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Grand Teton/Yellowstone accessibility in Model 3

theeskimo

Member
Sep 26, 2019
61
64
Vancouver Washington
Hey all! Wondering if anyone has any wisdom to share about navigating Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in your Model 3. I am road tripping out there later this summer and have the option of a 2020 Subaru Outback or our Model 3. I'm experienced with trip planning and using the super charger network on long roads trips, my main concern would be general accessibility in the Model 3. Will I still be able to access hikes and enjoy the parks? Or will there be places which I won't be able to get to due to the limitations of the Model 3 (range, ground clearance).
 

wreighven

Member
Dec 26, 2019
179
153
Frisco, TX
Was there a week ago. Take screenshots of the 4 locations in Yellowstone if you’re concerned about charging while you’re in the park (cell coverage is spotty). The chargers near the lodges at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Old Faithful work well (used those)...
 

dgpcolorado

high altitude member
Apr 25, 2015
2,501
3,367
The Western Slope, Colorado
I managed fine in my S-60, with a tiny range (179 RM) compared to your Model 3. Each morning I would charge at the West Yellowstone MT Supercharger and then I had plenty of range to do my day's exploration.

If you find that your range is getting low, just plan a brief side trip to the West Yellowstone Supercharger Station. I found that was a lot more practical than charging at Level 2, unless I was going to be at the Level 2 location for a long time.

Bear in mind that you will be driving fairly slowly in the park, at high altitude (reduced air resistance), so your range will be MUCH greater than when driving on interstate highways. Yellowstone is easy to explore in a Tesla.

Supercharging in Jackson can be more of an issue since ICEv parking is permitted at most of the Supercharging stalls, which are located at a busy supermarket. However, turnover of the parking there is so quick that just waiting for a stall to open up isn't usually a problem.

FWIW.
 

smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
1,994
2,135
Monterey Peninsula
Just got back from Yellowstone. Charging at West Yellowstone each morning (3 days) was a breeze. Left early each day to the park and saw everything planned. Crowd size smaller than expected, but still popular (50 % masked).
Drive down West Yellowstone from Red Lodge via Beartooth Hwy was a breeze. Stretch from Tower Junction to Canyon Village is closed - but the workaround thru Mammoth Hot Springs was well within range.

Also, came from the East. Stayed in Gillette the night before... charged full in Sheridan, then headed west toward Red Lodge using backroad to Dayton to catch US 14. Then as we neared the turnoff to Red Lodge, decided to veer off to Cody. Visited the Buffalo Bill which had level 2 chargers and then continued to Red Lodge. Stayed at the Voyager which had 6 Tesla UMC's.

Used the Model 3 for the trip - 20 days total. Favorite spot was Lusk, WY - who knew. Probably best Motel ever (Covered Wagon).

Monterey - Yermo - Vegas - St George - Moab - Denver - Pikes Peak - Lusk - Mt Rushmore - Crazy Horse Memorial - Badlands - Devil's Tower - Yellowstone - Glacier Nat'l - Coeur d'Alene - Crater Lake - Mt Shasta - home.
 

PLUS EV

Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
5,948
8,911
Seattle
Just got back from Yellowstone. Charging at West Yellowstone each morning (3 days) was a breeze. Left early each day to the park and saw everything planned. Crowd size smaller than expected, but still popular (50 % masked).
Drive down West Yellowstone from Red Lodge via Beartooth Hwy was a breeze. Stretch from Tower Junction to Canyon Village is closed - but the workaround thru Mammoth Hot Springs was well within range.

Also, came from the East. Stayed in Gillette the night before... charged full in Sheridan, then headed west toward Red Lodge using backroad to Dayton to catch US 14. Then as we neared the turnoff to Red Lodge, decided to veer off to Cody. Visited the Buffalo Bill which had level 2 chargers and then continued to Red Lodge. Stayed at the Voyager which had 6 Tesla UMC's.

