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  1. Default salt lake city - yellowstone - Seattle

    We are planning a road trip September 2016 from Salt Lake City to Seattle via Yellowstone. We land in San Francisco and plan to get a connecting flight to SLC where we will spend the night after flying from Australia. From there the adventure begins. We did a similar drive in 2012 from San Diego to San Francisco via Sequoia and Yosemite and New Orleans to Miami in 2014 so we aren't worried about driving.
    We need a stop over midway between Yellowstone and Seattle, any suggestions? We have 2 children age 12 & 13 if that helps.
    We will have 4 weeks in the US and we are also going to Vancouver and spending some more time in San Francisco before we return to Australia hopefully taking in a baseball game.
    Where would a good central location be to explore Yelowstone? We'd probably be staying in the area for 3 to 4 days before heading to Seattle.
    We'd also like to go to a Seattle Sounders game, is it hard to get tickets for them?
    Any tips for Seattle accomadation for a family?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some time on the road ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You just can't beat staying in the National park when it come's to Yellowstone and you have the option of renting cabins as well but you will need to check availability and book as early as possible because they sell out quickly. If you don't have any luck then it's worth checking back as they have a free cancellation policy which is also handy for yourself when booking a long way in advance. The park is huge so you could consider taking 2 different locations for your stay, one south such as Grant village and one further north, perhaps Mammoth or Canyon. Canyon is quite a good option for one central location. Don't forget to spend a little time in the Grand Tetons on your way.

    Coeur d'Alene would make a reasonable place for an overnight stop on route to Seattle if going direct, but there is much to see and do if you wanted to take 3 or 4 days to get there which would seem possible given your time scale. To the north is Glacier NP which is real gem where you can drive the Going to the sun road. If you went a little south you could visit Craters of the Moon and perhaps detour through Mt Rainier NP and there are many more options either way. Have you considered Olympic National park for 2 or 3 days near Seattle ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Getting Off to a Good Start and Staying Flexible

    Even after getting a good night's sleep in Salt Lake City, it's probably going to take you a day or two to get over the jet lag and adjust to the six hour time difference. So rather than rush up to Yellowstone from SLC, you might want to consider taking it a bit easy and exploring some of the sights along the way and spending a night in or around Afton WY.

    I also agree with Dave that Coeur d'Alene ID would make a very good overnight stop on the way to Seattle. Although Spokane WA is larger and still within a day's drive of Yellowstone, Coeur d'Alene is a lovely small city with a pleasant lake-side park where you could even take a seaplane tour of the local scenery.

    In general, it really shouldn't be too difficult to get tickets to an MLS game. The truth is that soccer (as the sport is known in the US) is still just gaining in popularity and games are rarely sold out. You may have difficulty finding the Sounders at home, however. They haven't posted their schedule for next year yet, but they usually only play every other week at home during the season, including September. If you want to see American soccer and aren't committed to the Sounders, you might also check out the schedules of other teams on your route including Real Salt Lake, Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers, or San Jose Earthquakes. You might even find the Sounders playing an away game in one of those venues.

    As far as baseball goes, you'll have several options. There will be Major League Baseball in Seattle (Mariners) and in the Bay Area (San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics), but for a better value and more family-friendly atmosphere I have often found that high-level Minor League Baseball is a good choice. You will be in or near several AAA cities (the highest level of Minor League ball) including Salt Lake City UT (Bees), Tacoma WA (Rainiers), and Sacramento CA (River Cats) so look into those as well.


  4. #4


    If you leave Yellowstone NP via the West Yellowstone, MT exit, go up 191 to 287 and then head over to Earthquake Lake Visitor Center and see the effects of the quake in August of 1959. Then continue up 287, a scenic route along the Madison River, up to 359 or 2 (2 is more scenic) both of which connect to I-90 at Cardwell.

    At 12 and 13, your kids might be too old for it, but Missoula has a good carousel fairly near I-90 that you could visit. And if you get to Butte in time for lunch, head to Pork Chop John's for a good sandwich. Then continue on to Coeur d'Alene for your overnight.

    On the second day, at mile marker 143 in Washington there is an exit for a short side trip to Frenchman Coulee, where you can drive all the way to the reservoir below on the Columbia River. It has neat rock formations, hiking trails and good scenery.

    These are some of the sites you could visit on your way to Seattle.

  5. #5


    Sounds like a fun itinerary. We used to fly into Salt Lake City and then drive up to Pocatello, Idaho, for the night and to provision for camping, prior to driving up to Yellowstone NP and the Grand Tetons NP (just to the south of Yellowstone). Many of the Yellowstone camping sites and roads begin to shut down during Sept. so it is recommended you visit the Yellowstone NP website early in your planning process.

    The Beartooth Highway, exiting the NE area of the park, makes for a beautiful drive 10,000 ft. up. Exiting the mountains places you around Red Lodge--a day long trip as the road switch backs make for a slower than highway speed drive. Alpine lakes, etc.

    Driving part of the Oregon and California Coast makes for a much more scenic journey than the I-5. One good route is exiting at Kelso/Longview and driving US 30 along the Columbia River to Astoria, Oregon, and then heading south. There is a great lookout atop the hill in Astoria.

    For some good major league baseball you can take in an Oakland A's. Less crowded than the San Francisco Giants and good baseball fans (more peanuts, less wine!). Good tickets are usually available at the gate.

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