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January 2011 trip Salt Lake City to Yellowstone.

Boston
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5 posts
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January 2011 trip Salt Lake City to Yellowstone.

I am planning on driving from SLC to Yellowstone next Janaury for a birthday trip.

I'm looking on advice on typical driving conditions on this route and where to stop and perhaps stay for a night before reaching YNP.

Is an SUV/AWD vehicle necessary?

I have reservations at Mammouth Hot Springs and will be leaving from Bozeman.

Thank you.

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Bozeman
Bozeman
Montana
Ennis MT
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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1. Re: January 2011 trip Salt Lake City to Yellowstone.

Do you have a reason for flying into SLC - visiting family perhaps?

If not - and if you haven't already made your plane reservations, I would recommend flying into either Bozeman or Billings. It may cost more, but will put you closer to your destination at Mammoth. More importantly, it will eliminate the drive up from SLC, which can be quite daunting at that time of year. If it's snowing, the section through Island Park is frequently closed, and there are no alternate routes in bad weather - you just have to wait it out. If you do hit it in clear weather, the roads can still be snow/ice packed through the mountains.

As you can tell, it's not my favorite winter drive - my kids won't even come up from SLC then :-)

You wouldn't need an SUV, although you might feel more comfortable in one. Definitely get a vehicle with AWD though - and a 4WD option if possible. You may not need it, but it's good to have.

I've written this assuming you'd be driving up to Idaho Falls, and then taking Route 20 to West Yellowstone and 191 to Bozeman. You could also take I-15 up to I-90 and then east from there. Sounds better, but it also has some high-mountain passes.

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Bozeman
Bozeman
Montana
Billings
Billings
Montana
2. Re: January 2011 trip Salt Lake City to Yellowstone.

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