Denver, Colorado to Yellowstone Road Trip

Explore three national parks and one national monument on this breathtaking, 1,300-mile road trip that starts in Denver.
By Tori Peglar ,

Hiker at Rock Cut looking at Longs Peak in the distance at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Grant Ordelheide

Road Trip Overview

Spend your first day of this incredible 1,300-mile, round-trip route in the Mile High City, checking out the art and food scene before heading west from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park.

In the park, take Trail Ridge Road, the country’s highest paved road over the Continental Divide (see pages 46-47). From there head to Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyo., for the start of your deep dive into the Old West. Take in the views of the Snowy Range Mountains before stopping in Saratoga, Wyo., for a dip in hot springs and Rawlins for unique dining. From there, visit Lander, Riverton and Dubois before reaching Jackson and Grand Teton National Park. Head north to explore Yellowstone before exiting the park's South Entrance to Kemmerer, Flaming Gorge, Vernal, Craig, and Dinosaur National Monument before returning to Denver. 

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Road Trip Itinerary

Start: Denver, Colorado

Union Station in Denver, Colo.

Shutterstock

Mile-High Fun
From fine art to trendy restaurants, use your feet to explore Denver. Enjoy a Rockies game, hike, visit the Denver Art Musuem, and see the zoo.
Read more on our sister website.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Sunrise at Sprague Lake on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park

Deposit Photos

48-Hours in Rocky Mountain National Park
Only have 48 hours? Make the most of your time by following our itinerary covering both sides of the park.
Read more on our sister website.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Feeding bison at the Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Jade Lang

Old West Meets New West
Two hours north of the Denver Airport, get a cowboy's welcome at the place known for the world's largest rodeo, Old West museums, and huge painted boots scattered about town.
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A bronco rider at the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

Courtesy Cheyenne Convention & Visitors Bureau

Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo
Many of Wyoming’s rodeos are known throughout the world, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, the “Daddy of ‘Em All” held the last week in July.
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Laramie, Wyoming

American Heritage Center and Art Museum on the UW campus.

Photo courtesy of Albany County Tourism Board/Laramie Area Visitor Center

Traveler Trivia
Be a traveler rather than a tourist. Get the behind-the-scenes stories on everything from comic heroes to outlaws in the Laramie area.
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Carbon County, Wyoming

Saratoga Hot Spring Resort. 

Photo courtesy of Carbon County

Power to the People
Discover a string of towns woven together by ranching, coal, oil and a growing wind turbine industry. Stop at some of these small-town attractions.
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Wind River, Wyoming

Horseback trail ride from a dude ranch in Wind River Country

Photo by Jennie Hutchinson courtesy of Wind River Country

Golden Opportunity in Wind River Country
Escape the crowds and discover Old West experiences such as pow wows and a pioneer Gold Rush town.
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Native American Pow Wow

Photo courtesy Wind River Hotel & Casino

Have a Native experience at Wind River Hotel & Casino
From seeing Native American dances to rolling the dice, there are a number of things to do at the Wind River Hotel & Casino.
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The Holiday Inn in Riverton, Wyoming

Courtesy Blair Hotels

Riverton's Holiday Inn and QT's Restaurant
Sleep in the heart of the Wind River Indian Reservation and enjoy the indoor Fundome with an indoor pool, exercise room, QT’s Restaurant and Bottoms Up Lounge.
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The Rustic Pine Tavern Bar, a Dubois local favorite

Jeff Vanuga

Escape to Dubois, Where the Largest Herd of Bighorn Roam
What rhymes with "cowboys" and has been named "best escape in Wyoming?" This small town 90 miles from Yellowstone and worlds away from the crowds.
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Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Robert Bateman (Canadian, b. 1930), Chief. 1997. Acrylic on Canvas. 71 x 98 inches. 

