California's Yosemite to Wyoming's Yellowstone Road Trip

See granite domes, desert landscapes and rare wildlife on this 1,564-mile adventure. On the way stop at two museums, a really clean one and an artsy one.
By Staff ,

Grizzly bears at Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

See granite domes, desert landscapes and incredible wildlife from Yosemite to Yellowstone on this 1,564-mile adventure.

Road Trip Overview

From your starting point in California, head to Yosemite National Park where you'll find awe-inspiring granite domes and waterfalls, historic hotels, interactive visitor centers and amazing trails. Go online for details on where to stay and what to do at

Beyond is Lake Tahoe, the open desert landscape of Nevada, a slice of Idaho and Wyoming. In Pocatello, Idaho, stop by a museum dedicated to all things “clean” and press on to Jackson, Wyo., a mix of cowboy culture, glamour and breathtaking scenery. From there explore by foot or boat the stunning Grand Teton National Park, which sits at the doorstep of Jackson, and then drive north to Yellowstone National Park where geysers and the best wildlife show in the Lower 48 await.

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Road Trip Itinerary

Start: California

Start from your hometown on the West Coast or fly into a California airport such as Fresno, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.

Stop 1: Yosemite National Park

Half Dome from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Hit Yosemite's legendary trails and scenic overlooks to see waterfalls, granite domes, and mountain lakes.
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Stop 2: Lowa Demo Center in Norden, California

Hiking down from Glacier Point on the Panorama Trail in Yosemite. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

For any national park traveler, good footwear is essential. In your travels to or from Yosemite, stop by Lowa Boot’s demo center in the Clair Tappaan Lodge, in Norden, Calif., in the Lake Tahoe area. At the demo center, anyone can try Lowa boots for a day for free plus people learn how wearing the proper hiking boot can really improve their time on the trail.
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Stop 3: 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

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 4: 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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Stop 5: 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 6: 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.

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,

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,

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

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

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.

Photo by David Swift 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 7: 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

Deposit Photos

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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