Used the Model 3 for the trip - 20 days total. Favorite spot was Lusk, WY - who knew. Probably best Motel ever (Covered Wagon).

Monterey - Yermo - Vegas - St George - Moab - Denver - Pikes Peak - Lusk - Mt Rushmore - Crazy Horse Memorial - Badlands - Devil's Tower - Yellowstone - Glacier Nat'l - Coeur d'Alene - Crater Lake - Mt Shasta - home.
Sounds like a GREAT trip.

Feel free to submit your list of superchargers to our little competition:

Superchargers Visited
 

smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
1,994
2,135
Monterey Peninsula
Sounds like a GREAT trip.

Feel free to submit your list of superchargers to our little competition:

Superchargers Visited
Yeah... I've followed (with Jealousy) that 'competition' and although 3 Teslas over the last 7 years, haven't traveled too far from home base. I am semi-retired - wife full time, so not much opportunity to travel together. I now have 27,000 on my 3 with 2 1/2 yrs, but my wife pushed 200,000 on her first S and is at 66,000 on her second.

This trip was with my son who flew to Denver to meet me about 1/3 way thru the trip.
I did keep a record and used 37 different SC's and several destination chargers when hotels offered. (wow!!! surprised me when I checked). My cost was close to 5 cents per mile.

Only glitch I can remember is at Manteca's new site - one was dead upon plugging in, and people there (local chargers) said has been iffy for 4 of them (V3's). Bright sun, but I think the lights were off.

Jealous... and should be like you going everywhere.
 

WVCS

Member
Jul 19, 2020
11
51
San Jose
I also have an upcoming road trip to Yellowstone. I have a few questions/comments. I have been scanning multiple threads where Yellowstone related discussions are active and I posted something similar in one other thread also. Don't mean to spam and won't post anywhere else.
  • This Yellowstone National Park Service site lists charging stations available inside the park. The page says that the Level 2 chargers listed there provide power "to anyone who brings an electric vehicle". Does the "Level 2" reference automatically mean that my J1772 adapter will work at these stations?
  • I wanted to alert other travelers about this person's experience getting traumatized for unintentional unauthorized use of an outdoor power outlet in the park. In this case, there was no sign indicating what use of the station was allowed vs. forbidden. Will be good to know how one can be sure. Does every station that *is* ok to use carry a sign saying so?
  • I like to experience parks on foot and I reduce driving inside the park to a minimum. The research I have done so far indicates that the distance between (i) parking/charging spots in the list above and (ii) trailheads is significant and the route goes through (possibly busy) roads that won't be fun to add to the hike. Have people solved this problem? For e.g. are there shuttles from the lodges (with the parking&charging spots) to trailheads? Are there good hikes whose trailheads begin close to parking&charging spots?
Separately, for @PLUS EV: your postings are detailed and very informative. And they make good reading. You take in nature and convey your experience to the reader in a compelling way. I particularly liked the one where you compared driving through Beartooth Hwy in 2019 with your 2017 experience with it. Nice storytelling! Felt like I was reading good quality travel literature.
 
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theeskimo

Member
Sep 26, 2019
61
64
Vancouver Washington
Thanks for the advice! We’ve decided on the Model 3. We will be leaving this Saturday morning! I’ll update this post once we’re done with the trip with some of our experiences and observations :)
 

smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
1,994
2,135
Monterey Peninsula
If going there, hit Old Faithful early as you can, because even now, the crowds are less than other years - but still you get claustrophobic later in the day - even on the trails. Old Faithful turned out to be not as impressive as quite a few of the other sites.
Be careful !!! Wild animal sightings cause drivers to suddenly stop in the most 'obstruction mode' locations.
Miles and miles of hiking trails (don't do them alone). Marked trails around the geysers.
If staying out of the park - enter as early in the morning as you can. Automobile lines do form quickly. We avoided the weekend.
Lots without masks - be careful.
 
