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Thread: Montana/Wyoming road trip

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Montana/Wyoming road trip

    Has anyone ever done this? If so, what was your starting point? Do van rental companies allow you to take their vehicles across state boarders, even if returning to the same location? I vaguely remember when using Wheelchair Getaways in California, they said I couldn't.

  2. #2
    About 5 years ago me and my father drove my aging Toyota Solara from the East Coast out west, and spent a few days in Yellowstone. If you sign up for the access pass you get free access to all national parks (Yellowstone has like a $40 entrance fee or something ludicrous, I'm not sure how much it is exactly, because I paid zero dollars. I was in my own vehicle, but you should be able to take any rental vehicle across state lines unless they specifically tell you not to... unless by "State" you mean it in the national sense, ie US and Canada... but even then I think the vast majority of rental companies will let you take their vehicles into Canada.

    Some interesting stuff out west, but there are also a lot of long, long drives. If you're driving from PA I wouldn't even think about it if you had less than three weeks. Also it can get chilly up in them there mountains. I think it was June when I was in Yellowstone and we were camping and woke up to snow on the ground.

  3. #3
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    If I ever did, I would fly west, and do a road trip starting/ending there.

  4. #4
    If you only want to do Yellowstone and parts of Montana (Glacier National Park?) then you would probably do best to fly into Bozeman, MT (about 90 miles from Yellowstone), but I couldn't find any rental wheelchair vans there on a Google search.

    Found one in Missoula, MT (265 miles to Yellowstone): http://www.am-mobility.com/van-rentals.html , and Billing, MT (130 miles from Yellowstone): http://www.accessiblevans.com/local/...air-van-rental . You would have to look into which of these has the best full-sized jet service, as it is unlikely you could get on a commuter plane. Your next bet would be Salt Lake City (325 miles to Yellowstone): http://www.accessiblevans.com/locati...air-van-dealer or perhaps Casper, Cheyenne, Jackson Hole, and Rock Springs, WY.

    In Glacier NP, the famous and historic Red Bus tours do have some accessible vans; you must book well in advance: http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/red-bus-tours.

    Keep in mind that there can be road closures due to weather, and snow can occur any time of year in Glacier, and most of the year in Yellowstone as well. There is information about lodging on both the websites for these national parks, as well as Grand Teton (just south of Yellowstone).

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  5. #5
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Thank you for that info! I'm almost thinking Salt Lake City might be the best starting/ending point based on airport size, van rental, etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tarheelandy's Avatar
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    My husband and I drove out to St. George last Oct for a race from Georgia. We had done the same to SLC race the year before. From St. George we drove to Yosemite, Sequoia and other NPs' along the way. Driving out there and coming back was 7K miles but we love road trips. I'm too chicken to fly since my accident so we don't mind driving my Sienna van the whole way(plus I have my h/c on top of van). We have already signed up for the St. George race again this year so we will make the trip again but instead of going to Ca. NP's we are going to head back through parks we haven't seen in UT and CO. We talked about swinging up from St. George to Montana because we too are dying to see Glacier NP, but I'm not ready to make the trek that far north out of the way and then head back south to Georgia. BYW, because we stayed in so many hotels last year, instead of staying in one place several nights, we had the WORSE hotel experiences ever! I guess the more you move, the more chances there are to find lousy hotel rooms.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tarheelandy View Post
    My husband and I drove out to St. George last Oct for a race from Georgia. We had done the same to SLC race the year before. From St. George we drove to Yosemite, Sequoia and other NPs' along the way. Driving out there and coming back was 7K miles but we love road trips. I'm too chicken to fly since my accident so we don't mind driving my Sienna van the whole way(plus I have my h/c on top of van). We have already signed up for the St. George race again this year so we will make the trip again but instead of going to Ca. NP's we are going to head back through parks we haven't seen in UT and CO. We talked about swinging up from St. George to Montana because we too are dying to see Glacier NP, but I'm not ready to make the trek that far north out of the way and then head back south to Georgia. BYW, because we stayed in so many hotels last year, instead of staying in one place several nights, we had the WORSE hotel experiences ever! I guess the more you move, the more chances there are to find lousy hotel rooms.
    Did you do the St George marathon?

  8. #8
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I curiously looked at Jackson, Wyoming. It would require connecting flights (of course), and there is a rental company out of Jackson Hole. Wondering how feasible this would be to do in 10 days (any more might be tough with work for my travel partner), but I was researching this rough itinerary (w/o looking at accommodations):

    Sunday: Fly into Jackson, rent van. Explore Grand Teton NP, leaving Tuesday evening. Drive approximately 3 hours to West Yellowstone.
    Explore YNP through Saturday, leaving Saturday to drive 4+ hrs to Butte by way of Livingston and Bozeman. Stay overnight. Leave early Sunday drive 4 hrs to GNP, stay until Wednesday (?), drive 8+ hrs GNP to Jackson. Fly out Thursday. Too ambitious?

    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    If you only want to do Yellowstone and parts of Montana (Glacier National Park?) then you would probably do best to fly into Bozeman, MT (about 90 miles from Yellowstone), but I couldn't find any rental wheelchair vans there on a Google search.

    Found one in Missoula, MT (265 miles to Yellowstone): http://www.am-mobility.com/van-rentals.html , and Billing, MT (130 miles from Yellowstone): http://www.accessiblevans.com/local/...air-van-rental . You would have to look into which of these has the best full-sized jet service, as it is unlikely you could get on a commuter plane. Your next bet would be Salt Lake City (325 miles to Yellowstone): http://www.accessiblevans.com/locati...air-van-dealer or perhaps Casper, Cheyenne, Jackson Hole, and Rock Springs, WY.

    In Glacier NP, the famous and historic Red Bus tours do have some accessible vans; you must book well in advance: http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/red-bus-tours.

    Keep in mind that there can be road closures due to weather, and snow can occur any time of year in Glacier, and most of the year in Yellowstone as well. There is information about lodging on both the websites for these national parks, as well as Grand Teton (just south of Yellowstone).

    (KLD)
    Last edited by landrover; 07-13-2018 at 02:55 PM.

  9. #9
    I think that would be fine, but I would avoid driving inside the parks after dark. Too many wildlife crossing the roads.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  10. #10
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I think my itinerary above would be 11 days. Don't know where I could/should cut out a day? I already think the 8 hrs+ drive from GNP to Jackson would be tough for my travel partner, and maybe an overnight in Missoula would be better (which of course would add a day).

    Of course the PIA will be finding hotels (in this case as many as 5) with beds that will accommodate a lift. Edit: I found 4 hotels thus far that had sleeper sofas. Am I safe to assume there'd be clearance under? The question would then be around?

    Spring Hill Suites, Jackson Hole (could use Marriott rewards)
    TownePlace Suites, Missoula (same)
    Cedar Creek Lodge, GNP
    Fairfield Inn, Butte (same)
    Last edited by landrover; 07-13-2018 at 04:07 PM.

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