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  1. Default Denver - Rocky NP - Yellowstone - Moab - Denver


    We are a European couple (and a bit Malaysian) travelling for 2 weeks in July. It was our first trip to the US last Oct (Las Vegas - Death Valley - Mammoth Lakes - Yosemite - Carmel - San Francisco) and we loved it so much we've just booked our flights to return this summer.

    We have friends in Denver so will start and end there. We love hiking and nature so that's our main focus but also interested in seeing some American culture in the area (reading through other forums watching a rodeo sounds like fun).

    We've already booked our accommodation in Yellowstone so that part of the trip can't be changed but everything else is flexible so totally open to suggestions.

    1. Ideally we would not drive more than 4 hours. There are 2 big (8hr+) drives in our current itinerary - Rocky Mountain NP to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons to Moab. We are looking for somewhere to spend the night and break up the journey. Casper and Salt Lake City look like the obvious in-between stops on googlemaps - is there much to do in these cities? Or please suggest alternative mid-way stops - would be very happy with interesting small towns - I thought it would make sense to drive late afternoon to arrive for dinner so no great activities required at these mid-stops.

    2. Please suggest any resources for or even better, favourite hikes in any of our destinations (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Rock Mountain NP, Arches NP). I am currently totally overwhelmed by the choices!

    3. Is there was a way to avoid the very long drives and keep Denver, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, (2 x 8 hour drives seem inevitable despite all the alternatives I've looked at - Utah, Black Hills/Badlands)? Are there any worthwhile nature/wildlife stops in between to "fill" a round trip to Denver to Yellowstone and back?

    4. We love food so any restaurant/diner suggestions also very welcome!

    Date Area Driving Time Activity
    29/6/14 Denver - Rocky NP 1.5 hours
    30/6/14 Rocky NP- Casper 4 hours "Hike during day, 4pm drive to Casper? At Casper: Rodeo? Line dancing?"
    1/7/14 Casper - Yellowstone 5 hours
    2/7/14 Yellowstone
    3/7/14 Yellowstone
    4/7/14 Yellowstone
    5/7/14 Yellowstone
    6/7/14 Yellowstone -Grand Tetons 1 hour
    7/7/14 Grand Tetons
    8/7/14 Grand Tetons to Moab 8 hours Mid-Way stop suggestions please! Salt Lake City??
    9/7/14 Moab Rafting?
    10/7/14 Moab Arches NP / Canyonlands NP
    11/7/14 Moab-Denver 5.5 hrs

    Thank you!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Breaking Up the Drives and Picking the Hikes

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For the Rocky Mountain to Yellowstone segment, I'd suggest that you leave RMNP by the Southwest Entrance on US-34 to Granby and then after a short bit on US-40 west, take CO-125 north to WY-230/130 up through Riverside to I-80 near Walcott WY. Take I-80 to Rawlins and then strike north on US-287 to US-26 west to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, finishing off on US-191 up into Yellowstone Rawlins or Lander WY would be a good place to take an overnight stop roughly half way. Rawlins would leave a bit of a longer drive on the second day, Lander would have you driving a bit more on the first day. I'd probably aim for Lander and use the 'extra' time on the second day to hike a bit of Grand Teton.

    For the Yellowstone/Teton to Arches segment, one good place to spend an evening en route is Logan UT. This presumes that you use US-89, a great route down to SLC with numerous scenic hiking opportunities. Continuing on the next day and using I-15/US-6/US-191 would afford you a little time to check out both Great Salt Lake and Slat Lake City a little bit.

    As for hikes in the national parks, there is no better resource than the Rangers who man the Visitors Center in each park. They are intimately familiar with the hikes available in their park and will be able to tell you what's best at the precise moment you arrive. Your 'best' hike may change depending on such things as the weather, what you've already done in other parks, and even how you're feeling that particular day.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Flaming Gorge.

    Another alternative from the Tetons would be to take 191 towards Flaming Gorge Res where you could break your journey in Green River, Vernal or nearer the gorge, I think there are lodgings near Dutch John. There are some nice views to the west of the Gorge on WY530 which also has signs giving you facts about the area at the time the Dinosaurs roamed the planet. Speaking of which, Dinosaur NM wouldn't be too far out the way either.

  4. Default

    These are great tips - thanks very much!!

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