West Coast Trip - VTXOA
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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West Coast Trip

Planning a 14 day trip next summer from Alabama to Sturgis---Glacier National Park---Yellowstone---Grand Teton and back. Have been to Sturgis then Denver and back a few years ago but some others have not been to Sturgis. Not going during the Bike rally as too crowded at that time. We will be camping some and staying in a motel some. Looking for any must see places along the way that we might miss. I know it is a long way off but planning is part of the fun right? I found a Hwy 212 in Yellowstone that looked pretty good and want to ride road to the sun in Glacier. Plan to go in Mid June or Mid July. OK ready for the input


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 01:29 PM
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Great idea to start planning now! You can contact the state tourism departments along the way and they will provide a lot of info on what is available to see. Some will even provide booklets with discounts for food and room.


It has been a number of years ago now but one July 1st we were in Glacier at the top of the mountain after the ride up the Going to the Sun Highway, taking the hike to see a glacier when it started to snow. It was really coming down. We made our way back to the bikes eventually and the roads were wet but clear and as we decreased in elevation the snow changed to rain. But it was cold at the top.


There are a number of different sources you can go to for info but I would start at the internet with the National Parks and build my trip around them as you have identified Yellowstone and Glacier as important stops.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 06:14 PM
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212 is the Beartooth Hiway and not to be missed. Also 296(Chief Joseph Hiway) is not to missed either.
Check with Wyoming and Montana DOT's as to the opening dates for Beartooth as snow levels will dictate opening date, same with Going to the Sun road

In Cody, Wyo., take time to see the Buffalo Bill Museum, plan at least 4 hours to enjoy it. In Riverton Wyo. there's a nice casino on the reservation if you're into that. Also in Riverton, the Paintbrush Motel is very biker friendly and will give discounts on food in town(just show room reciept) Farson Mercantile in farson has great ice cream!!


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 07:12 PM
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How far to the west coast? If near the ocean, and it were me, I'd want to see a few things like the Pacific coast highway, the Redwood forest, Crater Lake, Snake River.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hoping to make it to the reword forest but don't know if time will allow it. Know that. We will see much along thruway that we did not know about.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 07:29 PM
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Been out that way a few times. There is a lot on the way there but you probably want to spend most of your time in the Black Hills and to the west.

You are very smart in planning early for the trip, especially Yellowstone. The above info gives good ideas. California might be a stretch depending on your riding style since you are looking at 1500 miles to the Black Hills and there is so much to see with Yellowstone and Glacier. However, just last summer at age 66, I made a motorcycle trip of 9,000 miles in 18 days (15 riding) and still saw a lot and still enjoyed a lot.

You might consider looping back home by way of SE Utah. It may be hot but if you prepare and dress properly with plenty of water it would be worth it.

July might be a better time for weather in Yellowstone & Glacier but more tourist families. One time while in a car during mid July we arrived in Yellowstone the day after one of the passes in the park had just reopened because of snow. In late July 2009 I rode through some very light flakes of snow in the same area.

If you want to stay in Yellowstone either camping or lodging you need to make reservations. The last time I had a very nice place in Canyon Village near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone but made reservations 9 months out. Once in a travel trailer we made reservations several months out. Even back in the mid 70s we had to pitch our tent the first night in overflow tent area.

212, Beartooth, is awesome. I went one way years ago by car then just a few years ago I left Yellowstone and ran it east. It is one of my all time favorite rides.

You might consider Devils Tower National Monument. Also, I have always found the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument interesting. So many fictional movies have been made of Custer and the battle it is good to find out the facts. Now they show not only where the soldiers fell but also where the Indians fell.

Going to the Sun Road in Glacier is another one of my favorite rides. In 1974 I traveled west to east in a car then just last August I rode east to west on my VTX then circled around on US 2 back to East Glacier. Even with the fires it was still a great ride. The tour buses slow you down some but they are always pulling off somewhere after a while but I just enjoyed the slow pace at a distance behind them.

May I recommend a Motel in East Glacier? Pine Mountain Motel, it is old, small, very clean, low priced, owner is very nice, and a very relaxing "court yard" for a lack of what to call their lawn with picnic tables. Food and drink are within walking distance. East Glacier is cheaper and less crowded than West Glacier.

You have so many choices. I love those kind of challenges. If you make it farther west a complete new set of choices open up. Yosemite's Tioga Pass Road is great. Sequoia National/Kings Canyon National Parks (Red Woods) are great too.

You make me want to go again but I have to concentrate on my bucket list this summer.

Enjoy yourself and be safe.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 08:11 PM
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Oh, you probably know this but get a national parks pass if you are going to visit more than 2 or 3. Some parks will let two motorcycles in on one pass others won't. It is good for the vehicle. If you are a senior (65 and over last time I checked) it is good for life.

My VTX as used on Race Tech site.I'm67 rode to 49 States+DC & 11 Provinces, 124k on my '07 Black Cherry VTX1300R w/aux tank, Race Tech Gold F&R,Mean City Cycle, Motolights, Glen's Light Bar w Rivco H-4 aux headlights w/SS Utra bulbs,Radiantz LEDs,Baron tach,Marlin therm&clock, PowerLet,Break-A-Way,K&N, IBA: 2xSS2000,12xSS1000,4xBB1500,2TX1000,NPT 29/76; Lake Superior Circle Tour
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 11:04 PM
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The Wind River Canyon near Thermopolis, WY is a very nice ride. Also, The Needles Parkway in South Dakota is an interesting ride as well. I would allow at least three days for Yellowstone alone.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thx for the input. When is the best time to both way to both avoid the larger crowds and the snow
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 09:58 AM
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Sounds like a dream trip to me. Post lots of pics here when you're back!



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