Salt Lake City, Utah to Yellowstone Road Trip

Hit desert highlights from the Great Salt Lake to Dinosaur National Monument as you travel to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
By Staff,
Sun setting over the Tetons and river in Jackson Hole. Courtesy Photo

Hit desert highlights from the Great Salt Lake to Dinosaur National Monument as you travel to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Along the 1,140 miles, find ancient history and the best Americana.

Jumpstart this fantastic road trip in Salt Lake City where the mountains shoot dramatically from the valley floor, framing this bustling city. Discover the early history of the city and even that of your own family at Temple Square and shop at City Creek Center, an open-air mall downtown. From there head north to Cache Valley to visit the American West Heritage Center to learn about the Old West pioneer days. Head to Idaho Falls for a dose of culture and explore the Americana in towns like Rigby, Ashton, Driggs and Victor, including The Spud Drive-In Theatre. Cross into Wyoming and experience Jackson, the gateway to Grand Teton National Park. Farther north, you'll discover Yellowstone National Park. From the park, head south to Kemmerer to uncover fossils and get wet at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Then hit dinosaur country in Vernal, Utah, and nearby Dinosaur National Monument.

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Start: Salt Lake City, Utah

Top 11 Things to Do in Salt Lake City

A father and daughter ride the alpine slide at Utah Olympic Park. Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation

As you plan your trip through the West, it’s the perfect place to begin or end your adventure. It’s known as a gateway city to the National Park.
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6 Places to See in Temple Square in Salt Lake City

Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve Inc.

Explore the square’s sprawling 35 acres and uncover your own family’s history, as well as that of Utah before you head out on your road trip to Yellowstone.
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Stop 1: Utah’s Time Machine, Logan and Cache Valley

Blacksmith at the American West Heritage Center. Photo by Mike Bullock courtesy of Cache Valley

Step back into the pioneer days at the American West Heritage Center. In the summer enjoy the “Heart of the Arts” during the Utah Festival.
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Stop 2: Pocatello, Idaho

Get Green and Clean in Pocatello

The world's first vacuum cleaner at the Museum of Clean in Pocatello. Photo courtesy of Visit Pocatello

Play outdoors in this Idaho gateway. See the Museum of Clean, the Idaho Museum of Natural History, or grizzlies up close at the Pocatello Zoo.
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Set Up Your RV Camp in Idaho

RVing in Idaho near the Galena Summit

Idaho is Yellowstone’s less crowded next-door neighbor. At Idaho RV Parks and Campgrounds, enjoy breathtaking scenery and legendary outdoor recreation. Pocatello alone has eight RV campgrounds. Search for sites more sites on the website.
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Stay and Play at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Fort Hall Casino in Fort Hall, Idaho

Shoshone-Bannock Hotel in Fort Hall, Idaho. Courtesy photo

Located on I-15, just north of Pocatello and south of Idaho Falls, Fort Hall Casino is your place to find friendly service and gaming excitement.
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Stop 3: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Parks Galore in Idaho Falls

Waterfalls along the Greenbelt in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Stroll or jog along the Snake River on the Greenbelt. Along the way, you’ll pass fishing ponds, waterfalls, overlooks and the Friendship Garden. Then visit a drive-in movie theater, catch a world-class theater performance, see a pair of lions and find out where all those potatoes you eat come from.
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A Dose of Culture at the Museum of Idaho

Roman exhibit at the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls. Courtesy photo

Stop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, en route to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, to find there’s merit to the expression “all roads lead to Rome.”
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Pit Stop

Stay at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Idaho Falls and get a free $25 Town Pump Gift Card.
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Stop 4: Idaho's Teton Valley

Drive Through Yellowstone Bear World

Drive through Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg. Courtesy photo

All kinds of animals—including wolves, elk, deer, mountain goats, bears and bison—roam throughout this outdoor playground, which you can see from the comfort of your own car.
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Curbside Attractions in Idaho’s Yellowstone-Teton Territory

Spud Drive-In Theatre in Driggs Idaho. Photo by Nick Cote

From TV inventors to root beer floats, you’ll find great Americana in eastern Idaho. Visit the Spud Drive-Inn, Yellowstone Bear World, and a summer music scene.
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The West Side Story of Teton Valley and Grand Targhee Resort

Scenic chairlift at Grand Targhee Resort. Courtesy photo

With so much attention on the east side of the Tetons, leave the crowds behind and experience the top eight things to do on the Teton’s west side.
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Stop 5: Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

Have Some Fun on the Water in Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole

Kayaking on Jackson Lake in Grant Teton National Park. Photo by James Kaiser courtesy of O.A.R.S.

Take a kayaking trip with O.A.R.S. or rent a canoe and go it alone. Take a scenic float trip or a thrilling whitewater rafting trip down the Snake River with Lewis & Clark Expeditions, Barker-Ewing, or Mad River Boat Trips. Or enjoy a Jackson Lake boat cruise.
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7 Reasons to Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art

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

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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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Via Ferrata, Tram and Ropes Course

Jackson Hole Aerial Tram from Teton Village. Courtesy Photo

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

Convenient lodging in Jackson, Wyoming.

Ranch Inn in downtown Jackson
It's the closest motel property to the famous Jackson Town Square giving you easy access to restaurants, museums, theaters, and nightlife. More info at 307-733-6363, www.ranchinn.com.

Town Square Inns has four locations in Jackson.
Stay at the Antler Inn, 49er Inn & Suites, Cowboy Village Resort, or Elk County Inn. More info at 800-483-8667, www.townsquareinns.com

Jackson Hole Resort Lodging
Vacation rentals including condominiums, townhomes and homes throughout Jackson Hole including Teton Village.
www.jhrl.com

Super 8 Jackson Hole
Just one mile from Jackson's town square. www.jacksonholesuper8.com

7 Best Places to Eat and Sleep in Grand Teton National Park

The window overlooking the Tetons at Jackson Lake Lodge. Photo courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Co.

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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Stay Between Two Parks at Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch

Headwaters Lodge at dusk. Photo by David Switfti courtesy of Grand Teton Lodge Co.

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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Stop 6: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone's most famous geyser, Old Faithful at Twilight

Enter in Yellowstone National Park's South Entrance. See our park itineraries for things to do in the park.

GyPSy Guide Yellowstone Tour App

Yellowstone GyPSy Guide App for your cell phone or tablet

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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Stop 7: Kemmerer, Wyoming’s Fossil Basin is Lost in Time

Digging for fossils in Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Fossil Basin

Fossil Basin is 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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Stop 8: Fun on the Water at the Flaming Gorge on the Utah-Wyoming Border

The Red Canyon Overlook at the Flaming Gorge straddling the Utah-Wyoming border. Photo courtesy of Flaming Gorge Country

The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam is one of the finest tailwater fisheries in the world. A mellow stretch of river great for family rafting.
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Stop 9: Vernal, Utah Says, "Welcome to Dinoland!"

Vernal, Utah sign welcoming you to Dinosaur Land.

An easy day’s drive southwest of Yellowstone is Dinoland in Utah. You’ll dig ancient animal history at a museum and life-sized dinosaur garden.
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End: Salt Lake City