Posted by: cstrohmeyer | September 14, 2008

Camping Trip 2008, Yellowstone, Tahoe

Vacation 2008
We had our most recent trip to Yellowstone in August of 2008.Here is the basic itinerary of our trip:
Sugar Pine Point State Park

All pictures can be clicked to enlarge
Kids, Lake Tahoe, Sugar Pine PointWe started out on August 7 at about 4:30 am driving straight through to Lake Tahoe California, Sugar Pine Point State Park. We had reservations for her dating back to March of 2008 as this place literally sells out with in minutes of going on sell on the internet reservations site.
See: ReserveAmerica 1-800-444-7275.

This was a pretty camp site that was a short drive from a nice place to go swimming with some historical mansions to also tour. You can also walk to the lake form the campsite, but my girls found it to be a 45 minute walk.
We also met with Jodie’s sister Diane and Judy on Friday where we had a picnic by the Lake and took a tour of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion.

More Sugar pine Point State Park Campground Information

• Sites; 175 sites for tents or Motor homes up to 30 feet
• Piper water, flush toilets, coin operated showers (one location), dump station
• Fire grills, tables, and bear lock boxes provided at each site
• I HIGHLY recommend reservations for the summer season
• Open year-round, except no showers in the winter

Park City RV Resort

Park City Resort, aerial viewOn Saturday morning (again around 4:30 am) we hit the road for a long drive across Interstate 80 to Park City Utah (Jodie’s vacation time was cut short, so we had to compress).
This took us 11 plus hours in our Motorhome at about 65 mph; although our gas mileage was good due to a product I have been using for my business truck in trips to LA, it is by Lucas Oil and is called “Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant/Injector Cleaner”, this has helped my truck and now my Motorhome get 5% better mileage, which is worth the cost.
Resource link:
Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant/Injector Cleaner

Anyway, back to the trip. Park City RV Resort at the was renovated since our last visit back in the 1990s. They now have Pool/Jacuzzi and much nicer pads up top, although the lower sections are still in bad need of improvement and the access road to these is not safe for travel trailers or fifth wheel trailers.

There are still sites next to the river which are quiet and away from much of the noise from I-80 (which it is right off from at the turn off from Park City, except you bear North instead of South off the freeway exit at the Kimball Junction).
The River next to the campground offers fishing for trout as well. My only complaint is the lack of shade trees, so be prepared to use lots of sunscreen if you are outdoors much to block the sun’s light.

With time spent working on our now already breaking down Motorhome (transmission/overheating), we spent Sunday in Park City and road the coaster down the slope at Park City Ski Resort. Although expensive, it was worth the cost (at least this time).
We were also greeted with a wild thunderstorm on Sunday evening including very large hail and even a few funnel clouds that never made much below the cloud base.

Park City RV Resort

Grand Teton Park RV Resort

Family, Grand TetonsOn Monday morning (around 4:00 am) we left for Grand Teton RV Resort (stopping along the way to view the Tetons).
We were very disappointed with this place, although we had been here before. The pool was dirty, the Jacuzzi was not filled, the barb-q was not running, and management was simply rude. To top this off the price for one night was double what Park City RV was which was vastly better!!
Next time we will camp inside Grand Teton Nation Park and save our money!

Yellowstone National Park; Canyon Campground

Tuesday:

We left Grand Tetons around 5:00 as we wanted to stop along the way into Yellowstone so as to be more efficient with out time and fuel.
We toured the West Thumb Geyser Basin around 7:00 am and there was frost everywhere even though it was August!
Later we stopped at the Fishing Bridge Museum and then the Mud Volcano Area which was a favorite of the kids!
We arrived at the campground around 10:00 am and checked in. We were please to see a brand new Dump Station as well.

Family, Grand Canyon of the YellowstoneLater after lunch we visited the brand new Visitor center in Canyon Village; it is two floors and is simply awesome with many new exhibits that including display on volcanic eruptions over the history of time.

