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driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

San Diego, CA
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driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

Instead of the Interstate north from Salt Lake City, is the drive prettier, more fun, etc., if we took the side roads east from Salt Lake to Kemmerer and then north thru Jackson Hole?

Winston Salem...
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1. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

The debate on the best route from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole is ongoing and not going to be decided anytime soon. There are a handful of suggested routes. I'll give you the mileage, timing and my thoughts on each route and let you come to your own decision.

1) I-15 Freeway to Idaho Falls; then east to Jackson. Four hours 52 minutes; 302 miles. Though longer than other routes, it is faster because so much of it is on the freeway. You'll travel beside medium sized cities - Ogden, Brigham City, Pocatello. You'll catch glimpses of the Great Salt Lake and see lots of rural agricultural areas. From Idaho Falls to Jackson is very scenic and mountainous.

2) Freeway to Evanston, Wyoming; then north on 16 through Randolph, Utah; 89 to Jackson. Four hours; 54 minutes; 273 miles. This is another fast route. Barren and deserty around Evanston and gets greener the further north you go.

3) I-15 Freeway to Brigham City; then 89 through Logan Canyon and Bear Lake and north to Jackson. Five hours 15 minutes; 269 miles. The first 50 miles is freeway; 89 goes through a beautifully scenic mountain canyon with moutaintop vistas of turquoise Bear Lake. In Garden City stop for famous raspberry shakes. The road parallels the entire 20 mile length of the lake; then north through Idaho and Wyoming. Picturesque rural towns.

4) I-15 Freeway to Brigham City; 89 to Logan; continue north to Preston and Soda Springs to Blackfoot Reservoir and east/north to Jackson on 34/89. 5 1/2 hours; 268 miles. If you want to get off the beaten path, here's the way to do it. A little of everything including solitude. From Logan to Freedom is definitely the road less traveled. Country roads, rural agricultural areas, mountainous traveling east to Wyoming.

5) I-80 to Park City; 150 through the Uinta Mountains past Mirror Lake to Evanston; 189 to Kemmerer, Big Piney and Bondurant to Jackson. 6 3/4 hours; 325 miles. Taking the long way through the Uinta's is very scenic with lots of roadside lakes, forest and aspen trees. Evanston to Bondurant is deserty; after Bondurant is also very scenic.

So you have a lot a choices. Parts of each are pretty; parts of each have less scenic value. Overall, my favorite is #4. The first stunning view of Bear Lake is incredible. Good luck!

Winston Salem...
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2. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

Oops... I meant my favorite is #3!

San Diego, CA
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3. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

thank you very much. My wife and I are going to take # 4.

sounds beautiful.

parkinsd

Winston Salem...
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4. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

Please enjoy your trip! I hope you don't have too much trouble with construction... sounds like it's everywhere and hard to avoid, no matter which direction you head. Cathy

Orlando, Florida
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5. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

This past June, I took #1 of the routes that cdudley outlined.... basically because we wanted to tour Grand Teton and get through the southern end of Yellowstone before it became dark. Believe me, it was a very long day.

We left SLC at 6am. We stopped, hiked, took pictures. Yes, the drive was quite mountainous and scenic. The summit just before arriving in Jackson Hole had breathtaking views. We did not arrive to our hotel in W. Yellowstone until 9:00pm.

Not sure what time of the year your trip is, however be mindful of all the traffic...RVs, Campers, SUVs, etc.

I need to return and follow some of those other routes. Thanks for taking the time to post, cdudley :-)

Winston Salem...
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6. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

aquablue: Well, I figured since I've taken every possible combination of routes between Salt Lake City and Jackson that someone else might be able to benefit from all my exploring!

Pennsylvania
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7. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

cdudley, we're going to take your route #3 in reverse in a couple of weeks and we're looking forward to the rasberry shakes. Where exactly are they served? Thanks!

Winston Salem...
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8. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

As you're driving along Bear Lake, just before you turn right to go up Logan Canyon, there are drive-ins right on the road. I don't recall the name, but I like the one on your left. I know that sounds nebulous, but it really isn't hard to spot! They have dozens of different milkshakes, but raspberries grow in this area, so the raspberry ones are the most popular (and best). Have a super trip!

Winston Salem...
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9. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

Ztop: Since you're doing the route in reverse, it is worth it to stop at the top of the mountain to see Bear Lake from above. From there it looks like the color of a swimming pool! Unique minerals in the water. Also, there is a rest stop if you drive straight ahead a short distance (instead of turning right to go into Logan Canyon) if you want to sit and enjoy your shakes on the shore of Bear Lake.

Pennsylvania
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10. Re: driving from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

cdudley, I'm making a note of those stops and will give it a shot, thanks!