Alternate routes in

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Mike W.
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:11 pm

Alternate routes in

Post by Mike W. » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:08 pm

Planning the vacation and might have a little more flexibility than expected. I'm seeing roads such as Flagg ranch and highways 22 and 26 into GT on the way to Yellowstone. Is there any special wow factor on them or are they just a different route. We'd probably be heading into West Y'stone for a night, then into the park for a few. I know, it seems like everyone but me is wow'd by GT, but we'd just be passing thru on the way to Yellowstone.



Doubledub
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by Doubledub » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:35 am

When you come in on 26, you start to get views of the Tetons as you are coming down out of the mountains. I find it one of the most beautiful views in the world. Certainly beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is a stunning view.



RikWriter
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by RikWriter » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:39 am

Don't come down 26 at night. I did that once, it wasn't fun.



billandkaren
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by billandkaren » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:47 pm

Flagg Ranch Road is very rough. I would not attempt it unless you have a strong 4-wheel drive.

Bill



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Mike
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:20 pm
Location: California

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by Mike » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:18 pm

What time frame are you planning on ? South entrance not clear of snow till around Mother's Day,I am not sure if they "close" Flagg Ranch or it closes itself by snow and probably not driveable till June.

Are you coming from the south(Salt Lake City)? if your spending your the first night in West Yellowstone your kind of doubling back by entering from the south,I would drive up the 15 and take US 20 to West Yellowstone and later exit through the Yellowstone south entrance and Tetons,better use of your time IMO

Driving 26 is all farm land to the town of Victor then a quick climb over Teton Pass or a longer route along the Snake River,both routes are scenic but not special or spectacular



Absarokanaut
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:19 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by Absarokanaut » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:28 am

Since nobody I know of refers to teton Pass as highway 26 I will logically assume you mean US 26/287 over Togwotee Pass from Dubois to Moran, WY. I have family with a Guest Ranch outside of Dubois and the south Absaroka Wall is my favorite place on earth.

The highway itself is in my obviously biased opinion the most varied transition of landscape of any highway in the Rocky Mountain West. A dozen miles East of Dubois at the border of the Wind River Indian Reservation you are right next to the Wind River with towering Red Badland Cliffs. Badlands continue into and around Dubois but you have incredible views of Both the South Absaroka Wall and the Northeastern Wind River Range. If you look at a map you will see these badlands are but a dozen or so lateral miles from the largest glaciers outside of Oregon.

10 miles West of Dubois you go around Stoney Point and the badlands fade and the magnificence of the Upper Wind River Valley unfolds. Be sure to look North from the pullout of the Union Pass Road. Here the magnificent Absarokas frame the true headwaters of the Wind River at the head of the Dunoir Valley. Continuing West the Pinnacle Buttes and Mt. Sublette ["Brooks Lake Cliffs"] increasingly resemble the Dolomites. If you have time for the 5 mile side trip to Brooks Lake DO IT. This stop was a favorite of T. Roosevelt and others on the Old Yellowstone Highway.

When you crest Togwotee the Pinnacles and the Cliffs of the Continental and Breccia Divides are enthralling. After about 7 miles of driving through a classic Greater Yellowstone sub-alpine meadows you come to the Togwotee Overlook just above Togwotee Mountain Lodge. Here it's more than easy to see why so many think this is the greatest first highway view of the Teton Range.

As you descend Togwotee down into Buffalo Valley the Tetons get closer and closer. If you take the back road down to Turpin Meadow Ranch you can skip a fair amount of highway taking the Buffalo Valley Road. NEar the Turpin Meadow Trailhead and the Ranch some of the best boondocking sites you will ever find are on the Buffalo Fork.

There are many serious reasons why TR and others saw to the Shoshone becoming the world's first National Forest. The forest's Wind River Ranger District East of Togwotee Pass offers some of the finest and most spectacular backroads you will ever find. Double Cabin, East Fork, Union Pass, Long Creek...it's a wonderful place on the southern end of the 48 states remotest wilderness.

