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  1. Default Seattle to Minneapolis

    My dad and I are planning a 10 day roadtrip from Seattle to Minneapolis and need advice on the route. Any must-see things?? We're trying to spend a little bit of time (at least a meal) in all of the states in between (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota).

    Rough Draft (that is subject to change based on your advice):
    Day 1: Land in Seattle midday; spend day in Seattle
    Day 2: Spend morning in Seattle (pike place?); drive to Mt. St Helens; Drive from Mt St Helens to Oregon
    Day 3: Drive from Oregon to Bruneau Sand Dunes (Idaho) to Shoshone Falls
    Day 4: Drive to West Yellowstone. then to Yellowstone
    Day 5: Yellowstone National Park
    Day 6: Drive to Grand Teton - WY; drive to Hot Springs State Park - WY; stay somewhere in between Hot Springs and Mt. Rushmore
    Day 7: Drive to Mt. Rushmore - SD; Then toward ND (Standing Rock?)
    Day 8: Drive through ND (Stay in Fargo, ND)?
    Day 9: Explore Minnesota
    Day 10: Day in Minnesota. Fly back.

    Thoughts? How much time should we allot for each place?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got a plan that's pretty darn rushed.

    Your second day looks to be somewhere around 500 miles (depending upon where you are thinking for "Oregon", which won't leave much time to explore Dunes and Falls.

    1 day really isn't much for Yellowstone - you'll have a nice time, but you'll have to pick which part of the huge part you want to focus on.

    After that things seem to get worse.

    Yellowstone to Thermopolis via Grand Teton all by itself doesn't actually leave much time for Grand Teton, and if you want to keep driving towards South Dakota, then driving through Teton is probably all you'll really have time for.

    Similarly, driving from the middle of Wyoming to "North Dakota" would be another long day that leaves very little time for Rushmore (which itself is about 45 minutes off I-90) much less anything else in the Black Hills.

    You do get a little better at the end, basically taking 2 full days to get from somewhere in North Dakota back to presumably Minneapolis?

    All it all, it's a trip that could be done, but the pace certainly is faster than most people would enjoy, and I'd at the very least look to rework some things.

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


    I agree with Michael that this looks rushed. At the very least I would consider dropping Hot Springs and head from Shoshone Falls to Teton and then through Yellowstone and on to Rushmore. If you want to see Mt St Helens and perhaps drive along the Historic Columbia river Gorge then the Dalles is as far as you should aim for but don't plan on spending the morning in Seattle. In all honesty if you and your dad want some quality time together it would be well worth considering just spending 2 to 3 days in Yellowstone and the Tetons and similar in the Black hills and Badlands.

  4. #4


    A one-way car rental can become quite costly with most agencies charging drop off fees and mileage fees. If the expense is huge then a good option might be a loop trip from and back to Seattle driving as far as Yellowstone. Your ten days will fill up quickly and afford some quality time at a few premier national parks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hear! hear!!

    My thoughts are the same as landmariner. Your time together will be much more memorable if you spend quality time in Yellowstone - at least three full days - in The Tetons and maybe Glacier NP. In between those there is also so much to see, so many places to visit, that you will not be spending long days in a car. All of ID is very scenic, and there are many state parks and recreation areas you could enjoy. The falls in Twin Falls, and the bridge over the Snake River, The Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley Lake, Bruneau Dunes State Park and much much more. Driving US12 through ID is also a very scenic and interesting drive. You get to see and appreciate so much more then what you do on the interstates.


  6. #6


    Skip Yellowstone and try Glacier national park instead for two days.. Yellowstone demands atleast five days even for a quick visit.

  7. Default

    Thanks everyone for the feedback and sorry for the late reply. I should have clarified that the Seattle to Minneapolis part is set and what we're trying to figure out is what to do in between. Sounds like we'll need to rework a few things, but we won't be able to spend multiple days in Yellowstone as some have suggested (unless we don't see anything else).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by jenoloughlin View Post
    but we won't be able to spend multiple days in Yellowstone as some have suggested (unless we don't see anything else).
    I'm sorry, but that's not an accurate statement at all. With 10 days, you could certainly spend at least 2-3 of those days at Yellowstone, really the minimum to see the park, especially if you want to even think about including Grand Teton, and still have plenty of time to see several other places.

    The question really is do you want to actually see things, or drive by a lot of places and check them off a list to say you've "been there." Your initial plan had a lot of the latter, but very little of the former, and saying you wouldn't be able to spend more than a day at Yellowstone indicates you'd rather be checking the park off your list rather than actually seeing it. If that's all your aiming to do with this trip, that's perfectly fine, as long as you understand that while you'll certainly be able to say "you've been there," at the end of itm saying "I've seen that" would be a different story.

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