Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Planning a roadtrip to Yellowstone from the bay area on the Y - any tips?

learning2fly

New Member
Jul 18, 2021
1
0
Sunnyvale, CA
I see there are plenty of charging stations (superchargers and others) along the way. But I am not sure how much range to expect with 4 people in the car + elevation + heat etc. Any ideas around how to plan the trip inside Yellowstone? Any suggestions on the trip plans (order of places to visit to maximize range efficiencies)?
I have an extended range Model Y.
Thanks
R
 

FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
918
910
California
I don't know about getting there, but once there a Supercharger is located in West Yellowstone and it was never crowded when we went last Summer. Although we didn't take the Model S at the time, the Lexus RX only logged 80-160 miles total daily so it should be fine for a Model 3/Y.
 

avs007

Member
May 14, 2021
392
285
PacNW
Which way are you planning to get to Yellowstone? I cut across From I-15 to US-26 to Hwy 33, and cut across the Tetons. That is a very steep 10% grade if you do that. And there was no cell signal at all along highway 33. But the views were fantastic, as we cut across the Tetons, and drove up thru Tetons National Park to Yellowstone... When we left, we left thru the West Entrance, to US-20, and took that all the way back down to I-15. That route was MUCH flatter, and had full bars of cell signal the entire way from West Yellowstone all the way back to the main interstate.

I don't know if there are any superchargers on the Teton side of Yellowstone, as I didn't see any Teslas at all on highway 33 going thru the Tetons until after I got to Grand Village inside Yellowstone National Park. Once I passed there, I saw a scattering of Teslas everywhere, so I figured there was a supercharger nearby... I saw it in West Yellowstone while driving to get Ice Cream.
 

Puma2020

Member
Jun 16, 2020
423
453
New Hampshire, USA
There are superchargers in West Yellowstone and also down south in Jackson Hole.
Plug Share shows L2 chargers at Old Faithful, Mammoth and Canyon Village.
Canyon Village is a reasonable stop over point, as you can easily go to Mammoth and Lamar Valley.
I recommend going to Norris Geyser Basin. Especially early in the morning. The best geysers are there.
If you are into geocaching, there are a few caches that that you to very interesting spots.
Most of the memorable spots on my trips are from going to caches.
Usually virtual caches in National Parks, but it's finding the spot that makes it worthwhile.
Fort Monroe cache in Yosemite (on the way back?) is my favorite cache yet.

Old Faithful has an L2 charger, and I recommend not staying with the crowds waiting for Old faithful but instead walk along the boardwalk to the other geysers in that area. Some are much nicer.
Bring water as the higher elevation can dry you out.

It is a huge area, so not sure how many days you are planning, but it'll take a while to explore.
Most wildlife will be visible near dawn and dusk. Except for ...
If you are driving along and you come to a traffic jam, this is to be expected.
Usually a herd of buffalo will cross the road causing cars to stop.
The buffalo (or bison) will wander across the road until the traffic backs up enough.
Then some drivers will decided they don't need to wait and will go in the other of the 2 lanes passing everyone.
Until they get close to the buffalo and have to stop.
I swear that the buffalo do this EVERY day. They wait until both lanes (on the 2 lane road) on both sides are now clogged with traffic and then they will clear the road and watch the silly humans try to get out of this mess. I think I've heard them chuckle.

If you go to West Yellowstone, I'd suggest Norris Geyser then up the Mammoth and charge there. Then over to Lamar valley and down to Canyon Village.
Then Old Faithful and the boardwalk. Then head south to Jackson (where you can supercharge again). I highly recommend going to Jenny Lake which is 20 miles north of Jackson. Very pretty area. However the road was closed last year, so you may want to call the visitor's center and find out.
 

Zorg

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,901
1,744
Fremont, ca
Sorry to be pedantic, but they're not buffalos, they're bison. And yes, the traffic jams are pretty epic. :) My recollection is that it takes 2 days of driving and stopping around to hit all the main attractions. I'd love to go back for a week though and really enjoy the place.

"Though the terms are often used interchangeably, buffalo and bison are distinct animals. Old World “true” buffalo (Cape buffalo and water buffalo) are native to Africa and Asia. Bison are found in North America and Europe. Both bison and buffalo are in the bovidae family, but the two are not closely related."
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Johnny Vector

avs007

Member
May 14, 2021
392
285
PacNW
If you go to Norris Geyser Basin, yes, go EARLY in the morning. I drove thru there to get to Mammoth, and this was around 10:30 I think. Norris was already full, and the OVERFLOW was full too... People were parking in the street a 1/2 mile to mile away, and walking the rest of the way. (This actually caused a traffic jam trying to get to Mammoth, becuase the 4-way stop at the overflow lot was jammed. Luckily they had a traffic cop there directing traffic at this point.
 

dolfs

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2021
66
68
Mountain View, CA, USA
We have a family house near West Yellowstone and have spent many a time in the park. I always suggest people plan a full day for each of the North loop and south loop of the park. If you charge to full in West Yellowstone, even with the ups and downs you will have plenty of range to make one loop and get it back to West. Yesterday we did the South loop and it was 90 miles total. A few days earlier we went North, ultimately to the Lamar valley (amazing Buffalo herds) and back (due to road closure this season between Tower and Canyon), which was a little under 170 mi.
The few times that I looked SC were plenty available this summer.
Including a drive up with an overnight in Jackson, or nearby Teton Village, is ideal as well because you can SC there as well and you are all set for an early entry into Teton National Park (best time) and end up driving north, ultimately into YNP and make it to West Yellowstone. The other direction is also possible of course but is less favorable due to arriving in TNP middle of day or later when wildlife is more likely out of sight.
I actually don’t drive the Tesla out here. Even if i did I would not use it much except locally because we like to take side roads in the park that are unpaved and travel other roads like that in the surrounding area (we have a Suburban at the house for that and or going fishing). Ground clearance is a factor as well in those cases. Also, inside the park you are often required to pull off the road onto sloping and unpaved shoulder with quite a drop off. In particular in model S and 3, be careful with that and your ground clearance. Mind you, you can have perfectly acceptable and exciting visit to the parks without that!

FYI. At the moment YNP is very busy and lines at entrance in West Yellowstone start becoming (very) long after 7AM. So leave early (we entered at 645AM yesterday with about a 10 minute wait). West Yellowstone is, in my opinion, the best outside the park base with quick park access, and lots of lodging (although prices are through the roof at 300+ at the moment).
 

LionelHutz

Member
Jan 12, 2019
257
250
CA
Sorry to be pedantic, but they're not buffalos, they're bison. And yes, the traffic jams are pretty epic. :) My recollection is that it takes 2 days of driving and stopping around to hit all the main attractions. I'd love to go back for a week though and really enjoy the place.

"Though the terms are often used interchangeably, buffalo and bison are distinct animals. Old World “true” buffalo (Cape buffalo and water buffalo) are native to Africa and Asia. Bison are found in North America and Europe. Both bison and buffalo are in the bovidae family, but the two are not closely related."

Sorry to be doubly pedantic, but "buffalo" has been used to describe the animal for about 400 years, and before they were called bison. It's a perfectly acceptable name.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top