After this we toured the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area, although the road North side was closed, making everything extremely congested. We also had to make a longer hike to get to the brink of the lower falls as the trailhead was closed from the North Road (we hiked from the South Road)

Wednesday:

Geyser, Fountain Paint PotsOn Wed. we started out around 7:30 and visited the Fountain Paint Pots area, then the vast Upper Geyser Basin which includes Old Faithfull.
We started back visiting the Black Sand, Biscuit, and Midway Geyser Basins (me and Jodie really like the Midway Basin). The weather this day went from warm (about 70 F plus) around 12 noon to cool (upper 40s to low 50s), cloudy with some rain by 3 pm which is typical Yellowstone weather in august from past experience

Thursday

Black Bear in YellowstoneOn Thurs we visited the Lamar Valley hoping to spot some wolves, but missed seeing some by just a half an hour. It was still beautiful!
We looped around the north side and visited the museum at Mammoth Hot Springs which has a lot of history, art, and old photographs. We then visited the Hot Springs themselves.
We turned south and later saw a Black Bear on the road between Mammoth Ht Springs and Norris Geyser Basin.
Finally as the day got late, we visited the Norris Geyser Basin which is the hottest in the park, however things were rather dormant this time around with Echinus Geyser being inactive.

Friday

Bison, Yellowstone Hayden ValleyFriday was spent shopping, seeing things we missed at the new Canyon Visitor Center, seeing many more Bison on the road (often causing massive traffic jams as it was mating season and the male Bison were moving for no one!), and visiting sites around Yellowstone Lake.
Friday was also a nicely cool day only reaching into the high 50s.

More Canyon Campground Information

• Sites; 280 sites
• Flush toilets, water
• Fire rings, tables, bear boxes (at tent sites)
• Laundry, Showers (for a fee), and dump station at the check in area
• Reservations (recommended, although there is a waiting list for cancellations)
Reservations through Xanterra Parks 866-439-7375 or 307-344-7311

Bear World/ Village of the Trees RV Resort

On Saturday we left Yellowstone early (around 5:30) and visited Yellowstone Bear World in Idaho. The kids enjoyed this stop, although me a Jodie found it rather pricy for seeing a few bears and just a couple of Wolves, however as I noted the kids enjoyed it (including the well run petting zoo which included a Bull Moose that had been raised from a calf) so I guess that is all that counts!

Later we stopped for the night at Village of the Trees RV Resort (800-7779121) just off Interstate 84 (not too for west of the split from I-86).
This was a good price, for the amenities (if I recall about $30 per night with 6 persons)
This place had nice shade trees, cable TV, a VERY small pool, Jacuzzi, and nice store that actually brought food (including excellent pizza) to your rig.
The campground is also right off the Snake River which affords more recreation as well.

Idlewild Campground, Oregon

Idlewild Campground, OregonWe left Village of the trees around 7:30 am for our last stop in Central Oregon ( a long haul of about 9 hours if I recall correctly.
This campground is about 15 miles north of Burns Oregon (via west bound US 20 to north bound US 395).

This was a VERY quiet and pretty campground set among Ponderosa and/or Jeffery pines. This was also the least occupied campground of the trip with only about 15% fill as compared to most others that were full or nearly full. A nice treat was instead of Yellow jackets, flies, etc., this campground was filled with butterflies, which was really pretty. Also the price was right at $10 (albeit dry camping with vault toilets, but I really do not care as long as they are reasonably clean which they were). The water also appeared to come from a very deep well and was very cool and refreshing!

More Idlewild Campground Information

• Sites: 26
• Max RV length: 30 feet
• Amenities include water, vault toilets, fire rings, tables, most sites are reasonably level with about half good for an average RV
• No Reservations

Here is our video of our 2008 Yellowstone trip
(the kids filmed most of this, which is why the camera moves so much):

For more pictures of our trip, please visit this site:
Our Vacation pictures, 2008, Yellowstone, etc

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Responses

  1. […] cstrohmeyer wrote a fantastic post today on “Camping Trip 2008, Yellowstone, Tahoe”Here’s ONLY a quick extract […]

  2. Yellowstone is my favorite national park!


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