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totoro722

Supporting Member
May 21, 2020
155
164
Coastal Orange County CA
Used the Model 3 for the trip - 20 days total. Favorite spot was Lusk, WY - who knew. Probably best Motel ever (Covered Wagon).

Monterey - Yermo - Vegas - St George - Moab - Denver - Pikes Peak - Lusk - Mt Rushmore - Crazy Horse Memorial - Badlands - Devil's Tower - Yellowstone - Glacier Nat'l - Coeur d'Alene - Crater Lake - Mt Shasta - home.
How far were you able to get into Glacier National Park, and where did you charge?
 

rhumbliner

Member
Sep 24, 2015
646
770
Las Vegas
We usually spend a night or two at the Old Faithful Lodge and/or the cabins at the Lake Hotel. We’ve used both chargers listed on PlugShare at Old Faithful and both at Lake Hotel and everything worked fine. As @wreighven mentioned, be sure to save a screen shot of all locations cuz you won’t have any cell service while in the park. If you have problems finding them, ask at the concierge desk at Old Faithful or Lake. I found them to be very helpful. At OF the greeter even rode with me to be sure I’d find it.
 

PLUS EV

Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
5,948
8,911
Seattle
Separately, for @PLUS EV: your postings are detailed and very informative. And they make good reading. You take in nature and convey your experience to the reader in a compelling way. I particularly liked the one where you compared driving through Beartooth Hwy in 2019 with your 2017 experience with it. Nice storytelling! Felt like I was reading good quality travel literature.
Thanks man. I always knew that BA would come in handy at some point! :D
 
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smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
1,994
2,135
Monterey Peninsula
How far were you able to get into Glacier National Park, and where did you charge?

We went into the park on the 13th - not knowing it had been closed until then. We were so early, no one was collecting at the entrance (although I have a pass and it didn't matter).
But we got most of the way through. Turned around at Rising Sun picnic area. Shocked on the trip back by how many cars were coming in. Our trip up to the turnaround was pretty isolated. Most photo stops we were alone. We even got a Glacier car wash at one of the waterfalls.
JR Glacier.jpeg
 

totoro722

Supporting Member
May 21, 2020
155
164
Coastal Orange County CA
We went into the park on the 13th - not knowing it had been closed until then. We were so early, no one was collecting at the entrance (although I have a pass and it didn't matter).
Did you charge in Missoula, drive in and back to Missoula on one charge, or did you find someplace on the way to top off? Beautiful photo BTW
 

smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
1,994
2,135
Monterey Peninsula
Did you charge in Missoula, drive in and back to Missoula on one charge, or did you find someplace on the way to top off? Beautiful photo BTW

Did charge in Big Sky (which had recently opened), Butte, and Missoula after leaving Yellowstone. Helena had just opened also, but wanted to go up the west side of the lake. The Hampton in Kalispell had Destination Chargers, so charged there as we spent 2 nights before splitting up. (Son flew out of Kalispell back to N.C. and I drove home to Calif thru Idaho, Wash, and Oregon.

Wouldn't have trusted Missoula and back after climbing thru Glacier.
 

wreighven

Member
Dec 26, 2019
179
153
Frisco, TX
@smartypnz you got so lucky. I must admit I am a little jealous. We were in Glacier on July 1st and GTTSR was only open to Avalanche. My son and I were a little bummed because it was supposed to be the centerpiece of our trip from Texas. That's OK though; we're heading back up there in 2022...

Looks like you had a great trip!
 
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smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
1,994
2,135
Monterey Peninsula
@smartypnz you got so lucky. I must admit I am a little jealous. We were in Glacier on July 1st and GTTSR was only open to Avalanche. My son and I were a little bummed because it was supposed to be the centerpiece of our trip from Texas. That's OK though; we're heading back up there in 2022...

Looks like you had a great trip!

Here's hoping 2022 is a good year to do it. I thought this was to be a once in a lifetime.... but I will be going back.
 
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