Friday, May 6, 2016

West Yellowstone – Change of Plans

Before talking about our change of plans, I want to talk about the RV Park we just came from, and the ones here in West Yellowstone, where we traveled today (no pics of today's travels).

 Teton Valley RV Park

Look how EMPTY the park is when we arrived a few days ago, and it pretty much stayed that way.  Then WHY, WHY, WHY did we end up like this:

 Teton Valley RV Park      Teton Valley RV Park

Yes, smashed between two 5th wheels, and look closely in that picture to the right, do you see them???

 Teton Valley RV Park
Yes, those chairs…those are not camping chairs…they are not adult chairs…they are LITTLE KIDS CHAIRS, and I do mean LITTLE!   The only saving grace was that these people left the park (kept the 5th wheel there) after the man of the family got home from work.  I saw the young mother loading up blankets, some food, and a suitcase which looked like it could carry a couple days worth of clothing.  WOW, we dodged that bullet.  Our electric and water hooked up on the other side, what most call the wrong side.  Due to a mechanical breakdown, that 5th wheel left after he got home from work on Thursday, but when he disconnected his water, ours got turned off too.  Should have taken a picture of this configuration, but we were split on a main spicket, but he had now way to turn his water off except by the main spicket, while we had a separate faucet knob.  When he left, he should have moved us over to the main, but he just turned it off and jammed, never saying  a word. 

So WHY did the park bunch four of us up to within five spots, three in a row, an empty, then a fourth RV, while so many other spots were OPEN???  It just does not make sense.  Saw a sign that said the park, Teton Valley RV Park by the way, that it was up for sale.  Like other Passport America parks this one is old, but that does not mean you have to bunch everyone up together so that you can hear dogs bark, babies (kids) cry, etc., etc., when the park is not even 1/3 full.

West Yellowstone Sign

And here in West Yellowstone the RV park prices are out of this world!  We are at the Rustic Wagon RV Campground & Cabins, a park which has been around since the early 1960’s.  Cost is $48 per night, discounted rates by 10%.  It has been in the owner’s family from the beginning, and he has owned it since the late 1990’s, and until last month, owned another one down the street called Wagon Wheel RV Park, which was just bought by a Chinese group.  He said that they immediately pushed their prices up to $95 per night.  The KOAs, two of them just outside of town, are charging $65-$70 per night when they open in the next week or two, more later in the season.  The owner here said that other RV parks have boosted their prices up to the $89 per night range too.  Drove by the Wagon Wheel, and they don’t have anyone in there, yet they are open.  Perhaps in the middle of the summer they will get some business…but now, these prices are just crazy.  As for the Rustic Wagon, where we are, their website says, “Monthly & Off-Season Rates available on Request”, yet when I inquired about weekly and Off-Season rates, I was politely told that there is no such thing.  I guess the $48 per night for full hookups isn't that bad after all, and there are trees between the sites in this quaint little park.  (Last time we stayed at Henrys Lake State Park about 18 miles away in Idaho.  There is a Passport America park near there that opens on the 15th where you can stay for $25 per night for two nights.)
Plan Change
After seeing the Tetons yesterday, and thinking about how much Yosemite changes from season to season, I thought a change of plans was in order with our travel.  We can drive north into Canada without driving over to North Dakota, saving us over 700 miles, and giving us the time to visit Yellowstone and Glacier again, our last visits being in August of 2012.  It will also allow us to visit Waterton Lakes National Park after we enter Canada, and still get up to Banff and Jasper around May 20th.  Yes, parts of these parks will be closed still…but that is what Spring visits to some National Parks is like.  Only the northern portion of Yellowstone, along with western access to Old Faithful, are open.  But we will see mountains with snow on them, and snow on the ground in some areas, and the wildlife is much more prominent in the spring when less people are in the parks.  As for North Dakota…another time (we hope).


  1. Wow is all I can say about the lack of consideration in site assignment and those prices. So many more people on the road may make that possible I guess. I always thought prices were higher in the east than the west. Sure glad we can boondock. I think your change in plans sounds great!

    1. Boondocking is an option for us, but the NF and NP campgrounds are not open yet due to snow on the ground. We are just a few weeks early for that right now.


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