Brooks Lake from the Bonneville Pass Road.

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Short hike along Brooks Lake west shore.

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Upper Jade Lake, a 2.4 mile hike from Brooks Lake

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Hiking the Badlands right above the town of Dubois.

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Hiking the Continetal Divide near Brooks Lake

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A bumpy, rocky back road near Dubois.

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On the Bridge of Brooks Lake Creek at the lake's outlet.

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On the road to the Glacier Trailhead of the Wind River Range looking at the Absaroka.

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Strolling the Breccia Divide above Togwotee Pass.

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The remotest mountains of the 48 States, Younts Peak and Thorofare Mountain on an easy/moderate dayhike of the Continental Divide near Brooks Lake.

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Double Cabin, one of the most spectacular roads you will ever drive.

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The Wind River Range from the Union Pass Road.

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Zackdog31
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by Zackdog31 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm

If you are asking whether to drive on the east side of the Tetons and in through the southern entrance of Yellowstone through Grand Teton National Park as opposed to up the western side of the Tetons up through Driggs and West Yellowstone, the answer is an emphatic YES. I don't know of anyone who has seen the Tetons who does not think they are gorgeous--there is a reason the national park is on the east side of the range rather than the west sode (and why the Idaho potato ad was shot on the Wyoming side of the Tetons instead of the Idaho side, but I digress). You have to make the drive regardless. Reward yourself with beautiful views!!!!



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TNBob
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Re: Alternate routes in

Post by TNBob » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:59 pm

Absarokanaut, Loved the great photos and shared information. Thanks!



Mike W.
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:11 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by Mike W. » Sat May 05, 2018 1:40 pm

Thanks for the input all, and it appears I should have been clearer. I'll be coming in from the west, not the east. :oops: Not til July so snow shouldn't be an issue. Shouldn't. I do have 4WD for getting to and thru places my car can't, but I'm not a hard core type nor is it a rockcrawler. My description by Hwy number is going off maps, not any local input, but that's all I've got.

Sounds like 26/287 to the east might be worth a detour sometime, but not this trip, I'm locked into places and times that eliminate it. Is the scenery as good heading east or is it just as you're coming in heading west?



yellvet
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Alternate routes in

Post by yellvet » Sat May 05, 2018 11:42 pm

Mike, if you're coming from SoCal here's the fastest route to West Yellowstone. Been taking this route twice a year for the past 3 years. Take I-15 north and drive to Idaho Falls, ID. Then take Hwy 20 north out of Idaho Falls to West Yellowstone. Hwy 20 runs along the west side of the Tetons and takes you right into West Yellowstone. There are only a few places where you might encounter some snow because of the high elevation: in the UT high country near Beaver, UT (north of St.George on I-15), the area north of Salt Lake City in the Wasatch Mtns. and driving through the Targhee Pass on Hwy 20 in ID. Just keep in mind that when you get above 5000 feet in elevation, you can get snow any month of the year. For that reason, you may want to watch the extended weather forecast for Beaver and Salt Lake City, UT, Island Park, ID and West Yellowstone, MT. It's best to have a 3-day window of good weather. I've found that the best travel days for making the drive to West Y. from CA are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I-15 and Hwy 20 are truck routes but the traffic isn't bad at all if you make the drive mid week. Both roads are very well maintained. If you're coming from northern CA, your best bet would be to take I-80 East and then pick up Hwy 20 in ID. You might want to check the CA, UT and ID road construction reports before you leave just so you can plan ahead for any road construction delays. Salt Lake City can be a traffic nightmare. Here's the best way to avoid it. Spend your first night in Beaver, UT. Then, on your second day, don't leave Beaver until around 7:30am. That way, you'll miss most of the rush hour traffic when you're driving through Salt Lake. Spend your second night in Idaho Falls...lots of nice places to stay. On your third day, then take Hwy 20 to West Yellowstone. You should be able to get there by Noon. Hope you have a super trip! :)



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