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Old 05-17-2019, 06:01 AM   #1
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West Yellowstone to Cody

We will be staying at Henry's Lake Campground just outside of West Yellowstone for 7 days starting on May 30th. When we leave we are going to Cody for 5 days. I would like to know if I should drive through Yellowstone or go around to the north. I am pulling a 36' 5ver with a longbed dually. I have read that driving through can be a real PITA but it is the shortest route.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:19 AM   #2
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West Yellowstone to Cody

Iíve Driven through there many times. Never thought it to be that bad. Sometimes the traffic a bit slow if the buffalo want to use the road.

Russell
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:45 AM   #3
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I'd go straight through Yellowstone. Even with bison rush hour, it's still the fastest way.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:58 AM   #4
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I agree with the advice but I would plan for a very long day.

I wanted to see a bit of Yellowstone when I had to get from Hardin to Butte, so decided to dip in. Saw some great things but it took a LONG time to get through. Cars stop when they see any live nonhuman creature and stay stopped, blocking the road, until it moves.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:39 PM   #5
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Yellowstone thru.

We stayed at valley view RV and laundromat it was a good place to stay but it was cash only we stayed seven days and drove into Yellowstone those days. We drove from West Yellowstone to Cody Wyoming and it wasnít a bad trip but coming out of those mountains itís a long way down we have a 32 ft class C towing a CRV . Now when you get in Cody make sure you go to the Buffalo Bill wild West museum and try to catch a rodeo
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:14 PM   #6
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First thing you learn out there is that the pace of traffic thru the park is very slow.

Vacationers stop for everything. 30 miles is a long way. Hours. several.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:00 PM   #7
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I visited Yellowstone in August 2016 staying at Henry's Lake State Park, Idaho. I found out real fast that if I wanted to see anything in the park without having to wait in line whether it be traffic or otherwise, you have to be an early bird. The majority of people, at least 95%, go into the park after 9 AM and leave by 4 PM. My first attempt at seeing Old Faithful was at 11:00 AM, I could not even find a parking place. The next morning at 7:30 AM, I had my choice of parking, a couple with two small children from France, another couple with no children and I were the only ones viewing Old Faithful during its beautiful show. If you want to tow a camper through Yellowstone, leave early, enter the park just as daylight begins, with enough light to see large animals in the road. Have fun and be safe, there is a lot to see and enjoy.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:06 PM   #8
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Did that trip with a 40' 20,000 lb 5ver. No problem. You didn't say what tow vehicle you have but with my Cummins exhaust brake it was a breeze.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:14 PM   #9
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West Yellowstone to Cody

Yes it is best to leave very early and be sure to go to Buffalo Bill's original Irma's Bar and Restaurant and Hotel. You can even stay there overnight. The Prime Rib at Irma's is all you can eat and the breakfast buffet is super. Also try the Blueberry Pie the best and biggest I have ever had and I have eaten some pie in my day! There is a gunfight every night maybe more than one around 6 I believe outside of Irma's on the side street. The dress and actors look so real. Also there is a Rodeo every day from June thru August usually in the early evening. Lots of fun also have small kids riding and roping. Before you come into Cody stop and take a tour of the Dam there! The conditions were awful they had to work in to get it built! Have Fun!!
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:18 PM   #10
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I agree with Walholler, get started eary (as soon as there's enough light if you can manage it). We were there last year and got around easily early in the day but by afternoon, in many places the road was a parking lot with so many cars and people stopping. I also second seeing the museum in Cody - it's great!
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:23 PM   #11
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West Yellowstone to Cody

Last summer we traveled from West Yellowstone to Cody, pulling our 43' 5th wheel with our 2018 F350 diesel dually. No problems. We encountered a small traffic hold up on the east side of the park courtesy of a buffalo going uphill in the passing lane!
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:20 PM   #12
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From reading all the replies and suggestions looks like going straight through is the way to go, even knowing that I will probably get stuck in traffic. For the person that asked I pull with a 2003 Silverado Longbed Diesel Dually. Are there any grades that I need to be overly concerned about being a flatlander from Florida?
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RickV View Post
From reading all the replies and suggestions looks like going straight through is the way to go, even knowing that I will probably get stuck in traffic. For the person that asked I pull with a 2003 Silverado Longbed Diesel Dually. Are there any grades that I need to be overly concerned about being a flatlander from Florida?
Yes straight through is likely the quickest and scenic but you will need to pay and wait at the gate in the morning (30-60min maybe) Also be aware of construction. They make 1 lane and caravan through with delays posted at ranger stations. Road construction and closures are here https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

Speed limits in the park are slow so you will not have issues with the grades. There are a few short 6% grades but not for extended periods. I posted a pdf map with rough expected travel times in the park. It was accurate without construction. It also provides pass information as an fyi.

