A travel guide on Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary.
A road trip from Denver, the mile-high city, to America’s first national park and one of the finest in the world is a journey taken by many tourists and native citizens as well.
Your journey from Denver to Yellowstone can be just as exciting as the destination itself once you’ll discover the fascinating stops you can visit on this road trip.
Yellowstone, the first national park in America, is one of the most popular tourist destinations and one of the most visited family vacation sites. It’s popular for its hot springs like the Mammoth Hot Springs, and it’s home to the world’s famous geyser called “the Old Faithful Geyser.”
Denver to Yellowstone has become a famous road trip route for people who want to explore the abundance of wildlife in Wyoming and the variety of national forests and parks present here.
Yellowstone attracts people with its beautiful sites of nature and wildlife. It’s home to a bunch of wild animals, and it’s world-renowned for its Bison herds. Yellowstone National Park attracts millions of visitors every year.
One of the most popular sites in Yellowstone is the Lamar Valley, where you can find herds of bison and pronghorn. Yellowstone is famous for its grizzly bears and wolves.
The drive takes a bit more than 8 hours and covers 543 miles if you plan on heading straight to Yellowstone National Park through the east entrance.
It’s highly recommended that you plan your journey accordingly to enjoy the scenic route and explore vibrant stops along the way, such as Dinosaur National Monument, Bighorn Mountains, Jackson Hole, Shoshone National Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and many more.
I suggest you visit the Yellowstone National Park from the south entrance for a better view. The major difference between these trips is the number of places you can stop by and take your time exploring.
Your road trip to Yellowstone will differ based on whether you’ll take the south entrance or the eastern entrance.
The route that the visitors usually take is from the south entrance. Your journey shouldn’t be shorter than a week, so you can take full advantage of exploring the wild heritage this road trip has to offer.
If you’ll be using the route to enter through the east entrance, you’re in for a smoother journey and not as much wilderness and sceneries as compared to the south entrance.
Starting this road trip from Denver to Yellowstone’s east entrance, you can explore the Denver art museum before taking Highway 287 towards 3rd Street to Laramie in Wyoming.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 1: Laramie
In this city in Wyoming, you can note the beginning of your many recreational activities in the west. Near the Laramie Ranger District, you can visit the Medicine Bow national forest, one of the best hiking spots with incredible views of wildlife and a good camping spot. Across the Medicine Bow national forest, you can visit the snowfields of the Snowy Range scenic byway.
You can stay near one of the many hotels and inns around Downtown and the University of Wyoming, such as Fairfield Inn and Suites, Hampton Inn, and Hilton Garden Inn. It’s recommended to spend a day or two here before continuing your road trip.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 2: Casper
You’ll find yourself in Central Wyoming after taking Utah street from Medicine Bow, adjoining the 2 Bar road before taking the S Poplar street to Casper. Yet another city in Wyoming that offers beautiful views of the wilderness, an abundance of outdoor activities, and many exciting places to explore.
You can indulge in activities such as skiing, hiking, fishing, and biking while exploring the gorgeous panoramic views.
You can hike on Casper Mountain, which has many interesting trails set for you to explore. Camping is a paid option if you want to spend your time there inside a tent or RV.
North Platte River near Casper is a popular fishing place if you’re looking to catch some Wyoming trout.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 3: Wind River Canyon and the Wind River Range.
These are some of the most popular spots on this road trip, filled with stunning parks and sceneries. Wind River Canyon is located between South Thermopolis and Shoshoni. It’s a beautiful, panoramic Canyon in Wyoming with striking views and serenity.
The Wind River Range is in western Wyoming as a part of the Rocky Mountains. It’s popular for its hiking trails, stunning views and is one of the best places to visit when you head west.
You can spend at least two to three days exploring the Wind River area before taking Route 20 and heading towards your final destination: Yellowstone National Park through the east side.
If you’re looking to take a more scenic route from Denver to Yellowstone, it’s recommended to take a different route from Denver that will lead you to the South entrance of Yellowstone.
You can ride around Berkeley Park going to Terry lake to take the Exit 271A, and from there, you can take Mountain Vista Drive and find yourself near the vicinity of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 4: Rocky Mountain National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the many famous national parks in Colorado. It’s one of the most beautiful, stunning places to visit, with multiple opportunities for hiking and exploring the mountains, rivers, and wildlife watching.
This Mountain National Park offers a wide variety of hiking trails to explore, so it’s recommended to spend at least a day or two here.
To enjoy your road trip to the full extent, you could drive through the trail ridge road, which crosses from Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park, and enjoy the scenic drive on your way to Yellowstone National Park.
You can hike the Ute Trailhead to the end of Trail Ridge to get the chance to witness some of the most beautiful views of Estes Park and Forest Canyon.
Sundance Mountain can offer you a beautiful view if you’re willing to take up the walk.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 5: Estes Park
Estes Park is a town that’s often known as the base camp for the Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park, located on the east side of the rocky mountain, has a visitor center that will provide you with all the information you’ll need about the place.
You can view the free-roaming wildlife preserved there and explore the available outdoor adventures in Estes Park from Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, Fern Lake Trail, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, and more.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 6: Dinosaur National Monument.
You can continue your road trip through the City of Craig to Maybell Park, stopping by the Wapiti Cross Ranch before heading to Dinosaur National Monument.
This fascinating national monument is near the Green River, and it’s a fun historic site in the wild west. It’s one of the best spots to visit on your road trip route.
