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  1. Default [JUNE] Summer Drive from Seattle to Salt Lake & back through Yellowstone/Glacier.


    My family and I are planning a 9 day trip in June from Seattle to Salt Lake City (lodging in Park city).

    If possible, I'm looking for some suggestions on our return trip from Salt Lake:
    • * Driving a Crew Cab 2016 Tundra
      * Two rascals...err kids: 8 and 10
      * Interested in hitting Yellowstone and/or Glacier National on the return trip to Seattle
      * Two, maybe three days can be allocated for the return trip.
      * Fun points of interest along the way?
      * Good geocaching spots?

    I'm sure there's other parameters/questions that I've forgotten to add to the list.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    You may be underestimating the time it takes to actually SEE Yellowstone. It is *huge*. Park City to Seattle is a 2-day drive without including Yellowstone. To see the highlights of Yellowstone, namely the main geothermal basins and Old Faithful, the waterfalls and the Mammoth Hot Springs area, it will take another 2-3 days. The roads through YNP all have 30 mph speed limits, some of the road is under construction, and with the animal jams, you're lucky to make 20 mph.

    To do Glacier instead, you would need a little more than a day to drive from Park City to Glacier, then at least a full day to drive the 50-mile Going to the Sun Road, then another full day to drive home. It's 700+ miles to go from Park City to Glacier, some of it over 2-lane roads, so you'd take a full day to drive up the 15 to Great Falls, overnight there, then shoot west, maybe taking the day to drive through GTtSR, overnight in Kalispell, and head home.

    A crew cab with two kids sounds good -- we used to have a crew cab Ford, and our kids were usually comfortable.

    Fun points of interest ... er, not if you only have 2-3 days allocated for the return trip and that includes one of the NP's (see above). If you could allocate a little extra time, you could stop at the Fort Hall replica near Pocatella ID (don't tell your kids it's educational), or do a little hop over to Craters of the Moon National Monument.

    Geocaching spots....sorry, can't help on that one.


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

    Default The big picture.

    I agree with Donna. Salt lake city adds on a whole lot of miles and time, which for this trip is already limited. I think you would do better to focus on the main 2 parks and enjoy a couple of stops out and back. That would a nice relaxed trip with 3 or 4 days in Yellowstone and the Teton's and at least a couple in Glacier NP so you have time to explore both sides of it.

  4. Default

    Thank you for fast replies! :-)

    The original plan of the trip is to visit family in the Sale Lake area. To be fair, the Yellowstone or Glacier add-ons were my idea and definitely earned me a perplexed look from my wife. :-)

    To save time, I'd planned on taking I-84 down to SLC. On the return trip and realizing that we won't have enough time to do justice on a Yellowstone visit (I'd love to backpack/camp it instead), I'm trying to determine if there's anything we might see as we head north to I-90 and back to Seattle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some less visited alternatives.

    Some possibilities would be Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls [Snake river canyon, Perrine bridge] and then head to Craters of the Moon. You could then take a scenic drive up US93 through Salmon to Missoula. Just south of Missoula you will find the National Bison Range. If you took a couple of days to Missoula sight seeing [or a little further] you would have a straight shot home on I90.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No need to completely ditch it.

    For various reasons I have never been able to "do justice" to Yellowstone. But don't underestimate the joy and memories created by a simple "drive through". Choose the route carefully to go past the sights which interest you most. You will still experience the atmosphere of the park, the bison, even if you are not going to spend time there. A quick photo here and there will add to the memory. Since you live relatively close, you will no doubt make other visits to the park, for more in depth exploration.

    For me it has been at least four drive throughs (I'm losing track), and one two day visit staying in West Yellowstone. I'm sure I have seen as much as most who stay there for days on end - despite my inability to walk the boardwalks and/or hike.


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