Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-16-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
bitburger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kirkland (Seattle), WA
Posts: 251
Our break-in trip around the Rockies

We just returned from a 24 days trip around the Rockies National Parks, slightly over 3300 miles.

It was our first big trip after a handful of smaller test trips done since we picked up our van in May. We have the EB-52, which is an extended van with 4 captains chairs up front and then the 50 style bench in back. The poptop sleeps the parents up and the foldout couch has the kids down below.

We have moved up from backpacking, then car camping when kids arrived. We wanted a reasonable ride, not really requiring a hard core 4x4 capability. I went with Quadvan for the 4x4 due to what I perceived was an easier ride. I have pictures in my gallery if you want to see more. At some point, I'll write up a review. On this trip, the ride was comfortable for all and we didn't use the 4x4 much.

We started in Seattle, and drove through Idaho, Craters of the Moon, to Jackson, WY and went north to Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, Waterton, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and then Yoho, and Glacier in Canada. At this point, the kids ran out of steam and enthusiasm for more roadside stops so we headed home.
This route had advantages that we started with the Jackson where we thought the mountains were dramatic but they only got better as we moved north up into the Canadian Rockies.

Most of the campgrounds had a first come/first served policy so we didn't have any trouble getting campsites if we planned ahead to get to the park, get a site then go sightseeing or hiking. In fact, we were surprised how uncrowded the parks were given this is their highest season. Perhaps the silver lining on the gas prices.

We met four other Sportsmobile's along the way, probably fewer than I expected.

The gorgeous big skies of Idaho


The Grand Tetons


The spectacular colors of Yellowstone


Mammoth campground was an unexpected pleasure with Boiling River hotsprings just a short distance away.


Using our van in safari mode to spot animals or take pictures


The Beartooth highway has fires so while it was dramatic we didn't stay long with the smokey smell.


The Highway to the Sun in Glacier was worth the slow pace, we started seeing Mt Goats and Bighorn Sheep.




Waterton, just a short drive away from Glacier, is a cute little town with a winter population of 100.

Banff is a classic big ski town with quite a few services. it was the most crowded but the scenery lived up the high expectations.

You then use the Icefield Parkway to get up to Jasper with an opportunity to travel out onto the Columbia icefield. I offered my help if he got stuck



While I have thousand of mountain pics, I'll spare you the experience.

It was a great trip and I'd strongly recommend it to you. The Craters of the Moon are vast volcanic fields and worth the stop if they are along the way. We camped rough three times and none were memorable.

Given the timing, we were on the migration route for Sturgis and I saw more mototrcycles than I have ever seen in my life. We also went through Missoula MT while the Hells Angels had their annual get together. Fun to see all the bikes although it filled up the campgrounds that are along the route to South Dakota.

The van worked well, the nights were cold, the weather was generally good.

I do have a gps POIs if you have any interest.

-Mark
__________________

__________________

2008 EB-52, Quadvan 4x4, 6.0 PSD SOLD
bitburger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
lactic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 197
Fantastic route! We leave next Saturday morning for a 10 day excursion from Denver through Jackson, Yellowstone, Glacier, Jasper, Banff, and back again. Beautiful country!
__________________

__________________
Back to a Build Sheet and a Dream...
lactic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 07:25 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Helena, Montana
Posts: 613
Sounds like a fantastic trip! Your pictures are great.

Did you actually drive the Going to the Sun Highway up to Logan Pass in Glacier in your SMB? I'm too paranoid to drive such a large vehicle up such a narrow, heavily trafficked mountain road. Our EB SMB with the Aluminess bumpers maxes out at 22 1/2 feet in length and I think Going to The Sun has a 20 foot vehicle length limit. Heck, with the big tires and the 4X4 lift I could drive right over those low rock wall guard rails on the road without even noticing, until I hit the bottom that is.

Did you get to Mount Robsen Provincial Park north of Jasper? It's another one of those incredible British Columbia provincial parks with great mountains and rivers. Lots to see in our neighbor to the north!
__________________
2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
Ed in Montana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 11:24 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
bitburger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kirkland (Seattle), WA
Posts: 251
Beautiful country

Ed,

Indeed, you have some beautiful country. In fact, we liked every bit of the country we traveled, from the evergreens of Washington and the flat golden sagebrush of Idaho.

