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Wyoming
June 1998
This page edited: 05/08/10 11:07 AM

Trip to Wyoming, June 1997
Denver, Cheyenne, Medicine Bow Mountains, Rawlins, Jackson, Grand Teton NP,
 Yellowstone NP, Bear Tooth pass, Red Lodge, Cody, Thermopolis, Casper,
Cheyenne, Evergreen CO, Denver

SUMMARY
Driving distance: 1443.7 miles
Driving time: 26 hours, 46 minutes

 

My trip took me from Denver, through Cheyenne, Medicine Bow Mountains, Rawlins, Jackson, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, Bear Tooth pass, Red Lodge, Cody, Thermopolis, Casper, Cheyenne, and back to CO through Evergreen (where I went to a wedding) and back to Denver.  1700 driving miles.

Some of my impressions

The Grand Tetons are very impressive, rocky and towering, like mountains should look.  Jackson Hole is overly touristy, but the scenery around there is interesting and worth exploring.  I hiked around String Lake (next to Jenny Lake).  Nice area but uncomfortable hiking by myself, with food in my backpack, in bear country.  Cold, rainy and cloudy for most of my time there.

Teton Village: I didn't understand this.   Bars, restaurants, and gift shops in the middle of a big parking lot next to a skiing area.  The lifts/gondola that also run in the summer, were disabled by lightning.

Yellowstone: I would not go again at high season.  Way too many cars, RVs, and people. Lots and lots of pine trees, half of which are like fields of gray telephone poles from the fires of 1988.  Some bears, moose, elk, bison. The thermals (Old Faithful) were sort of worth seeing (with 5000 other people).  The terraces at Mammoth were interesting.  Gardner, MO is a nothing town at the north entrance where I stayed one night.

Gardner to Red Lodge: This drive was Beautiful, interesting, and free of the massive crowds in the rest of the park..  "Tower/Roosevelt" is a cabin resort (operated by park concessionaire) that I would book.  Rustic and remote in a very attractive setting. Book 1 year in advance. The Lamar valley was very scenic.  Cars were stopped along the road to watch Grizzly's in the distance.  Bear Tooth Pass is above the tree line with 5 foot drifts of snow on each side of the road.

Cody: Ho hum.  Tourist hotels.  Buffalo Bill museum.  I drove a little of the road west of Cody, and that looks like an interesting canyon drive to do some day.

I stayed one night in Thermopolis.  Another Anachronism.  Was once famous for it's "rejuvenating" hot springs.  The hot springs are in a state park, where concessionaires operate deteriorating baths (and swimming pools) built in the 60's, that are in need of renovation. To me, just a lot of stinky water.  Worth a quick stop and a look only.

 South of Thermopolis is a winding canyon drive that is scenic and interesting.

 Most of the rest of Wyoming is big county, big sky, rolling hills, small towns, sage brush and cattle.

 

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