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  1. Default From Seattle to Las Vegas via Yellowstone (and possibly Glacier National Park)

    Hi. Any thoughts how long this might take?

    We are going in mid-June 2011

    I'd like to do it in 6 days but I really don't know if its doable in that time without too much of a rush. I've done a fair amount of driving in Europe where we'd averaged around 250 miles a day on a mixture of freeways, mountain and two lane country roads, where the traffic can be quite heavy.

    Any advice would be very welcome

    What I would be especially grateful for is some thoughts on the following:

    -once we get out of Seattle/Spokane is there likely to much traffic?
    -what sort of speed can we average in the Parks?
    -are many ofthe roads likely to be very empty?
    -is Salt Lake City to Las Vegas at all interesting?

    Very many thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You should be able to make this trip in 6 days, but I don't think I'd try to squeeze Glacier into the mix.

    You'd need at least 3 full days of hard driving to fit everything in already.

    Traffic likely won't be much of an issue outside Seattle, except for within Yellowstone. Mid-June is a good time to go, and it will be before peak crowds, but it still sees a lot of traffic, on roads where you need to travel very slow, and roads that can see wildlife delays!

    Within Yellowstone you'll be lucky to average 20 mph. It is also a very big place where you could spend days upon days, and just see a small fraction of the park.

    SLC to Vegas goes near about a half dozen national parks, several more state parks, and even the freeway goes through some interesting territory - like the virgin river canyon as the highway clips the corner of Arizona.

  3. Default

    Very many thanks for this. Do you think its necessary to pre-book hotel accommodation? In the past in Europe Ive always done this but Ive been more certain about the daily distances we will be able to cover. We would typically be looking to stop at 3 star hotels and will actually be starting driving around 22 June

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Should be OK.

    You can get way with 'winging it' but lodging availability in and around popular places like Yellowstone can become scarce. You will need to stop on route from Seattle to Yellowstone, but could be there on night 2 quite comfortably depending on how you decide to split your journey. Missoula would make a good location for a reasonable day on the road, or Butte MT at the top end of what we would recommend for a days travel. A couple of days in Yellowstone with a drive through the Grand Tetons [perhaps 1 overnight in Jackson] and on to Salt lake City. If you still have time available I would certainly recommend getting off I 15 and spending some time at Zion NP, perhaps your last night on the road in Springdale close to the park entrance. Just North of Vegas is the Valley of Fire State park also.

  5. Default

    Thanks for that.

    Do you think this looks about right? Its a google map which should show posible overnight stops,28.520508&z=6
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-29-2010 at 07:25 AM. Reason: added map

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'd merge stops C/D/E together and just spend those nights in Yellowstone, keeping with a single home base where you can go out and explore. This isn't really an area that is really lends itself to driving straight through, as there will be plenty of things you'll want to see, but it will take quite a bit of driving around, not necessarily in a straight line. If you are looking for 3 star places, I would book at least this particular area.

    On the interstates, you'll be able to get quite a bit farther than 300 miles in a full day. The first and last couple days you could make up some time, depending how much you want to see, how close to "day 1" you arrive in Seattle, and how many of the detours Dave mentioned you decide to fit into your plans.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I did a quick search on for 3 star hotels in West Yellowstone - 2 showed up and the rates in June are close to $200 a night. If this is within your budget, this is the most convenient place to stay as a base for seeing Yellowstone. You can save quite a bit by taking a lower rated hotel or staying in a "mom and pop" motel. I can recommend the Evergreen - it's a charming little restored 50's style roadside motel. Of course, it's not going to have the amenities of a large hotel, but there's a lot of things in town within walking distance. It is comfortable, clean, and well maintained. The owners are a young couple who are really nice.

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