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6 Best Road Trips

Salt Lake City, Utah to Yellowstone Road Trip

Hit desert highlights from the Great Salt Lake to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, returning through Craters of the Moon National Monument and southern Idaho. Along the 1,398 miles, find ancient history and the best Americana.

Jump-start this fantastic road trip in Salt Lake City where the mountains shoot dramatically from the valley floor. Discover the city’s emerging hip restaurant scene and explore its stunning outdoors via a tramride at Snowbird. 

From there head east for adventures in beautiful Park City. Then drive north to Cache Valley and Bear Lake before stopping in Lava Hot Springs and Pocatello. Head to Idaho Falls for a dose of culture and explore Americana in towns like Heise and Driggs. 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 southwest to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, Sun Valley, Boise and Twin Falls before reaching City of Rocks National Reserve on your return route to Salt Lake City. 

Download Trip PDF (19MB)

Map

Start: Salt Lake City Area

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. www.outdoorsy.com/rv-rental/wyoming/yellowstone-national-park

Walking at Red Butte Garden overlooking Salt Lake City
Walking at Red Butte Garden overlooking Salt Lake City Photo: by Austen Diamond Photography courtesy Visit Salt Lake

Essentially Salt Lake
Did you know over 20 national parks and monuments are within a few hours’ drive from Salt Lake, including Yellowstone? Discover six more things you didn’t realize about bustling Salt Lake City.

Milky Way over Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake in Davis County
Milky Way over Antelope IslandPhoto by Dan Ransom courtesy of Davis County Tourism and Events

Playgrounds at Great Salt Lake in Davis County
Start at Antelope Island State Park on Great Salt Lake. Home to bison, pronghorn and countless bird species, it’s a wildlife watcher’s paradise. Then check out these stops for your amusement.

Mountain bikers near Park City, Utah
Mountain bikers near Park City, Utah Photo: by Mike Schirf courtesy Park City Chamber Bureau

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.

Cache Valley and Bear Lake

Re-enacting Pioneer Life at the American West Heritage Center in Logan Utah
Re-enacting Pioneer Life at the American West Heritage Center Photo: Flickr/Marsha Maxwell

Dramatic Scenes in Logan and Cache Valley
Stretch your legs on local trails in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Cache Valley, including a 2-mile one-way trek to see a triple arch rock formation and the Wind Caves. Then head back to town to explore pioneer life or see a live show.

Kayaking on Bear Lake
Kayaking on Bear Lake Photo: Courtesy Bear Lake Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau

Two Things You Must Do at Bear Lake
Straddling the Utah-Idaho border, this recreational paradise is known for its turquoise waters and a delicious treat.

Southeast Idaho Surprises

Zoo Idaho in Pocatello
Zoo IdahoCourtesy Zoo Idaho

Clean and Green in Pocatello
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.

Lava Hot Springs Resort
Lava Hot Springs Resort 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.

Dancers at the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival
Dancers at the Shoshone-Bannock Indian FestivalFort Hall Casino/Shoshone-Bannock Hotel

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.

Taking a selfie at the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot
Taking a selfie at the Idaho Potato Museum in BlackfootCourtesy Idaho Potato Museum

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.

Idaho Falls sunset
Idaho Falls sunsetiStock

Fall into the Local Scene in Idaho Falls
By the time the Snake River reaches Idaho Falls, it is lined with artist-created benches, fun restaurants and locally owned boutiques. Along the River Walk here, you can walk, bike, rollerblade, sit on a bench or peruse the farmers market.

4 Idaho Falls Secrets to a Fantastic Yellowstone Area Vacation
Stay west of the Tetons to discover all the gems in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. You’ll lose the crowds and find affordable lodging options.

RV Idaho’s Best Places to Camp
Choose from 60 campgrounds on the west side of Yellowstone. Enjoy breathtaking scenery and legendary outdoor recreation.

The West Side of the Tetons

Paddleboarding at Fall Creek Falls in Idaho
Paddleboarding at Fall Creek Falls in Idaho Photo: by Josh Myers courtesy of Yellowstone Teton Territory

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.

Milky Way over Spud Drive-in, Teton Valley in Idaho
Milky Way over Spud Drive-in, Teton Valley in Idaho Photo: Photo by Josh Myers courtesy of Teton Regional Economic Coalition

West Side Story of Teton Valley
With so much attention on the east side of the Tetons, leave the crowds behind and experience the top nine things to do on the Teton’s west side.

Scenic chairlift at Grand Targhee Resort
Scenic chairlift at Grand Targhee Resort Photo: Courtesy Grand Targhee Resort

Grand Targhee Resort
Ride the lift on Fred’s Mountain to 10,000 feet and enjoy the region’s most dramatic views of the Tetons. Then enjoy an al fresco lunch on the plaza. The chairlift also accesses downhill biking trails for an exhilarating ride back.

Jackson and Grand Teton National Park

Bison grazing in front of the Tetons
Bison grazing in front of the TetonsAndre Costantini

4 Ways to Get the Best Photos at Grand Teton National Park 
We asked professional Tamron photographer André Costantini for his tips on how to make the most of your time in the Tetons.

48 Hours 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 from Nokian Tyres.

Solitude Float Trips in Grand Teton National Park
Solitude Float Trips in Grand Teton National ParkCourtesy Solitude Float Trips

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

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.

Downtown Jackson, Wyoming, with its Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and a town square cornered with antler arches
Downtown Jackson, Wyoming, with its Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and a town square cornered with antler archesCourtesy of Visit Jackson Hole

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.

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.

The Bridger Gondola passes over the downhill mountain bike park at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
The Bridger Gondola passes over the downhill mountain bike park at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Photo: Courtesy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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.

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

A woman viewing Morning Glory Pool from the boardwalk
A woman viewing Morning Glory Pool from the boardwalk in YellowstoneDeposit Photos

Enter the South Entrance to Yellowstone

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.

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.

Exit the West Gate of Yellowstone

West Yellowstone

Mountain biking at Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone
Mountain biking at Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone Photo: by Jon Cracroft courtesy of West Yellowstone, Montana

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.

Undiscovered Southern Idaho

Drive through a free-range bear habitat at Yellowstone Bear World
Drive through a free-range bear habitat at Yellowstone Bear World Photo: Courtesy Yellowstone Bear World

Drive Through Yellowstone Bear World
All kinds of animals – including wolves, elk, deer, mountain goats, bears and bison – roam throughout this outdoor playground, which you can see from your own car.

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

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

End: Salt Lake City