Dinosaurs were once present in this area, and their remains are preserved here. Since people who love the wildlife often visit Yellowstone national park and Grand Teton National Park, this is one of the many places you can visit during your scenic drive.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 7: Flaming Gorge Reservoir
This reservoir has stunning scenery with breathtaking views that offer a breath away from the crowded city life. It’s located in the southwest corner of Wyoming between Green River and Rock Springs.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir is famous amongst visitors for fishing, boating, backpacking, and other activities at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, run by Ashley National Forest.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is situated on the Wyoming-Utah border and offers a variety of camping opportunities, gorgeous views, wildlife exploration, jet skiing, with beautiful canyons to explore. It’s a peaceful, serene place to spend your time away from the hustle of city life.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 8: Hot Springs State Park
Hot Springs is one of the small state parks you should visit on your journey to Yellowstone National Park. It’s one of the lesser-known parks, but its beauty is just as pleasing as the other stunning places on this road trip. There are several indoor and outdoor hot pools to explore through this scenic route.
Gorgeous landscapes surround these hot mineral springs and are worth a couple of hours of your time for sure.
You can walk through the trails present there or go swimming in one of the many popular pools there. The smell of sulfur might be strong for some adults and kids, so it’s recommended to carry a mask with you.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 9: Bighorn River Fishing
Near the Hot Springs State Park, you can find Two Rivers Inn, where you can rest for a day to explore Thermopolis further. Bighorn is a fishing charter near Thermopolis, and it’s one of the best fishing spots up the east river road.
On your scenic drive through the Bighorn River, many other attractions such as Sneider’s Point, Buffalo Pasture, and White Sulphur Spring. This Yellowstone road trip route is filled with plenty of scenic views to stop by.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 10: Jackson Hole
You can find Jackson Hole Mountain Resort near the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains. It is a popular skiing destination with beautiful views, perfect for a dream ski vacation. You can reach Jackson Hole down from Yellowstone Lake, and it’s close to where Grand Teton National Park extends.
Jackson Hole is a popular tourist attraction, especially in the summer and winter seasons. In the summer season, it’s popular for its wildlife, and during May, you could visit this place for the Elkfest. It’s a weekend filled with hunting and other outdoor activities about the wildlife.
You can visit the Jackson Town Square, a small park where you can learn about the history of the town with many street shops to visit. It’s one of the most popular destinations for family holidays.
Snow King Mountain Resort is one of the three popular ski areas in Jackson Town, Wyoming. It offers skiing lessons as well if you’re a first-timer. It’s not only active during the winter season but has a bunch of summertime activities, too, if you’re going to visit around that time.
Grand Targhee Resort is another one of the three famous ski resorts in Jackson. You can enjoy sleigh rides here accompanied by scenic beauty and many accommodations to choose from since you can’t explore this place in a single day. It’s recommended to spend at least two to three days exploring this place.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 11: Grand Teton National Parks.
The road trip from Denver to Yellowstone is also about exploring many other national parks that are filled in the wild west. Yellowstone national parks and Grand Teton National Park are two of the most popular parks in Wyoming.
Grand Teton National Park is often visited as it’s close to the Yellowstone National Park and visitors usually visit both of them. Although it’s almost impossible to explore them both on the same day, so, it’s recommended to take your time appreciating all the beautiful views these wildlife spaces have to offer.
Grand Teton National Park is one of the most stunning natural parks. It is one of the most popular places for hiking.
Teton ranges are a sight to see, and you can drive around the Grand Tetons to capture the beautiful landscapes. Grand Tetons tempt their visitors to take their time exploring.
There are opportunities for wildlife watching as animals like Elk and Antelopes are surrounding the mountains. The snowy mountain range views are an unforgettable sight.
Snake River in the Grand Teton National Park is a must-visit place as you can catch the sight of Elks, Beavers, and even Moose around that waterbody.
Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls, and Inspiration points are must-visit places. You can even boat shuttle through Jenny Lake. You can take the hidden falls hike through the Jenny Lake trailhead, and the trip is around 1.3 miles back and forth.
There are swimming holes at the Hidden Falls, which have become a popular place for a dip after a long day of hiking through the ranges.
Denver to Yellowstone road trip itinerary stop 12: Bridger Teton National Forest.
Bridger Teton National Forest is a huge forest stretching from Grand Teton National Park to the Wind River Range.
It offers a variety of outdoor activities to indulge in, such as mountain biking and hiking. One of the interesting activities you can try in the Bridger Teton National Forest is horseback riding.,
In this National Forest located in western Wyoming, you can spend your time exploring trails and visiting the abundance of wildlife available there. You can go whitewater rafting and fishing in the rivers and streams in this national forest.
This forest includes the Green River, Snake River, and Gros Ventre rivers.
The hiking trails in this forest often lead to many of the other national forests, such as Shoshone national forest and Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
If you’re looking to head straight to Yellowstone, you can view the Jackson lake, Bridger Teton National Forest, and Grand Teton national park on your way to the southern entrance.
Though the best way to fully enjoy your road trip is to take the opportunity to explore the many beautiful sites, you’ll come across during your journey.
Take the southern entrance route from Denver to Yellowstone National Park and take your time to explore all of the beautiful wildlife, national parks, and forests along the way. It could easily take you about ten days until you reach Yellowstone national park.
So, plan your journey accordingly and book from the variety of hotels and inns spread around the wild west on your journey from Denver to Yellowstone.
Take your time exploring the beauty of the wildlife in Wyoming, walking through the serene hiking trails, the preserved flora and fauna, away from the light pollution from the city.