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6 Best Road Trips

Salt Lake City to Yellowstone Road Trip

Find ancient history, the best Americana and a mirror image of the Tetons many visitors miss.

Traverse the western side of the Rockies for hidden gems, gorgeous views and fresh mountain air.

Start in Salt Lake City, a vibrant community set against the backdrop of snow-dusted peaks, capped by impossibly blue skies. From here, you’ll cross Utah, Idaho and Wyoming on your way to Yellowstone, escaping the crowds to see a side of the West that’s often overlooked.

Hit wildflower-filled trails in Park City before discovering pioneer history as you make your way north to Logan. Across the border in Idaho, Fort Hall offers a glimpse into the culture of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes. If Idaho makes you think potatoes, stop in Blackfoot to learn everything there is to know about this humble tuber. Then, dive into communities like Idaho Falls, St. Anthony and Ririe where you’ll discover that this state is so much more than just fields of spuds.

The Traveling Child kayaking to Shoshone Falls with AWOL Adventure Sports
The Traveling Child kayaking to Shoshone Falls with AWOL Adventure Sports (Photo: Southern Idaho Tourism/Earth to Sarah)

As you approach the Tetons from the west, you might be surprised by the mirror-image view of the range you’ve seen photographed from the east. This side of the Tetons is home to uncrowded trails, hot springs soaks and more. Head into Wyoming where you’ll find summer fun at Snow King Resort before exploring Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

Exit Yellowstone via the West Entrance, taking a quick jaunt through Montana before you’re back in Idaho. Three national park sites filled with weird and wonderful rock formations and fossils, along with a massive and stunning waterfall will fill your drive back to Salt Lake City.

There’s no denying it, west is best.

Road Trip Map

Start: Salt Lake City Area

Bison on Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake, Utah
Bison on Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake. (Photo: Getty Images)

Rent an RV with Outdoorsy
Do this road trip in an RV to stay close to nature. Or check out Destination Delivery: Have an RV delivered directly to a campground or parking site to camp in style without having to get behind the wheel.

The Center of it All in Salt Lake
Salt Lake is where the tradition meets a progressive and energetic cultural scene.

Follow Your Trail in Park City
In Park City there’s a trail for everyone, from mountain biking to al fresco dining to live music, and there’s no better time to hit them than summer.

Explore Antelope Island on Great Salt Lake
This salty oasis is home to birds, bison and pronghorn. Explore on your own or take a tour on horseback or e-bike.

Cache Valley and Bear Lake

Spend the day out on the water on Bear Lake
Spend the day out on the water on Bear Lake (Photo: Courtesy Sun Outdoors)

Go Local in Logan and Cache Valley
Catch a glimpse into pioneer living, enjoy live theater performances and stroll a charming downtown with a stop in Logan.

Stay Right Next to the Water at Bear Lake
Stay in a cabin, hotel room or your RV on the shores of sparkling Bear Lake with Sun Outdoors Garden City.

Best of Southeast Idaho

Floating the Portneuf River through the city of Lava Hot Springs.
Floating the Portneuf River through the city of Lava Hot Springs. (Photo: Idaho Tourism)

Take a Dip in Lava Hot Springs
Soak in hot springs and float down a river in this charming town in Idaho.

Location, Location. Pocatello Offers Affordability
Explore these four stops where you’ll see Stripes and Shoni, a place devoted to cleaning up, ancient curious creatures and a hub of ethnic flavors.

Have a Shoshone-Bannock Native Experience
The Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel offers a spa, a gift shop selling Shoshone-Bannock crafts and a place to watch your favorite sports team. Here are seven reasons to visit.

Get a Potato Selfie at the Idaho Potato Museum
Discover the stories behind this unsung hero of a vegetable including VP Dan Quayle’s potato incident.

On the Fly in Idaho Falls
Basecamp in Idaho Falls, two hours from Yellowstone and Grand Teton, with direct flights from across the country. Here’s the top six reasons to visit.

