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huntingislife

Fastest way to Yellowstone

19 posts in this topic

We are planning a trip to Yellowstone for august and are trying to figure out the best route to take. Mapquest takes me on I-94. I am so tired of that drive that I would prefer something different. How is I-90? What is the speed limit on it, I have never really traveled on it before. Thanks for the help guys.

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We are planning a trip to Yellowstone for august and are trying to figure out the best route to take. Mapquest takes me on I-94. I am so tired of that drive that I would prefer something different. How is I-90? What is the speed limit on it, I have never really traveled on it before. Thanks for the help guys.


Granted it's been over a decade and more since I made that drive... But I've done both...

94 then over Bear Tooth Pass is going to be the fastest, yet least interesting route.

Best "Family vacation" route...

I'd do it like this...

Leave on Friday night after work... Shoot down to pipestone or Sioux Falls.

If you're not overly pressed for time there's a decent little zoo in Sioux Falls...

But if not... Press on from there... on I-90...

Stop for Lunch in Chamerberlain... (Nice little town)

As you're heading along, wishing that Wal Drug would justs cease to exist... You can take the Bad Lands scenic drive south...

Yes this again adds more time... But it gives the kids something to see...

Drive in through the Badlands, and in through the needles... Stop for some scenic overlooks here and there... By nightfall you'll be in the black hills somewhere...

The next day, you can do the Rushmore thing on the way out...

Then shoot into Wyoming... Stop at Devil's Tower...

Depending on the time you make, you might just be able to make it into Cody for the night...

From Cody it's not far into Yellowstone, for the Monday morning...

Then you can spend till Friday in Yellowstone... Leave Friday Morning... Take the Montana I-94 fast way back home.

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I've taken both routes. We went out from MPLS via I-94, and came back via I-90. Going the southern route (I-90), you lose the interstate at Buffalo, WY or Sheridan, WY (unless you continue up I-90 to Billings, which out of the way).

The drive through the Big Horns from Sheridan is very scenic. You can also stop in Cody, WY and go through their Wild West museum. They have over 3000 guns on display!

If you travel via I-94 through Billings, you must go through Red Lodge and the Beartooth Pass (very scenic), which takes you into the park through the Lamar Valley, which has a lot of wildlife.

The two routes are quite different. I would recommend taking a different route each way.

Hope this helps.

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If you do make it to Cody, you can go about 15 miles or so north of Cody and catch up the the Chief Joseph Highway, it's a beautiful drive, hairpin curves, steep drops and big valleys. It will catch backup up with highway 212 that you would take from Red Lodge to Yellowstone, you'll go thru Cooke City and Silver Gate and still hit the Lamar Valley.

Awesome stuff........

Mike

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It will just be me and my gf, so no kids. We dont plan on doing much on the way there. Probably just drive straight through since we are meeting people there. I am just thinking that the extra time might be worth it on I-90 because I have done the Mpls to Bismarck drive a million times and would dread that part of it. How much extra time am i looking at...an hour?

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The extra time would be worth taking a route you don't dread. What do you have lined up for fishing? Just Yellowstone or surrounding area? Camping or lodging? You lucky SOB, I haven't been out West in 2 years - wishin ya the best.

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I-90 is nothing to brag about, i feel the two interstates are very similar in scenic value (not much) until you get to montana or wyoming. If i were going straight through i would take 94, a few stops take 90. Just my $.02

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I just returned from the Black hills. I-90 is similar to 94, but I feel the same as you about 94 after repeated trips.....BORING! There was some minimal road construction in South Dakota (bridge repair) but nothing that will slow you down much. The speed limit is 75 border to border except near the bigger towns. I ran about 78 and never had a problem.

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Hey Huntigis, just as a friendly note: if you are down to calculatin savings of "an hour" you are going about life all wrong. Trust me on this one. Either way to Y'Stone is okay. Take 90 out and 94 back. But most of all you gotta learn to cool down a bit. Relax. Enjoy. wink.gif

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Hey Huntigis, just as a friendly note: if you are down to calculatin savings of "an hour" you are going about life all wrong. Trust me on this one. Either way to Y'Stone is okay. Take 90 out and 94 back. But most of all you gotta learn to cool down a bit. Relax. Enjoy.
wink.gif


Well the original plan was to fly but that changed, so now that we are quadrupling our travel time(thus shortening our vacation) I am hoping to make it as short as possible. Plus I have seen enough of SD and ND that I dont need to stop and check it out. Just need to keep the bus rolling...

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Maybe go through SD first and then decide which one we want to take on the way home. I knew you guys could help me out.

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My .02

Having lived in central ND for about 15 years I am very familiar with your thoughts driving thru there. This is what I would do. You did say you where driving straight through, right?

I'd try to hit Fargo around 8:00pm, and get most of ND and eastern Montana through the windshield at night. I have made the trip a few times myself and no matter how you go, 75% of the trip is boring. Do yourself a favor and save the last part of the trip for daylight.

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In the back of your mind remember the Sturgis Bike Rally is the first full week of august ,,,You wont find a room within 50 miles if not more in the black hills area ,,,camping shouldnt be to hard but its noisy 24 hours a day in the whole area during the rally

Randoid

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In the back of your mind remember the Sturgis Bike Rally is the first full week of august ,,,You wont find a room within 50 miles if not more in the black hills area ,,,camping shouldnt be to hard but its noisy 24 hours a day in the whole area during the rally

Randoid


When I was 14 on family vacation we got a room in Spearfish (Just over the big hill from Sturgis) at a nice family hotel... Didn't see a single "No Vacancy" Sign.

Went to Sturgis, and had a real eye opener of a time!

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From MPLS take 169 south instead of I35.

It will become Hwy 60 all the way to Worthington, it's 65mph most of the way and will save you 45 minutes from driving I35 to I90 in Albert Lea then go west.

As an "entertainment" going toward the Black Hills count how many Wall Drug signs you can see.... grin.gif

And ....DON'T stop at Wall Drug

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Quote:

In the back of your mind remember the Sturgis Bike Rally is the first full week of august ,,,You wont find a room within 50 miles if not more in the black hills area ,,,camping shouldnt be to hard but its noisy 24 hours a day in the whole area during the rally

Randoid


When I was 14 on family vacation we got a room in Spearfish (Just over the big hill from Sturgis) at a nice family hotel... Didn't see a single "No Vacancy" Sign.

Went to Sturgis, and had a real eye opener of a time!


That may have been the case 15 years ago or better the Millenium rally estimate stated that there was 1,200,000 bikers were in the area for the rally ,,,typical attendance prior to that was around 300,000,,,with all the RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers) that purchased Harleys normal attendance has been around 500,000,,,Im sure the price of gas will keep some away (myself included) ,,I hope you have good weather and a safe trip

Randoid

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Matt:

Email sent.

Joel

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Val- Thanks for the tip. I thought most of those roads would be 55. It will be nice to shave 45 minutes off.

Joel- Email replied

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There is only a stretch of approx 15 miles at 60mph, the rest is all dual lane at 65mph

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I'll second that! Thats the route I took a few weeks ago.

Better than 35 by a long shot. Just watch your speed by the small towns....they like city folk passin thru!

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