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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not really an expedition, but... started planning this trip for sometime this Summer or early September:



So far, plan is to visit the following:

Petrified Forest NP, AZ
Mesa Verde NP, CO
Ouray, CO
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, CO
Great Sand Dunes NP, CO
Rocky Mountain NP, CO
Scotts Bluff NM, NE
Wind Cave NP, SD
Mount Rushmore NM, SD
Badlands NP, SD
Theodore Roosevelt NP, ND
Devils Tower NM, WY
Great Basin NP, NV

...all in about 16 days. Plan to camp as long as we can find somewhere to camp, or stay at hotels otherwise. Can't really make reservations ahead of time, as my travel dates won't be set until probably a few days before heading out.
Looking for any firsthand campground recommendations in and around the mentioned parks, as well as things to see on the way. Anything to see in western Nebraska? :smile
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why not add Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, Bryce? :grin

I'd recommend Devil's Tower NM in Wyoming (your route looks like you might be going there already, but you did not list it).
I've been to Arches, Zion, and Bryce. Canyonlands is somewhat out of the way. I think I'll visit it on another trip, maybe combine it with a visit to Moab.
I was actually looking into fitting in the Devil's Tower somewhere between Badlands and Roosevelt, and it was too far out of the way. Then forgot about it and didn't realize it was actually on my way back, haha. Thanks, will definitely add that in.
 

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Anything to see in western Nebraska? :smile
Did you know there is a National Forest in Nebraska? I explored the Chadron area a bit before the eclipse last year. A few other ideas:

Scotts Bluff National Monument https://www.nps.gov/scbl/index.htm

Fort Robinson State Park https://nebraskastateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/fort-robinson-sp/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NE&parkId=230077

If you are into old bones I found the Hudson-Meng Bison Kill Center rather fascinating - a carpet of ice-age bison bone fossils https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nebraska/specialplaces/?cid=fsm9_028053
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Question to those who have been.. Which is the more scenic drive between Silverton and Ouray, the Alpine Loop (or a part thereof) or 550 to Black Bear Pass (assuming it's open) to Telluride and to Ouray via Imogene Pass?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There's also Pikes Peak and Mount Evans. Anybody know which one is more worthwhile? Tentatively added Mount Evans.
Also found Campendium.com. Very useful for finding dispersed camp sites.
 

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If you have the time, swing by Canyon De Chelly (pronounced de Shay) and Monument Valley in Arizona. I assume you have been to the Grand Canyon. I cannot believe you are passing through Wyoming (twice) and don't have Yellowstone or the Tetons on the list. Finally there are two units of Theodore Roosevelt NP (the south, larger, and the north along the Little Missouri). Both are worth the visit.

In Nebraska, Hwy 2 connects Grand Island to Alliance and goes from farmland, to cattle ranches, to sand hills, and to a lake area with many small clear lakes. The National Forest (man planted in the 30's) is along this route. Charles Kuralt listed this stretch of road as one of the ten best road trips in America, because it is basically unspoiled. However, I see you are only on the extreme western edge of Nebraska.

Beware of the high volume of traffic near Mount Rushmore when the Sturgis Motorcycle event is happening.

I use this site to find campgrounds, hopefully it is something you can use. RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you have the time, swing by Canyon De Chelly (pronounced de Shay) and Monument Valley in Arizona. I assume you have been to the Grand Canyon. I cannot believe you are passing through Wyoming (twice) and don't have Yellowstone or the Tetons on the list. Finally there are two units of Theodore Roosevelt NP (the south, larger, and the north along the Little Missouri). Both are worth the visit.

In Nebraska, Hwy 2 connects Grand Island to Alliance and goes from farmland, to cattle ranches, to sand hills, and to a lake area with many small clear lakes. The National Forest (man planted in the 30's) is along this route. Charles Kuralt listed this stretch of road as one of the ten best road trips in America, because it is basically unspoiled. However, I see you are only on the extreme western edge of Nebraska.

Beware of the high volume of traffic near Mount Rushmore when the Sturgis Motorcycle event is happening.

I use this site to find campgrounds, hopefully it is something you can use. RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks
All very helpful info, thanks. Yes, have been to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Tetons. I think I've covered all the national parks west of where I'm going, except for Canyonlands and Redwood up here in northern California.
I've added Scotts Bluff to the route, as suggested by Serenity Now. I'll see if there's time to venture farther into Nebraska.

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Question to those who have been.. Which is the more scenic drive between Silverton and Ouray, the Alpine Loop (or a part thereof) or 550 to Black Bear Pass (assuming it's open) to Telluride and to Ouray via Imogene Pass?
I'd choose Alpine Loop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11


Updated map. Planning to leave next Saturday, the 21st.
From Devils Tower NM to Great Basin NP looks like a two-day drive, so looking for something to see on the way. Flaming Gorge? Dinosaur National Monument? Maybe.
 

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If you enjoy geology, the rock formations of Flaming Gorge, Dinosaur, and Brown's Hole are quite interesting, but it the detour will add more than a few hours from your planned route.

Going to Flaming Gorge, I prefer the east route from Rock Springs, as this crosses over dam.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Checked my alternator in preparation for the trip, and the voltage at the battery only reads about 13.5V while idling. Haven't really noticed any symptoms of a bad alternator though. Should probably replace it anyway? It's a 2012 with about 85k miles.
 

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Ouch! Sorry to see that. You must be up in the NE part of WY. They've been getting some wild weather lately.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was on 85, just NE of Cheyenne.
Anyway, Dinosaur National Monument was a bit disappointing, didn't see a single dinosaur.


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Okay. A little south of where I was thinking, but that area gets weird weather too.

I haven't been to the monument, but I've been to the dinosaur museum in Vernal and then out to the actual dig site just outside town a couple of times several years ago. That was pretty cool to see what they found and how they did it.
 
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