 01:13 PM   #11
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We are located in northwest Ohio and are planning a trip to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the Badlands. What is the best time of year to travel? We are considering traveling in May. We heard that some roads may be closed in the National Parks in early May. Any advice is appreciated.
we went in the middle of August to Bad Land to Mount Rush to Divel Tower to Gand Teton to Yellowstone 30 days . started in Toledo .
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Old 01-26-2023, 02:41 PM   #12
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We are located in northwest Ohio and are planning a trip to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the Badlands. What is the best time of year to travel? We are considering traveling in May. We heard that some roads may be closed in the National Parks in early May. Any advice is appreciated.
We went to Yellowstone last year in mid-May a left just before they closed the park due to lots of rain and flooding. Had a wonderful time. It did snow while we were there so bring winter gear. We wanted to avoid summer crowds and we did. We will return this year about first of June for 10 nights. Went to Glacier last year as well and the Going to the Sun road was closed to through traffic. Logan Pass gets many feet of snow. Asked a Ranger when the pass would be opened and she smiled and said probably not until July. Probably the same this year or maybe not open the road at all.

Also went to Badlands and Custer and Mt Rushmore. All great stops.

Enjoy you trip.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:07 AM   #13
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Agree, anyone that hasn't visited Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Badlands, and the whole region of the Black Hills of So. Dakota is missing out. Beautiful and a lot to do!
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Old 01-29-2023, 11:04 AM   #14
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Going to the Sun is just a crummy dirt road with a lot of traffic. It is no big deal not to drive it.
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Old 01-29-2023, 04:35 PM   #15
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Going to the Sun is just a crummy dirt road with a lot of traffic. It is no big deal not to drive it.
Hahaha!
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Old 01-30-2023, 11:36 AM   #16
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I have been going to Yellowstone since 1955. The first and best National Park in the world. I have only been to Glacier once, but it was hard to find a place to park. If I ever go back there it will be the east side over by Browning, MT.

The Tetons are a great mountain range but Jackson Hole is over run with tourists from the East and Midwest. We used to call it Aspen Hole when I lived in Wyoming.

Going in the shoulder seasons gets you away from the crowds. It is a totally different experience. The weather can be variable, but that is all part of living in the northern Rockies.
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Old 01-30-2023, 11:44 AM   #17
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ppine, love the term "shoulder seasons"!

As I opinioned earlier we hit Jackson and the Tetons at the end of May and it was perfect.
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Old 01-30-2023, 11:50 AM   #18
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Congratulations to you Sherman12 for exercising good judgement.
I am currently planning my next camping trip which will be in late Feb.
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Old 01-30-2023, 07:53 PM   #19
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One major concern is be sure to have reservations for Glacier to enter the park. If you plan on staying outside of any of the parks be sure you have campsite reservations.

Yellowstone may have the same reservation requirements etc.
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Old 01-30-2023, 09:13 PM   #20
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Yellowstone tip

We stayed in Grizzly CG in W Yellowstone. Our secret to enjoying YS was to enter the park around 6am. Old Faithful does care what time it is. This is also a better time to see wildlife. Just look for cars pulling over and you’ll find all kinds of nature’s beautiful beasts.
Enjoy.
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