Gift of Birgit and Robert Bateman, National Museum of Wildlife Art

The Wild Things are at the National Museum of Wildlife Art
Perched above the Elk Refuge and two miles from Grand Teton National Park, the National Museum of Wildlife Art features more than 5,000 items of animal art.
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Kayaking on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Photo by James Kaiser courtesy of OARS

Fun on the Water with OARS, Barker Ewing and Grand Teton Lodge Company
With temperatures reaching new highs, figuring out how to stay cool is key to enjoying your summer. Enjoy adventures inside Grand Teton National Park and nearby in Jackson Hole.
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Walk across the bridge at the Via Ferrata assisted climbing course - beginners welcome.

Courtesy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's Adventure at Altitude
Spend a day in Teton Village climbing our new Via Ferrata experience, riding the tram or tackling our ropes course or climbing wall. It's your ticket to fun.
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Rest Stops in Jackson Hole

Headwaters Flagg Ranch
Located between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks (2 miles south of Yellowstone National Park), you'll find newly remodeled cabins, RV and tent camping.
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Dude Ranches Near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Find your inner cowboy at one of the West's top 100 dude ranches and guest ranches.
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Jackson Hole Super 8
This Super 8 is adjacent National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and offers rustic luxury with Western hospitality.
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Town Square Inns of Jackson Hole
With four Jackson locations and over 400 rooms and cabins, the Town Square Inns have more options to meet your style and budget than any other area hotelier.
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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Schwabacher's Landing in Grand Teton National Park

Dollar Photo

Yellowstone's Sister Park, Grand Teton
Located at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Rockefeller Parkway connects Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
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The window overlooking the Tetons at Jackson Lake Lodge. 

Courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Co.

7 Best Places to Eat and Sleep in Grand Teton National Park
It’s easy to get distracted by the park's world-class views, but don't miss these places at Grand Teton Lodge and Jackson Lake to eat and sleep.
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Yellowstone GyPSy Guide App for your cell phone or tablet

Deposit Photos

GyPSy Guide's Yellowstone and Grand Teton Tour App
Download the Yellowstone tour app that’s like having a tour guide in your car. GyPSy Guide automatically plays interesting and entertaining commentary as you go.
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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone's most famous geyser, Old Faithful at Twilight

iStock

48 Hours in Yellowstone
Only have 48 hours? Make the most of your time by visiting some of our favorite spots in the park including wildlife watching, dining at historic lodges and see geysers erupt.
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Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Deposit Photos

Top 5 Vistas in Yellowstone National Park
If you want to feel on top of the world, here are 5 views you must see including Artist Point, Lamar Valley, and the Yellowstone River cutting thru lava spires.
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Boat tour on Lake Yellowstone

NPS Public Domain

Fun on the Water in Yellowstone National Park
Leave dry land behind to explore the rivers and lakes of Yellowstone. Go paddling, fishing, boating, or take a boat cruise tour in the national park.
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Wyoming's Fossil Basin

Fossils on Cundick Ridge in Fossil Basin

National Park Service

Lost in Time
Explore a 52-million-year-old graveyard that preserves an ancient underwater world of fish, turtles, crocodiles, insects, mammals, birds, and leaves.
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Flaming Gorge, Utah

Standup Paddleboarding in the Flaming Gorge

Photo by Ryan Kelly courtesy of Flaming Gorge Country

Desert Oasis in Flaming Gorge Country
Take a break from the desert heat by jumping in the sparkling water at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and spend several days exploring this 91-mile-long reservoir.
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Dinosaur National Monument, Utah/Colorado

Kids investigating bones with a ranger at Dinosaur National Monument

Photo courtesy Uintah County Travel & Tourism

Vernal, Utah says, "Welcome to Dinoland"
An easy day’s drive southwest of Yellowstone is Dinoland in Utah. You’ll dig ancient animal history at a museum and a life-sized dinosaur garden.
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Steamboat Rock in Dinosaur National Monument

iStock Photo

A Jurassic Journey through Moffat County, Colorado
An uncrowded national park and animals from prehistoric times and today meet in Moffat County, Colo.
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End: Denver