How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone


Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you plan the perfect road trip from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone. This scenic journey will take you through stunning vistas, hidden gems, and iconic national parks, offering a unique perspective on the West. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a break from the crowds, this road trip has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • An epic road trip from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone offers stunning landscapes and hidden gems.
  • Plan your itinerary carefully to include stops in vibrant cities, national parks, and lesser-known attractions along the way.
  • Explore the beauty of the Tetons, with uncrowded trails and natural hot springs.
  • Discover the wonders of Yellowstone, from geysers and wildlife to breathtaking natural wonders.
  • Make the most of your return journey by visiting unique stops and enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding areas.

Start in Salt Lake City: The Center of it All

Salt Lake City serves as the perfect starting point for your road trip adventure. With its unique blend of tradition and progressive culture, this vibrant city offers a range of attractions and activities that will captivate every traveler. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, historical landmarks, or a thriving arts scene, Salt Lake City has it all.

  • Visit Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake and witness breathtaking views and diverse wildlife.
  • Explore the trails and charming downtown of Park City, a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and ski lovers.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich history of the city by visiting landmarks such as Temple Square and the Utah State Capitol.
  • Indulge in the local cuisine scene by trying delicious dishes and beverages at the city’s numerous restaurants and breweries.

Whether you choose to stay in a vacation rental in Natural Retreats Park City or explore the surrounding areas, Salt Lake City offers endless possibilities for exploration and relaxation. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable road trip from this bustling city to the natural wonders that await along the way.

Discover Utah and Idaho: Hidden Gems and Pioneer History

On your road trip from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone, take the time to explore the hidden gems of Utah and Idaho. These states offer a wealth of attractions, outdoor adventures, and a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region. Whether you’re seeking unique experiences or looking to escape the crowds, Utah and Idaho have something for everyone.

Hidden Gems in Utah

In Utah, you’ll find stunning landscapes and a variety of things to do. Start your exploration in Cache Valley, known for its lush greenery and outdoor activities. Take a hike through Logan Canyon, visit the beautiful Bear Lake, and explore the charming downtown area of Logan, where you can immerse yourself in pioneer history and enjoy local cuisine.

Continuing south, don’t miss Fort Hall, where you can learn about the culture and history of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes. The nearby city of Blackfoot is home to the Idaho Potato Museum, where you can discover the fascinating world of potatoes and their impact on Idaho’s economy.

Hidden Gems in Idaho

As you journey through Idaho, make a stop in Idaho Falls, a vibrant city with scenic river walks and a variety of outdoor activities. From there, head to St. Anthony, known for its towering sand dunes and opportunities for sandboarding and ATV riding. You can also explore Ririe, a small town surrounded by beautiful mountains, and enjoy hiking, fishing, and camping in the surrounding national forests.

Both Utah and Idaho offer hidden gems that showcase the natural beauty and pioneer history of the region. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply enjoying the charm of small towns, these states have it all.

Hidden Gems in Utah Hidden Gems in Idaho
Cache Valley Idaho Falls
Logan Canyon St. Anthony Sand Dunes
Bear Lake Ririe
Downtown Logan
Fort Hall

Embark on a journey through Utah and Idaho and discover the hidden gems and pioneer history that await along the way. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and rich cultural experiences that these states have to offer. From Cache Valley to Idaho Falls, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on this unforgettable road trip.

hidden gems in utah and idaho

Explore the Tetons: Uncrowded Trails and Hot Springs

The Tetons, with their majestic peaks and pristine wilderness, offer a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. As you approach from the west, prepare to be mesmerized by the mirror-image views of the renowned range. The Tetons offer uncrowded trails, hot springs, and a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking to unwind in the rejuvenating waters, the Tetons have something for everyone.

One of the must-do activities in the Tetons is exploring Grand Teton National Park. With over 300 miles of hiking trails, you can embark on adventures that take you through breathtaking landscapes and offer glimpses of abundant wildlife. Keep an eye out for moose, elk, and even grizzly bears as you traverse the park’s diverse ecosystems. Don’t miss the iconic Snake River Overlook, where you can capture stunning photographs of the Teton Range reflecting in the river.

