I'm graduating from college the 16th of May and I will be driving out that Sunday to the Seattle area. The main purpose is to get my car home, but two others with similar interests will be going with me and we hope to stop by a few places along the way.
We know we want to stop by Yellowstone (and also probably the Grand Tetons). I would have loved to go to the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier NP, but it looks like it'll still be closed.
We are thinking we'd like to go to a couple places in Utah (open to suggestions, right now I'm thinking Dead Horse Point and Bryce Canyon). This means driving from Pittsburgh, through Colorado, up through Utah and through Montana to Washington state.
The route looks something like this on google maps
Any thoughts on Utah would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to this trip. To clarify that route I have on google maps: I'm going to take 2 days to get to East Colorado/West Kansas, then 1 or 2 days to get to Utah. I'll spend 1 day in Utah, then spend a day driving up to Grand Tetons/Yellowstone. I'll spend a day+ there, then spend 2 days driving back, maybe 3 if needed. All-told, I plan to spend 8-9 days.
There are two main things I'd like to ask from you:
1. Any recommended routes through Colorado? I'd like to do it in a day, 2 at most. Remember most of the point of this is not to see everything I possibly can but to drive through to Seattle in the most spectacular way possible. It looks like Rocky Mtn NP will open up just 3 days after I arrive, but I can't wait that long--any other recommended routes through Colorado? San Juan Skyway? Top of the Rockies? I love mountainous routes (for reference, I love North Cascades Highway/Highway 20 and Going-to-the-Sun Highway of all the roads I have been on). Which route is best for just driving through, with maybe stopping for a few hours somewhere?
2. Since Going to the Sun Highway will probably be closed, any other routes you recommend going over the Rockies in Montana? I was thinking about going from Yellowstone (Beartooth too out of the way?) to Highway 2 and maybe still trying to drive on Going to the Sun Highway as far as it is open because there still is a stretch of it open. Any other scenic routes through Montana? Remember I love mountains, gorgeous mountains, and the more spectacular the better.
Thanks so much for your help.