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Discussion Starter #1
We are planning a trip to Yellowstone in mid Sept staying in West Yellowstone and have a few questions.

Is mid Sept a good time to go as far as weather and crowds ?

How long will it take to go through the park to run Beartooth and Chief Joseph Highway ?

How long of a drive is Cody from West Yellowstone ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We just got back from an 8 day trip to southern Utah & AZ. It was great !

We are trying to decide if we want to do Yellowstone or the Rockies Gold/PODO ride.

We have reservations for Rockies but we are thinking we might like to do Yellowstone instead.
 

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dunno about sept but we camped there at the end of august and our water froze. Anything at altitude might be kinda chilly.
 

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YELLOWSTONE in September

You can have hard frost or snow in the morning and 80 by mid afternoon.

Crowds will be small.

I suggest two days to see the two parks minimum. There is so much to see. It just depends how hard you want to work for the reward.

Park roads are slower speed limits and strictly enforced. Figure 45 maximum average plus stops for viewing the sites. Check hours on gates if you plan to be very early or very late.

All the roads you mentioned are great cycle roads. I've driven them all many times.

PM me if you want more local road suggestions. I own a condo on the west side of the Tetons. PM me if you need a base for day rides.
 

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It's a roll of the dice but IMO it's well worth your consideration. The odds are in your favor for a wonderful time. I would much rather try it than sit at home, remember, take warm clothes and dress in layers.

Trips in the fall are the best, without question, NO families in mini vans cluttering our roads :thumbup:
 

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We once stayed in Yellowstone in September - and got snowed in. Well, not quite but the fresh snow on the road lasted till noon. (Good thing we are familiar with a bit of snow.)

Then we tried the Beartooth and had to turn around. I've posted this before the it is always good for a reminder:


THIS year we're doing Beartooth and Yellowstone in JULY. I'm expecting hot and dry.

There is one great thing about Yellowstone in September: you have a L-O-T less traffic to deal with.
 

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We once stayed in Yellowstone in September - and got snowed in. Well, not quite but the fresh snow on the road lasted till noon. (Good thing we are familiar with a bit of snow.)

Then we tried the Beartooth and had to turn around. I've posted this before the it is always good for a reminder:


THIS year we're doing Beartooth and Yellowstone in JULY. I'm expecting hot and dry.

There is one great thing about Yellowstone in September: you have a L-O-T less traffic to deal with.
We got snowed on July 13th 2010 in Yellowstone and The Bearstooth.
 

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From the west entrance to the east entrance via the north loop (Madison, Norris, Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, East entrance) is 83 miles. From West Yellowstone to Cody via the north loop is about 136 miles

From the west entrance to the east entrance via the south loop (Madison, Old Faithful, West Thumb, Fishing Bridge, East entrance) is 95 miles. West Yellowstone to Cody via the south loop is about 148 miles

The distances are according to the Yellowstone map put out by the National Park Service. Cody is 53 miles east of the east entrance and it is a BEAUTIFUL ride.

The weather is unpredictable in September, snow should not be a problem but the weather is unpredictable. September is one of our favorite times of the year to be in the park. Most of the crowds have gone and the weather is cooler.

Chief Joseph Highway should be open and Beartooth depends on the weather. I have seen warm weather is September and I have seen snow and cold in September, it all depends on what Mother Nature decides to do.

PM me if you need any further info, I try and get to Yellowstone as often as I can which is usually once a month when the park is open.
 

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I've been there that time of year, and it can be a coin toss. On the plus side, the crowds are reduced significantly once the kids are back in school and the weather may be beautiful. On the negative side, as others have pointed out, you may end up with cold or even snow. There is an airport just to the north of West Yellowstone, and one year my wife and I rented a car there for a couple of days and used it to tour the park because the weather was too treacherous for single track vehicles. I'd suggest a "contingency plan" just in case.
 

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We went 2 years ago in Sept. We had a great time. low 80's during the day and low 30's at night. We had a cabin and by the time we finished breakfast, it was starting to warm up nicely. The traffic was light and the roads were great. They do warn that it can snow at anytime.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the input everyone !

A couple of questions.

We are thinking of doing two full days out of West Yellowstone and then moving over to Cody for one full day of riding Beartooth & Chief Joseph then heading home.

Is that enough time to see a lot ? I know we can't see everything on one trip but we are limited on days.

Is it worth going in late Aug (missing the Sturgis bunch) and dealing with more traffic because of the kids out of school or keeping the mid Sept and chancing on the weather ?

Is Aug more stable as far as weather goes ?
 

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Yellowstone

I stayed in West Yellowstone late Sept last year. When I go out there again I won't stay in west Y, because riding out, in the morning, it was directly into the rising sun and coming back in the evening it was almost blinding. I need to spend a whole day in Cody itself. I'm not the museum sort, but the Cody museum got to me. I spent twice as long there as I intended to and didn't dare go into the gun display. Chief Joseph and Beartooth are reasons to go all by themselves. If you stay in cody there are two ways to ride to the park and you can count Beartooth as a third. The weather was good (in general) last fall, but still freezing in the mornings. Layering is one way to handle the possible temps, but when I made plans last year, early on I decided that good heated gear was a must. It will forever remain one of the best decisions I made concerning that trip. It allows for the worst case scenarios with a minimum of packing space used. I have a hard time having a good time if I'm cold.

Good luck with your decision,

Richard
 

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I go every year the weekend after Labor Day. No crowds and the weather is still OK. Chilly at night but nice after 9-ish. The Chief Joseph Highway is a must! I usually stay in Cody and then take the Chief Joseph Highway to the NE entrance and back through the park towards home. I don't do much hiking when I ride the park but you can see everything in a couple of days. If you have time go into Grand Teton Nat'l park.
 

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Schools and college start classes here in mid August, so the crowds might be a little less towards the end of August. The weather tends to start cooling sown in September but then again we have had snow 3 years ago in the Cody area on August 31, but it soon melted away. July/August are generally dry, but then again the weather is pretty unpredictable.

Cody is a neat area to explore and there are plenty of beautiful rides in the area. The Buffalo Bill museum is a must do, you might be in there an hour or all day depending on your interests. Cody is 53 miles from the east gate, so it is a 45-60 minute ride depending on what you see along the way. As you get closer to the park, watch out for wildlife on the road.

I am going in to Yellowstone Thursday with some friends, we are going to the Lake Inn for lunch, the weather is forecast to be decent with possible storms later in the day. I'll be on a 2010 Red Wing wearing a Red helmet, hope to see some of you along the way!!!!
 

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Cody is a great place to stay, we love it. Museum great, good food, and I'd ride Chief Joseph and 212 over to Red Lodge, have lunch and turn around and go back 3 days in a row - IT'S THAT GREAT OF A ROAD.

We went with Gerbings and now the cold is not a problem, but weather is Always unpredictable there. Go prepared for anything, including the pass being closed!

hope you have good weather!!
 
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