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Author Topic: Travel through Dinosaur National Monument and on to West Yellowstone  (Read 2573 times)
FrontSideBus
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« on: January 06, 2015, 08:15:00 PM »

Anyone travel from Vernal, UT to West Yellowstone, MT in a bus?  If so, what would be the best route?  By the way, I'll be traveling in July. 

I've figured out the following options.

1.  Head west to Salt Lake City on 40 and then north to Idaho Falls on 15.  Then head on up on 20.
2.  Head north on 191 to Rock Springs, WY then on to Jackson and then through Yellowstone to West Yellowstone.
3.  Head north towards Rock Springs on 191, but then head west on 43/414/412 when we get to Flaming Gorge.  Go on up to Kemmerer, WY and then after that head west for a bit on 30 and go north on 30/89.  So far this is my preferred route. 
4.  Google says to go up 191 through Rock Springs and on to Jackson but then head west over Teton Pass.  I was told this was NOT the route to go. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

-Mike
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gumpy
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 06:38:09 AM »

Without knowing more information such as what kind of bus, what's your driving experience level, it's difficult to answer.

I have not personally been on 191 but I looked at it on Google maps and I would not hesitate to take it in my MC9. However,
if you don't have experience driving steep mountain roads or your bus is not in top condition, you could get yourself in trouble there.

My understanding is that Yellowstone is doubling the entrance fees this year to $50, so that might be a factor in your decision.

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Craig Shepard
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FrontSideBus
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 06:46:38 AM »

Thanks for your reply gumpy.  I have an MC9 and little experience driving something this big especially in the mountains.  As for the condition of the bus, it was well maintained but it is new to me.  However, as the weather has gotten cooler air leaks have been creeping up.  So far they have all been on the auxiliary side.  I plan on getting all of them addressed and the brake system checked out by a mechanic before the trip. 

I've have also been reading up a lot on how to drive a bus through the mountains to prepare.  I plan on driving through the NC mountains to practice a little.  There are two long steep grades not far from here that I plan on traveling on to get a feel for things. 
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 07:39:12 AM »

I would avoid Teton Pass. Going up the east side is almost 6 miles of 10% grade. Going down the west side is 3 miles of 10% grade followed by about 3 miles of 6-7% grade.  A couple of years ago we stayed at Henry's Lake State Park which is just south of West Yellowstone about 17-20 miles. Nice place and a lot cheaper than anything around the park. Spent several days there and when we left we wanted to go to Jackson. After looking at my Mountain Directory West book i opted to go up thru Yellowstone and then on down to Jackson even though it was a longer drive. Later on we took the jeep and drove up to the summit of the pass just to see how the road was. Only saw the east side of the pass but i was glad that i took the other route. The summit is at 8400 ft.
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 07:55:23 AM »

Yeah I was warned about Teton Pass specifically.  I've definitely ruled that option out!
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 04:32:09 PM »

I loved Teton Pass!  What a beautiful drive.  I drove it west bound a few years ago towing my jeep behind the bus.  Thanks to jake brakes I had cold brakes the entire way down the west side.  Those are definitely some steep hills, but very beautiful.
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gumpy
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 05:27:33 PM »

If you have little experience in the bus, you should definitely avoid the mountains as much as possible. Especially the winding steep two lanes.
It's too easy to get in trouble, and the brakes on these buses leave a lot to be desired when coming down a 7%+ grade!

I haven't been on Teton Pass, either, but again, it's not something I would necessarily fear, but I have a lot of experience in the mountains.

I don't have jakes, but that's what 1st and 2nd gears are for.  

I've only seen one road I would be nervous about with the bus, and that's 14A over the northern part of the Bighorns. I was over that on my
motorcycle a couple years ago and recall thinking I was glad I was not in the bus.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 05:29:58 PM by gumpy » Logged

Craig Shepard
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Miked
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 04:54:43 PM »

We have been through the area several times, and have opted for the Salt Lake City alternative every time. I don't enjoy the traffic around SLC, but I enjoy taking "BoB" (the Big ol' Bus) over 2 lane mountain passes even less...and yes I have done it. +1 for Henry State park. It's a bit of a drive to get into Yellowstone, but not that bad. Or if you really want to stay close to the West Gate, Grizzly RV Resort is top notch and just about 2 blocks from the Gate itself. We have stayed at both, just depends on how you want to structure your visit & what you want to prioritize to see. Make sure you stop & spend a little time at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center there in West Yellowstone. It's only a block outside the West Gate and we enjoyed it a bunch. Tickets were good for 2 days the last time we were there, and we wound up going back for the second day. We missed it the first 2 times we were at Yellowstone. Good stuff!!

If you don't have experience in mtn driving, the best advice I ever got was to make absolutely sure that you decend the pass in the same gear that you climbed it. As you crest the pass, back out of the throttle & slow down a bit. You will have ample opportunity to pick up speed as you decend if you feel comfortable. Tougher to slow than to gain speed, obviously. Liberal use of the jake brake and judicious use of service brakes will get you down safely without a problem.

Enjoy your trip. The country and wildlife are beautiful.
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2015, 05:08:02 PM »



If you don't have experience in mtn driving, the best advice I ever got was to make absolutely sure that you decend the pass in the same gear that you climbed it.



When I still had my 6v92 and HT754 I found I had to descend the mountain in 1 gear lower than I went up if I wanted to be able to mostly stay off the brakes.  This was without jake brakes and at about 30,000 lbs.  For me cold brakes all the way down was my goal.  Others might have been more comfortable going faster and using the brakes more, but I wasn't.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2015, 06:21:58 PM »

Just keep in mind though that one side of a pass can be steeper than the other side or flatter.
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