“Hiking in the Tetons is a truly transformative experience. The untouched beauty of the mountains and the serenity of the trails make it a perfect place to reconnect with nature.” – Jane Smith, Outdoor Enthusiast

Hot Springs and Relaxation

After a day of exploring, take some time to unwind in the natural hot springs that dot the region. The hot springs offer a unique opportunity to soak in warm, mineral-rich waters while surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Tetons. It’s the ideal way to soothe your muscles and rejuvenate your mind. Be sure to check out Granite Hot Springs, a rustic gem nestled deep in the Gros Ventre Mountains. Surrounded by forests and mountains, it provides an idyllic setting for relaxation.

Summer Fun at Snow King Resort

For those seeking a different kind of adventure, Snow King Resort is the place to be. Located in the town of Jackson, this mountain resort offers a plethora of summer activities for the whole family. From scenic chairlift rides to thrilling alpine slides, there’s never a dull moment at Snow King. Take a guided tour to learn about the area’s rich history or challenge yourself on the exhilarating ropes courses. The resort also offers world-class dining options and lodging, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone.

Things to Do in the Tetons Teton National Park Hot Springs in the Tetons
Hiking and Wildlife Viewing Explore over 300 miles of trails and spot diverse wildlife. Relax in natural hot springs surrounded by stunning landscapes.
Photography Capture breathtaking views of the Teton Range and Snake River. Soak in warm, mineral-rich waters for ultimate relaxation.
Scenic Drives Take in the beauty of the Tetons from the comfort of your car. Visit Granite Hot Springs for a rustic and serene experience.
Summer Activities Enjoy alpine slides, chairlift rides, and ropes courses at Snow King Resort. Experience the soothing power of natural hot springs.

With its uncrowded trails, hot springs, and abundance of recreational opportunities, the Tetons offer a unique and unforgettable experience. From the awe-inspiring beauty of Grand Teton National Park to the rejuvenating waters of the hot springs, this region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and a haven for those seeking tranquility amidst nature’s splendor.

Enter Yellowstone: Geysers, Wildlife, and Natural Wonders

As you enter Yellowstone National Park via the West Entrance, you will be stepping into a world of awe-inspiring geysers, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking natural wonders. Yellowstone is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

One of the must-see attractions in Yellowstone is the iconic Old Faithful geyser. Witness the impressive eruptions as this geyser shoots hot water high into the air, a sight that never fails to amaze visitors. Another highlight is the magnificent Grand Prismatic Spring, with its vibrant colors and unique microbial mats. Take a stroll along the boardwalks and be mesmerized by the beauty of this natural wonder.

Yellowstone is also famous for its diverse wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to spot grizzly bears, wolves, elk, bison, and many other fascinating species. The Lamar Valley is a hotspot for wildlife viewing, known as the “Serengeti of North America” for its abundance of wildlife. Capture that perfect photo or simply enjoy the thrill of observing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

In addition to geysers and wildlife, Yellowstone offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Explore the park’s numerous hiking trails and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery and serene wilderness. Marvel at the majestic waterfalls, such as the impressive Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. For those who enjoy fishing, the rivers and lakes in Yellowstone provide excellent opportunities to try your luck and catch some trout.

geysers in Yellowstone

Immerse yourself in the wonders of Yellowstone National Park and let nature’s beauty surround you. Whether you are seeking geysers, wildlife encounters, or simply a peaceful retreat into nature, Yellowstone is sure to exceed your expectations and leave you with lasting memories.

Return Journey: Unique Stops and Natural Beauty

As you make your way back to Salt Lake City from Yellowstone, take the opportunity to explore unique stops and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding areas. From hidden gems to stunning landscapes, this return journey offers a chance to uncover even more of the region’s treasures.

Scenic Drives and Stops

One of the highlights of the return journey is the scenic drive through Southern Idaho. Make a stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument, where you’ll be transported to an otherworldly landscape of lava fields and volcanic formations. Take a walk along the trails and marvel at the rugged beauty of this unique geological feature.

