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  1. #1

    Default From LA to Yellowstone and back in 16 days

    Sorry if this is all over the place, I have many questions.

    Hello all, my boyfriend and I are planning a 16 day road trip in late august through september. I'm a bit overwhelmed as this is my first time planning such a long road trip (over 2,000 miles round trip), and would love some advice from some experienced road trippers! Here is what I have planned so far.

    Day 1: Drive from Long Beach to Zion National Park (about a 7 hour drive)
    Day 2: Explore Zion and relax
    Day 3: Leave Zion and drive to Salt Lake City (we would stay in a cheap hotel)???? Not really sure if we should stop here. Thought it might be nice to see the Great Salt Lake but I'm not sure if it is worth the stop. Any advice on where to stop between Zion Utah and Yellowstone? I don't want to much of a detour as I want to be in Yellowstone by day 4 or 5.
    Day 4 or 5: Arrive to Yellowstone, YAY!
    Day 6: YS
    Day 7: YS
    Day 8: YS
    Day 9: YS
    Day 10: YS
    Day 11: Another day in YS or should we leave and stay 2-3 nights in the Grand Tetons National Park before heading back to Long Beach?
    Day 12-16: Either spend 4 days to drive back home stopping along the way (any recommendations?) or stay 2-3 nights in Grand Tetons and have 2-3 days to get back home.

    We for sure want to visit the Grand Canyon of YS, See the Geysers such as Old Faithful, Visit hot springs such as the Grand Prismatic Spring and Mammoth Hot Springs, and explore Lamar Valley. A list of any other must see's/do's in YS would be appreciated! Also what are some good campgrounds close to everything? We don't plan on staying in one place the whole time but we don't want to stay at more than 3 different places (2 is ideal) so something centrally located to everything would be nice. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    If you have 2 days to get from Zion to Yellowstone, why not leave Zion via the east entrance and spend half a day at Bryce Canyon? You could spend the night in Richfield and have a reasonable full 1 day's drive to Yellowstone from there. You can see Bryce Canyon in 4 hours - stop at the visitor's center, watch the movie, drive down to the end, then hit each pullout on the way back out.

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

    Default Nice !

    Hi, sounds like a wonderful trip you have planned !

    If you went to Bryce canyon, which is quite spectacular, you could follow 191 and also stop at Flaming Gorge on route to Yellowstone.

    From Zion you could possibly get close to the Tetons same day and visit them and Mormon Row on route to Yellowstone. That would possibly free up time to do a little more exploring on the way back. You could go through West Yellowstone and head to Twin Falls via Craters of the Moon and Shoshone Falls and while in Twin Falls check out the Snake river canyon and Perrine Bridge. You would then have options like Great Basin NP, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite NP to visit, Yosemite being another amazing NP. San Fran and the coast home would be an option if you haven't had enough of that already, or Sequoia NP of course.

    The Yellowstone NP webpage will give you lot's of info of what is where, but Canyon and Grant are two pretty good base's to explore from. If you scroll down this page and onto the next one you might pick up a few ideas for places to visit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    It sounds like you have a good trip planned! Wow, 5 days in Yellowstone! You'll have time to do a lot! You might want to have a look-see at the Yellowstone website camping information page, which gives you the names of the 5 campgrounds that accept reservations and the 7 first-come, first-serve campgrounds, all in the park. August is generally pretty full up. You'll want to start calling NOW if you want reservations, which are recommended. Even 35 years ago, one lined up at 9 am to get into a first-come first-served campground at both Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

    I do have to comment on the "7 hours from LA to Zion National Park". That's about an 8 to 9 hour trip in "real world" time, because electronic mapping systems don't allow for bathroom, food, fuel stops, nor for the incredible traffic on I-15 between the LA metropolis and Las Vegas! If there's an accident or other issue, you can add more time. So, do allow for that, especially if you are traveling on or around a weekend.


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