If anyone has questions on Jellystone, you can email me off-list at email@example.com. My wife does research there, and we have been going to the Park, winter and summer, for over 30 years, so we know the Park pretty well. Here are a few hints on camping: Most of the primitive campgrounds, like Indian Creek near Mammoth, and Pebble Creek, have the advantage that they are pretty small for "hard-siders", don't allow them to run their generators, and have special sites for motorcycle and bicycle campers (bear-proof storage containers), which tend to be open when all of the other sites are filled up. Otherwise, if you are planning to camp in the Park, it is best to camp outside the night before, and then hit the campgrounds in the Park at about 0930-1030 to find a recently-vacated spot.
When we went to Yellowstone in 98,2000 and 2001 we stay in restful accomodations.
MADISON HOTEL,MOTEL,GIFT SHOP - 139 Yellowstone Avenue.
Box 1370 West Yellowstne,Montana 59758
phone 406-646-9766 or reservations only 800-838-7745
Surprise low price it wasnÔÇÖt worth pitch tent in KOA and not too many people know about it.
Just take it ease; we planning stay one night this year on the way from Paonia.
IBA#11157, 48States Plus
2000 K1200LT 48Kkm
Deep in my heart Eagle's fly...
In 2001 I had good luck with our old friends at KOA. Nice thing about KOA's is that you can call ahead in the morning and make a reservation for that evening. There seem to be quite a few in the northern Rockies. Also, they often have a little spot that nobody can squeeze a class A motorhome into.
Re: Yellowstone. I showed up on the way home from Redmond with no reservation, and hit the main desk at the visitor's center about lunchtime. They had an early check-out, and some cancellations available. Unfortunately, you have to go to the reservation desk at the visitor's center in person, but the folks there told me they usually have some spots open up every day. But of course, it's a gamble.
To echo Chris' comment about the Madison Hotel/Motel/Giftshop/LiveBait, I've spent many pleasant nights in old motels in small towns, all of which were more comfortable than my tent. The AAA guide is helpful in finding some of the inexpensive, independent motels along the way.
I-84 to Boise.
Highway 21 to Idaho City. From Idaho City to Lowman it gets a bit twisty. Lowman over 7200 ft Banner Summit to Stanley. Left on Highway 75 to Highway 93 to Salmon over Lost Trail summit at 7000 feet north to Lolo, MT, Head west on Highway 12 and the famous "Curves next 77 miles" road. Highway 12 will take you into Lewiston. 95 north on the Idaho side to Coeur d' Alene, i-90 into Spokane. Or 195 north right into Spokane.
For those is a hurry, leave Boise on Highway 55 through Horseshoe Bend, McCall, New Meadows where you connect with Highway 95 through the Riggins canyon. When you reach White Bird, you have two options, Up the highway hugging the side of the hills, or through the town of Whitebird and up the old highway with its 78 hairpin turns in just a couple of miles. This was the original roadway until the early 80s. It reminds me a lot of the switchback roads of Europe. You connect back up with Highway 95 at the top of the hill. When you reach Grangeville, head into town and take Highway 13 into Kooskie. Another wonderful twisty road. Be cautious on the early part of 13. The road is old and the center is higher than the outer edges. You will grind off metal if you are going through the left handers at a high rate of speed. Head west on Highway 12, yes the same one that comes down from Lolo. This route follows a river into Lewiston. It helps keep the temps down a few degrees over the direct Grangeville to Lewiston route.
Keep in mind that much of southern Idaho is high desert. It will be cool in the mornings, and can reach 100+ in the afternoons. Carry plenty of water. The road out of Riggins runs next to the river in the bottom of a canyon. Midafternoons through there are like riding in a solar collector.
I would post pics of these routes, but I dont see an easy way to do that. If you have any questions, drop me a line!
This is the view south on Highway 95 just north of White Bird, the town, in Idaho. This is the area of the old highway, WHite Bird Hill, with the 70+ hairpin switchbacks. What a view!
Highway 12, Lolo Pass heading west from Missoula, MT to Lewiston, ID.
Highway 12 from Kooskia ID heading east to Missoula MT.
Somewhere along Highway 12 in Idaho heading west.
take a look at a pic one of my buddies, Richard, took...this is the kind of riding that is waiting for you at the Black Hills BMW Stampede. You can inquire and register for the rally at www.blackhillbmw.com Hope to see you there!
It's less than 2 months away!
Ah yeah that is what I am talking about...catch me if you can! I know you said "S" curves, but come on man that looks like way too much fun!
And another alternate route from I-80 in Wyoming. North on 191 from Rock Springs to Farson, Pinedale and Jackson Hole. From Jackson Hole to Idaho Falls to Arco and up Highway 83 to Challis, over Trail Creek Summit to Lolo, Highway 12 to Lewiston.
This is the view back toward Jackson Hole from the 8500 foot mark along Highway 31.
OOps....should be highway 93 into Challis, not 83.
Photo from May 29th, 2004. Looking south to the mountains on the south side of Stanley, ID as we approach from the north on Highway 75.