Cody was great. Stay in buffalo bill state park. Great views and 5min form cody.

From buffalo bill state park to fishing bridge took a few hours. We left about 9am and got there about noonish. We were not in a hurry. Figure 3-4 hours though the park because of animals and construction (they post construction delays on the boards at the gate too) so maybe 6-8 hour day is likely. Fill up before you get into the park...gas is not cheap in the park and not a lot of room at all the pumps.

Steeper grades to avoid if you are a flatlander is bighorn mountains on hwy 14 and 16 east of the park. Doable and beautiful but I would not do it again with a trailer. 8% grade for 20+miles....stress for an hour for me though with engine air brake it would be better. Also will want to steer clear of the NE entrance but that would not be in your path.

Best of luck!Park-Map-with-mileage.pdf
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:34 PM   #14
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I would drive straight through but leave early to avoid traffic. I actually went from Cody to Yellowstone in mid September and got snowed on at the higher altitudes. Given you're gong in May, the crowds shouldn't be that bad yet. Buffalo Bill SP is actually a nice place to spend the night. We camped at North Shore CG with plenty of pull through sites. Take the time to visit the dam there. Take your time going through Yellowstone and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:24 PM   #15
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Yes straight through is likely the quickest and scenic but you will need to pay and wait at the gate in the morning (30-60min maybe) Also be aware of construction. They make 1 lane and caravan through with delays posted at ranger stations. Road construction and closures are here https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

Speed limits in the park are slow so you will not have issues with the grades. There are a few short 6% grades but not for extended periods. I posted a pdf map with rough expected travel times in the park. It was accurate without construction. It also provides pass information as an fyi.

Cody was great. Stay in buffalo bill state park. Great views and 5min form cody.

From buffalo bill state park to fishing bridge took a few hours. We left about 9am and got there about noonish. We were not in a hurry. Figure 3-4 hours though the park because of animals and construction (they post construction delays on the boards at the gate too) so maybe 6-8 hour day is likely. Fill up before you get into the park...gas is not cheap in the park and not a lot of room at all the pumps.

Steeper grades to avoid if you are a flatlander is bighorn mountains on hwy 14 and 16 east of the park. Doable and beautiful but I would not do it again with a trailer. 8% grade for 20+miles....stress for an hour for me though with engine air brake it would be better. Also will want to steer clear of the NE entrance but that would not be in your path.

Best of luck!Attachment 204840
Thanks for the info and the map It will come in useful. We have been on the road since early March and will probably ride hard for home when we leave Cody.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RickV View Post
We will be staying at Henry's Lake Campground just outside of West Yellowstone for 7 days starting on May 30th. When we leave we are going to Cody for 5 days. I would like to know if I should drive through Yellowstone or go around to the north. I am pulling a 36' 5ver with a longbed dually. I have read that driving through can be a real PITA but it is the shortest route.
Through the park and out the east entrance . you won't have any issues .
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:08 AM   #17
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Just wanted to thank everyone again for their replies. Went straight through no real issues except my exhaust brake was having problems releasing and I was rolling coal at times on the people behind me . We are in Western Nebraska now and slowing working our way home. We are questioning the logic about going home to 90 degree weather and 100% humidity. We have discussed maybe heading up to the mountains in Western North Carolina after we spend a few weeks home.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:14 AM   #18
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Drive through. Go early. I always used to see moose in Shoshone Canyon
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:43 AM   #19
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Might want to check out the Cody Trolley Tour. It's just an hour long but will show and tell you more of/about Cody than on you own. It picks you up and delivers you back to Buffalo Bill Center of the West which is also interesting. I think the ticket price is for both venues. It was a very nice experience. Through Yellowstone is the better route to Cody. last trip we stayed at Absaroka Bay RV Park but there are others.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:25 AM   #20
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I have been going to Ystone since 1955. I drive through in the summer, but go in spring and fall to visit the Park. Babies in the spring, elk rut in the fall.
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