The Going to the Sun Highway wasn't bad. There were quite a few other, vans including many Roadtrek 210 , Glacier shuttle buses and even a few of the Lodge limos going up the road.
I didn't think they were all legal but in either case, they were there and didn't seem to be having or causing trouble.

While I wouldn't presume to tell you that it was safe, my wife never rebuked me for putting all our lives at risk. :-) The speeds were kept slow by the traffic and the number of bicyclers. There are quite a number of wide pull outs. It was no worse than taking the van to a Costco parking lot.

Lodge Limo below.


We didn't get to Robsen. The kids were starting to run out of fun so we putzed around Jasper and then headed back down to Yoho.

Now I am watching the fantastic Twolost trip report and starting to build excitement with my wife for an Alaska trip next summer:-)

Mark
__________________

2008 EB-52, Quadvan 4x4, 6.0 PSD SOLD
bitburger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2008, 08:48 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,560
Re: Our break-in trip around the Rockies

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitburger
Using our van in safari mode to spot animals or take pictures
Nominated for greatest Sportsmobile photo ever!
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2008, 09:35 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 961
I agree Jage, that is a great picture! Also, thanks for sharing your pictures Bitburger, they made me jealous since I'm sitting here "working".
__________________
2007 Ford RB Diesel SMB 4x4 Pueblo Gold; Custom configuration (aisle layout); PIAA 580 driving lights; Picked up on Oct 19, 2007.
sdwindansea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2008, 07:18 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
cellularSTEVE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,065
Mark,
Thanks for posting your trip report. I really like your photos and itinerary.

I did almost the same trip last year this month. Your photos remind me of it.

Ed wrote:
Quote:
Did you actually drive the Going to the Sun Highway up to Logan Pass in Glacier in your SMB? I'm too paranoid to drive such a large vehicle up such a narrow, heavily trafficked mountain road. Our EB SMB with the Aluminess bumpers maxes out at 22 1/2 feet in length and I think Going to The Sun has a 20 foot vehicle length limit.
I took this last summer and felt the road was fine. I took it late in the day which is a mistake since the sun was going down and at the top it started to rain then snow briefly. But as far as the road itself goes, I didn't find it too narrow or curvy as long as you take it easy. I would only suggest doing it in the daytime. It was no different than other mountain roads I have taken.

steve
__________________
'05 Ford V-10 4x4 SMB "50" White
'00 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 Highly Modified
'04 Jeep Grand Cherokee- wife won't let me modify it. :-(
Does anyone really read this stuff other than surfgeek?
cellularSTEVE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2008, 07:59 PM   #8
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,387
Garage
Great pictures Mark.
So what was Craters of the moon like?
I just got back from a similar trip Ca - Nevada - Utah - Colorado - wyoming - Idaho - Nevada and home. It was in the low to mid 70's in the Tetons and I thought Craters of the moon would be hot. I opted for Great Basin NP where it was in the mid 80's but OK for me. I plan to visit Craters next year and wonder if its worth a look.

Dave B
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2008, 09:22 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Helena, Montana
Posts: 613
Bitburger and cellursteve are far braver than I am!

I have driven Going to the Sun Road dozens of times, almost twice a year for twenty five years and i will probably never drive it in my SMB. The size limits are eight feet wide and twenty-one feet long, making my 22.5 foot SMB too long in a legal sense.

But the thing is, is that I have driven it with all sorts of traffic, lots of cars. too many RVs, bicyclists, on dry, wet and light ice conditions. The whole idea for me is to see the scenery, and not concentrate on driving a narrow, steep, winding road in heavy traffic. Hell, I would rather walk it than drive it!

There is a good argument to closing the road to private vehicles and limiting it to public shuttles. Or perhaps a better idea, is limiting Going to the Sun Road to one-way private traffic east or west every other day.

I thought this was a radical idea until I visited Denali National Park, where public vehicles are banned during the prime summer season, and only public buses are used. You can see a lot more when you are not concentrating on on-coming traffic.
__________________
2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)
Ed in Montana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2008, 09:32 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Forest Falls CA
Posts: 876
Speechless!! Thanks for sharing!
__________________

__________________
Dave and Yoshi [Ki6LBB]
http://www.adventureduo.com
2003 Baja Tan SMB EB50 V10 (SOLD in 2008)
2003 Baja Tan SMB EB DYO 7.3 Diesel

Tread Lightly! Trainer
Pack it in Pack it Out>>>> http://www.trasharoo.com
adventureduo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Serenity

Makalu1

Testing

Tech Admin
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.