Continue your journey to Idaho Falls, a charming city located along the Snake River. Explore the picturesque greenbelt and enjoy the stunning views of the waterfalls. You can also visit the Idaho Falls Zoo or take a scenic boat tour on the river.

Jackson and Grand Teton National Park

Before reaching Salt Lake City, make sure to include a visit to Jackson and Grand Teton National Park. Jackson is a town known for its Old West charm and vibrant art scene. Stroll through the town square, browse the galleries, and indulge in some delicious local cuisine.

Just a short drive from Jackson, you’ll find yourself in Grand Teton National Park. Marvel at the majestic mountain peaks, hike the scenic trails, and keep an eye out for wildlife, such as elk, moose, and bears. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat ride on Jenny Lake and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.

Final Thoughts

The return journey from Yellowstone to Salt Lake City offers a chance to further explore the wonders of the region. Whether you’re captivated by the lunar-like landscapes of Craters of the Moon, enchanted by the beauty of Idaho Falls, or charmed by the art and nature in Jackson and Grand Teton National Park, these unique stops will leave a lasting impression. As you conclude your road trip, take with you the memories of the diverse landscapes and the sense of adventure that comes with exploring the hidden gems along the way.


Your road trip from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone has come to an end, leaving you with memories of breathtaking landscapes and hidden gems along the way. This adventure has offered an unforgettable journey through vibrant cities, uncrowded trails, and rich cultural experiences.

As you explored Salt Lake City, you discovered a perfect blend of tradition and progressive culture. From Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake to the trails and dining options in Park City, there were endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

Throughout Utah and Idaho, you were captivated by the region’s hidden gems and pioneer history. From Cache Valley and Bear Lake to Logan and Fort Hall, each destination provided a unique insight into the area’s diverse culture and natural beauty.

As you ventured into the Tetons and Yellowstone, you were greeted with awe-inspiring views, uncrowded trails, and the wonders of geysers and wildlife. The beauty and tranquility of these destinations allowed you to truly connect with nature and create lifelong memories.

Now, as your road trip comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on the highlights of your journey. The vibrant city of Salt Lake City, the hidden gems of Utah and Idaho, the uncrowded trails of the Tetons, and the wonders of Yellowstone have all contributed to an unforgettable experience. So, pack your essentials, plan your road trip, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone.


Can I do this road trip in reverse, starting from Yellowstone and ending in Salt Lake City?

Yes, you can absolutely do this road trip in reverse. The itinerary can be easily adapted to start from Yellowstone and end in Salt Lake City.

How long should I plan for this road trip?

It is recommended to plan at least 7-10 days for this road trip to fully explore the attractions and enjoy the experiences along the way.

Are there camping options available along the route?

Yes, there are several camping options available along the route, including campgrounds in national parks, state parks, and private campgrounds.

Are there any entrance fees for the national parks?

Yes, there are entrance fees for Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. The fees vary depending on the type of vehicle and the duration of stay.

Can I see wildlife in Yellowstone?

Yes, Yellowstone is known for its diverse wildlife population. Visitors have the opportunity to see animals such as bears, wolves, elk, and bison in their natural habitat.

What is the best time of year to visit Yellowstone?

The best time to visit Yellowstone is during the summer months when the weather is pleasant and the park is fully accessible. However, each season offers a unique experience in the park.

Are there hiking trails in the Tetons?

Yes, there are numerous hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. The park offers options for all skill levels.

Can I swim in the hot springs in the Tetons?

No, swimming is not allowed in the hot springs in the Tetons. However, there are designated areas for soaking in natural hot springs in the park.

Are there any guided tours available in Yellowstone?

Yes, there are guided tours available in Yellowstone, including wildlife tours, geology tours, and historical tours. These tours provide a deeper understanding of the park’s features and history.

What are some unique stops on the return journey to Salt Lake City?

Some unique stops on the return journey include Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho Falls, and Jackson. These stops offer different attractions and scenic beauty.

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