Wyoming Road Trip: 3 Epic Routes to Yellowstone & Grand Teton
A trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is one of the classic all-American adventures. Filled with majestic mountain scenery, exploding geysers, rushing waterfalls and unbelievable wildlife encounters, there’s a reason this national park vacation is at the top of so many people’s must-do lists.
But on the way there, don’t miss the chance to slow down and enjoy the sweet and unexpected moments that come from a good old fashioned road trip. From where to stop to stretch your legs or grab a good meal to the cool attractions you won’t want to miss along the way, we’ve compiled some of the best stops on the road to Wyoming from three major hubs—Seattle, San Francisco and Denver. To fully enjoy your time on the road, plan to spend at least 2 to 3 days leisurely making your way to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
Here’s to planning an epic Wyoming road trip and enjoying summer vacation the way it was meant to be…
As tourism restrictions fluctuate in many states and counties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to review local health department updates and guidelines before traveling and keep in mind the potential impacts you may have on the communities you travel through.
1) Orange Route | Seattle to Gardiner, Montana
Trip Length: 756 Miles, approximately 11-12 hours driving
Recommended Route: From Seattle, take I-90E to Spokane, WA before passing briefly through Idaho en route to Missoula and Bozeman, MT. From there, take US-89S, which will take you into Yellowstone via Gardiner, MT and the Park’s North Entrance near Mammoth Hot Springs.
Highlights: Explore the heart of downtown Spokane’s Riverside district, cool down on a Clark Fork River float trip in Missoula and visit T. Rex in Bozeman.
See the full itinerary here: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Road Trip from Seattle
2) Purple Route | Denver to Cody, Wyoming
Trip Length: 493 Miles, approximately 8-9 hours driving
Recommended Route: From Denver, follow I-25N to Casper, WY before taking US-26W/Hwy 20W to Thermopolis. From there, you’ll take WY-120W to Cody, and then US-14W into Yellowstone’s East Entrance.
Highlights: Paddle Lake Alcova before strolling through Casper, Wyoming’s Old Yellowstone District, take a dip in a hot spring in Thermopolis and check out a real deal rodeo in Cody, Wyoming.
See the full itinerary here: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Road Trip from Denver
3) Green Route | San Francisco to Jackson, Wyoming
Trip Length: 1,011 Miles, approximately 15-16 hours driving
Recommended Route: From San Francisco, CA follow I-80E to Reno, NV and on to Salt Lake City, UT. From Salt Lake, head out I-15N into Idaho where you’ll turn right onto US-30E then left on ID-34E and finally, on to US-89 N to Jackson, WY just outside of Grand Teton National Park.
Highlights: Stroll Reno Nevada’s revitalized Riverwalk District, discover off-the-beaten path Salt Lake City, see a Guinness Book of World Record-holding geyser and hike at the top of the Tetons.
See the full itinerary here: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Road Trip from San Francisco
Need some help planning your Yellowstone and Grand Teton trip? Check out: The Best of Yellowstone and Grand Teton if You Only Have a Week. For more road trip inspiration, check out our library of itineraries from some of the West’s biggest travel hubs.
Please remember to travel responsibly & always
Leave No Trace in any area you’re visiting.
Photos: Grand Teton view – makenzie cooper / Unsplash, Clark Fork tubing in Missoula – Destination Missoula, Cody Cattle Company – Park County Travel Council, Salt Lake City – Visit Salt Lake, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – James Kaiser