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  1. Default Yellowstone to Denver or Salt Lake City?


    We are planning a driving trip in September this year, and are undecided about the final part of our route. The current plan is...
    1. fly into LA
    2. internal flight up to Seattle, pick up hire car
    3. drive up to Vancouver and stay with friends 2 nights 1 day
    4. drive to Yellowstone, possibly via Glacier NP
    5. drive down to Salt Lake City to catch flight back to LA - but detour to cover Arches and Canyonlands (we did Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, DV, Yosemite, etc last year)
    5. drive down to Denver to catch flight back to LA - possibly detouring to include Grant Teton and or Rocky Mountain NP

    We thought we would be better flying back to LA rather than doing the last leg by road since it saved us a day or two (we have done route-timetable and it is a bit tight).

    The main decision we are stuck on is whether to go via Salt Lake City or Denver. We both love driving (him driving, me navigating) and are happy to spend many hours on the road. Scenery is more our thing rather than towns/cities. Last years highlights were Bryce then DV.

    Any advice greatfully received.



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

    Default Time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There is no right or wrong answer, just preferences. You don't tell us what your time frame is from Yellowstone, to when you catch a flight back to LA. Going to Arches and Canyonlands through the Grand Tetons and on to Denver along the scenic I 70 is only about 130 miles more than heading back to Salt lake City and you would still have the chance to drive through RMNP, time permitting.

  3. Default Only 15 days for the whole thing

    Hi Dave,

    We have 15 days in total. The itinerary is as follows;
    Day 1-4 arrive LA, fly Seattle, stay Vancouver
    Day 4 leave Vancouver, drive in direction of Glacier, overnight on route (possibly around Spokane)
    Day 5 finish drive to Glacier, visit Glacier, stay overnight locally (say Whitefish)
    Day 6 drive in direction of Yellowstone, overnight on route (possibly Butte)
    Day 7 arrive Yellowstone
    Day 9 drive to Salt Lake City, overnight there
    Day 10 drive to Moab
    Day 11&12 Arches, Canyonlands
    Day 13 drive in direction of LA, overnight on route (possibly Las Vegas, but not too bothered)
    Day 14 arrive in LA
    Day 15 evening flight back to UK
    We are aware that the above is a lot of driving, so were thinking of cutting it short to fly out of SLC or Denver. We cannot decide what to miss tho – Yellowstone is probably the only must-do, but we are trying to figure out if we can realistically do the whole of the above route, with enough time to do a few of the shorter walks.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Tough one.

    What you have is doable, but you are right to be a little concerned about the amount of driving to the time you will have at each place. This is something you have to be comfortable with before deciding on your final itinerary. On the way back to LA you could stop at the South rim of the Grand canyon or a nearby town such as Flagstaff.

    If you think the above is too much then I would decide between dropping Glacier from your list or heading from Moab to Denver and flying to LA.

    If your flights are not booked you could compare the cost of flying direct into Seattle and out of LA [or Vegas] compared to the extra cost of internal flights etc.

  5. Default Thanks

    Hi Dave,

    We have booked the flights into and out of LA already (we needed definate dates, plus we had lots of Virgin miles we wanted to use which got us good price flights although restricted the airport choice). We have also purchased the internal flight from LA to Seattle already, but nothing else - so we could still do a final internal flight from somewhere to LA. There seems quite a bit of availability still and prices seem reasonable (£75 - 90 pp depending on location).
    We have been to South Rim and Flagstaff already, so would probably not stop there again.

    Thanks for your feedback and comments. Maybe Glacier needs to be shelved for the time being, to allow us a bit more breathing space. We love the little roads and unexpected stop-offs too, and want to enjoy the whole drive rather than being too focussed on the next destination.

    Thank You


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Personally, I wouldn't drop Glacier, especially since its so close (relatively speaking) to your other stops in Seattle/Vancouver and Yellowstone.

    Since you are open to a second internal flight, I think I would concentrate my focus on Glacier and Yellowstone, fly back out of Salt Lake City, but save the parks in Southern Utah for another trip.

    Any visit to Yellowstone should also include the Tetons, since they are right next door, however, another place you might want to consider since you might have time to add in a little more are the Canadian Rockies. I could quite easily see you being able to do a trip where you visit Vancouver drive over towards Calgary and visit Banff National Parks, then head south into Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, and end in Salt Lake City into a trip where you've got about 2 weeks.

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