Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Default Trip to Glacier NP,Yellowstone,NP and Grand Tetons NP need your suggestions

    Well hello fellow road trippers we are new to this site but not to over the road traveling. However, it is our first trip to the subject parks.
    My wife and I have two weeks to visit these parks. We live near philadelphia (actually along the delaware river next to washingtons crossing so if you need advise about what to see here both revolutionairy and civil war places we can help). We are retired both 68 I have a few repacement parts so hiking is limited to 6 miles RT per day. I am an avid landscape photographer so maximizing visual delights is a top prioriety.
    Our typical routine is to hike in early morning then drive mid day11amish to 3pmish plus minus hours depending on distance to places to see to another location(s).We will also drive during evening to location. We will be staying in motels, BB, motels.

    So what we would like to know which airport would be best to fly from Philly to, Salt Lake,Denver,Seattle). We will be doing a loop from that airport.
    The goal is to see as much visually beautiful natural resources on the way to and from these parks as possible not requiring off road or traveling dirt roads in poor condition.
    We do not care if on the way delights add a day or two coming and going from these parks.
    We have beed to Seattle before so Mt Rainer,St Hellens,Olympic.,have been visited but that's it in this area so Seattle is viable depending on visual delights to see on way to the parks.

    Could you suggest an airport, and route to travel( it does not matter if we start the loop going to Glacier or the Tetons first, also different routes coming and going is prefered) and sites to see on those routes.I will then look up suggestions,distances time alocation etc. to fill our itineary. thanks for your insights and advise
    Last edited by Where am I; 02-15-2016 at 09:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A start with some of my favourite places.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    The best airport into which to fly, on a trip like yours, is the one which gives you the best deal on both flight and car rental.

    Since you have been to the area before, do you have good maps? [With good maps you will never need to ask "Where am I"?] You might like to follow the advice in this paragraph:-

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    Good maps have many if not all the attractions along the way marked on them, as well as all the options for your routes, with scenic routes higlighted. There are many places and scenic routes in eastern WA, ID and western MT.

    You need to check when Going To The Sun Road in Glacier opens, though it pays to check again on your approach, as it can close even in summer with a blizzard. If you want to stay within any of the NPs, you need to make those bookings a.s.a.p., especially Yellowstone. It is not unusual to find everything booked up more than six months ahead, but keep looking, people's plans change and cancellations do happen.

    Places I have enjoyed in particular are around the River of No Return in ID, Stanley and the Sawtooth Mts. There are also several ghost towns round there, Bonanza being one, with the historic gold dredge nearby. Another place you might find interesting for photography is the Earthquake Geological Area along US287, just north west of Yellowstone. And the Gros Ventre Slide area WY, along the Gros Ventre Rd.


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


    Much will depend on how much time you want to spend in each park and how much driving you are comfortable with. All 3 choices are good but Denver is some way from Glacier and as you have been to Seattle perhaps Salt Lake city would be a good choice, although it would be possible to see a couple of southern Utah parks from either SLC or Denver.

  4. #4

    Default I'd fly in to SLC

    Given your target area, I'd go to SLC. DEN is a full day's drive, each way, from Tetons/YNP, and given your (wonderfully) leisurely pace, you'd occupy 4 days round trip. With a day of flying out and back, you'd be looking at nearly half of your time just getting to DEN and to the target areas from there. Distances and travel times from SEA would be similar.

    It's an easy exit from SLC north towards the Tetons, excepting a rush hour afternoon departure. There are several scenic routes out of the Salt Lake Basin up into the mountains headed towards Jackson, WY, or you may choose the fastest, I-15 mostly, which isn't too shabby in the scenic department.

    Leaving YNP to the north or northwest will bring you to either south-central or southwest Montana, respectively, and there are no wrong choices there. You may consider leaving from West Yellowstone, MT, passing through Ennis, then to Virginia City and to Twin Bridges and Butte from there. By all means take the MT-1 scenic highway from Anaconda back to I-90 east of Missoula, passing through Philipsburg, where a neat downtown collection of restaurants, candy shops, a brewpub, and bars are all within walking distance of the Hotel Broadway or the simple but entirely functional Philipsburg Inn. At your chosen pace, GNP is about a day's drive from P'burg.

    For the return, you may consider a long run down US 93 from GNP. You'd backtrack to Missoula, thence south up the spectacular Bitterroot Valley, over Lost Trail Pass into Idaho (with a 25 mile each way run east on MT 43 into the incredible Big Hole Valley to stop at the somber Big Hole National Battlefield). Once in ID, US 93 descends into the Salmon River valley north of Salmon, ID, then follows the river upstream through its incised canyon to Challis. At Challis, you'll leave the river valley and drop into the Snake River Plain at Arco, passing Craters of the Moon NP (well worth a visit), to Twin Falls, ID (worth a long stop at the Snake River Bridge). From "Twin", US 93 continues south into NV at Jackpot, thence nearly 70 miles of virtually empty Basin and Range, with the snowcapped Jarbidge Mountains looming to over 11,000' on your west and the equally high Ruby Range in your windshield, to Wells, NV and I-80. From Wells, it's around 50 miles to Wendover, a nice enough overnight stop, and immediately east of Wendover you may drive out onto the Bonneville Salt Flats. Leaving Bonneville, it's about 80 miles across salt flat desert terrain to Tooele, UT and another 15 miles or so back to SLC airport from there. If Craters of the Moon and the northeast corner of NV + the Salt Flats are not appealing to you, you may simply continue east on MT 43 from the Battlefield to MT 278, south through the Big Hole Valley through Jackson (nice hotel with a good restaurant, bar, and natural hot springs pool), passing Bannack (a Montana state park and a non-touristy restored ghost town), and picking I-15 at Dillon, MT, for a nice enough drive along the west side of the Tetons back down to SLC.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default outside the box

    I would probably lean towards SLC as being your best bet, for all the reasons that Foy laid out. Denver could also work, especially if you had interest in adding some of the Dakotas to the mix. Perhaps head up to the Black Hills, continue up to Teddy Roosevelt NP in North Dakota, drive across Big Sky Country of Montana to Glacier, and then head back down through Yellowstone and the Tetons before driving straight back to Denver.

    One more somewhat outside the box idea you could also look at would be to fly into Calgary. It's actually the closest major airport to Glacier, and would be a bit less driving than even flying into SLC. It would also open up the possibility of seeing some of the great parks of the Canadian Rockies, like Banff. The downside is you'll probably have fewer flight choices to Calgary, with them probably being a bit more expensive since it is an international flight. Car rental might be a touch more expensive too, although the US Dollar is pretty strong compared to the Canadian Dollar right now (US$1 = CAN$1.40 right now), so that can provide a degree of savings.

Similar Threads

  1. Seattle to Grand Tetons and Glacier in 5 nights
    By lapierce in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-07-2014, 02:47 AM
  2. Yellowstone, Tetons, Glacier
    By smeade55 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-24-2012, 06:15 PM
  3. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 09-26-2011, 02:54 PM
  4. Lone Pine-Yosemite-Grand Tetons-Yellowstone-Glacier in 25 days?
    By Marc151 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-29-2011, 02:54 AM
  5. Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier NP road trip
    By TJmom0306 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-27-2008, 01:23 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name