Continental Divide Tour: Colorado to Yellowstone
National Park, WY
Total milage: 765
Day 1: Rocky Mountain National Park
Take I-70 west for 29 miles, then merge onto US 40 west. Turn onto US 34 east and continue through Rocky Mountain National Park. Your first day’s route takes you straight into the mountains. From quaint Grand Lake, cruise Trail Ridge Road—the country’s highest paved road—over the Continental Divide, stopping for frequent photo ops or a quick hike. End in bustling Estes Park for a night in historic Stanley Hotel.
Day 2: Cheyenne and Laramie, WY
Continue on US 34 east, then merge onto I-25 north. Drive on to Cheyenne. Take I-80 west 50 miles to Laramie.
Head deep into the Wild West on day two with a stop in Cheyenne. Hop on the Cheyenne St. Railway Trolley for a tour of town, then visit the Capitol and the Historic Governor’s Mansion. If you’ve got time, don’t miss the Pine Bluffs Night Rodeo, or time your trip to make Cheyenne Frontier Days for music, rodeo, and more. Then, head up the road to Laramie, where you can check out the Wyoming Children’s Museum and Nature Center or one of the University of Wyoming’s many museums (the geology and art museums are big draws).
Day 3: Lander and Riverton, WY
Take I-80 west for 95 miles, then head north on US 287 to Lander. Continue on WY 789 north 25 miles to Riverton.
Today’s drive takes you to the doorstep of the Wind River Range, a stunning wilderness known for fly-fishing, hiking, and backpacking. In Lander, visit the Shoshone Rose Casino, or take a stroll in Sinks Canyon State Park, where a river vanishes into a cavern and reappears a half-mile down the canyon. Continue on to Riverton, where you can soak in natural history at the Wind River Heritage Center or try your luck at the Wind River Casino.
Day 4: Grand Teton National Park
Take US 26 west 133 miles to Grand Teton National Park.
Get an early start for today’s drive to world-class Grand Teton National Park. Once there, take a dayhike (see page 9), visit Jenny Lake, scope for wildlife, or go fly-fishing. Stay at the Jackson Lake Lodge or Signal Mountain Lodge, or pitch a tent at one of the park’s scenic campgrounds. Favorites include the Jenny Lake Campground and the Lizzard Creek Campground.
Day 5: Yellowstone National Park
Take US 287 north to Yellowstone National Park. Geysers, grizzly bears, hot springs, and hiking: Yellowstone National Park has it all.Hike, backpack, take a dip in a natural hot spring, and more in this life-list national park.