6 Amazing Places on the Other Side of the Tetons
Whether you like motorized recreation or exploring via your own two feet, there’s an adventure for everyone on the Tetons’ western and – if you ask a local – better side. Here are can’t-miss stops from Idaho Falls to Ririe on the way to Yellowstone.

Jackson and Grand Teton National Park

John Moulton's barn on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo.
John Moulton’s barn on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. (Photo: Depositphotos)

2 Days in Grand Teton National Park
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Grand Teton from amazing hiking trails to scenic boat rides and the best huckleberry milkshake ever.

3 Roadside Stops in Grand Teton National Park
From historic homesteads to breathtaking river valleys, here are our top stops for a fantastic scenic drive plus road-trip advice.

Fun on the Snake River and Grand Teton Lakes
With temperatures reaching new highs, figuring out how to stay cool is key to enjoying your summer. Enjoy adventures in Jackson and nearby Grand Teton National Park.

Barker Ewing by Jackson Hole Whitewater
Barker-Ewing Scenic Float Trips
Mad River Boat Trips
Solitude Float Trips
Grand Teton Lodge Company

Barker Ewing rafting on the Snake River in Jackson Hole.
Barker Ewing rafting on the Snake River in Jackson Hole. (Photo: Courtesy Barker Ewing)

Three Park Entrances and a Surprise
Grand Teton National Park is shaped a bit like your left-hand thumb and is dotted with three main entrances. A surprise for many visitors is there is no Grand Teton entrance station when you head south from Yellowstone into Grand Teton.

GyPSy Guide 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.

Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch
Just minutes from the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park and the northern section of Grand Teton National Park, stay at the Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch.

Saddle Up in Jackson
Just 15 minutes from Grand Teton National Park and two hours from Yellowstone, Jackson is a great stop if you’re looking for an old West town with a touch of class and a lot of fun.

6 Big Adventures at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Right next to Grand Teton National Park, spend a day on the new Via Ferrata assisted climbing course, riding the gondola, tackling the ropes course or biking and hiking downhill.

Summer Fun Starts at Snow King Mountain Resort
Jackson, Wyo.’s best-kept secret offers a ton of activities for all ages, plus bike and SUP rentals.

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.
Elk Country Inn
Antler Inn
Cowboy Village Cabins and Lodge
49er Inn and Suites

Yellowstone National Park

Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin
Morning Glory Pool (Photo: Depositphotos)

Enter the South Entrance to Yellowstone

2 Days 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.

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.

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.

A misty morning at Lower Falls in Yellowstone
A misty morning at Lower Falls in Yellowstone (Photo: Doreen Lawrence)

Whose Land Am I On?
Long before Yellowstone became the country’s first national park, this land was important to a diverse group of people. Philetus W. Norris, the park’s second superintendent, convinced America that Native American tribes avoided Yellowstone because of their fear of the park’s geysers. This came at a time when the U.S. was at war with many tribes so it was a convenient story, but it couldn’t have been further from the truth. Native Americans hunted, fished and gathered plants in the park. Some tribes visited the geysers and conducted ceremonies while others collected obsidian. The Fishing Bridge area was used as a gathering place and the thermal waters of the park were used for ceremony and healing. There are 27 tribes with historic ties to Yellowstone who are now spread across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas.

Exit the West Gate of Yellowstone

West Yellowstone

7 Sights at West Yellowstone
The town of West Yellowstone sits right at the West Gate to Yellowstone National Park. Here are the top seven ways to avoid the park’s crowds and see the best of the area.

Natural Beauty in Southern Idaho

Shoshone Falls in Idaho
Shoshone Falls in Idaho (Photo: Courtesy Visit Southern Idaho)

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Feel Like You’re On Another Planet as you explore volcanic formations, including lava tube caves, on the trails and scenic drives at this uncrowded national park site.

9 Uncrowded Gems in Southern Idaho
After Yellowstone, dip into southern Idaho to explore nine attractions, including two national park sites, you won’t find elsewhere.

End: Salt Lake City

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