Could be a ton of fun

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 09:21:02 06/14/15

In Reply to: Travel in June posted by Fernando


Hoot's advice is sound and based on experience.

I just want to elaborate a bit on routing options, depending on your availability of time. Being in Tempe, and heading for Yellowstone, you have the opportunity to route yourself in a plethora of different itineraries, depending on whether you have seen the various attractions I will mention, whether you have interest in any particular place, and the trade-off against time spent in Yellowstone. I lived in Colorado for almost 20 years, and did a LOT of road trips, including annual or more frequent trips to Yellowstone, and a lot of wanders into Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. I also lived in Montana for 15 years, just north of Yellowstone, and continued my road trip addiction, making more trips to the south on occasion.

If time is of the essence, your best bet is to head north to Flagstaff, then up north, staying just east of Grand Canyon, eventually hitting I-15 around Hurricane and St. George. Once you are on I-15, you can point it north through SLC all the way to Idaho Falls, where you leave the interstate and go up through Rexburg, Ashton, and Island Park, eventually arriving at the West Entrance to Yellowstone. That is likely the fastest option. If you have time, and elect to invest it along the way, you can do a detour to either rim of the Grand Canyon. Of course, living where you do, you probably have been there, seen that. Further north, you can simply route yourself through Zion National Park, if you have not been there. There are other places of interest as you proceed north, like Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Bryce is a bit out of the way, but if you really want to see it, you can route yourself through there on the way north or back south.

Definitely choose either your "out" or your "back" route to include Grand Teton National Park. Even if you don't have the luxury of time spent hanging around the park, simply driving through will provide some of the most breathtaking views of mountainous grandeur you are going to see in the U.S.

If Another potential route for the sake of expediency is to head east from Flagstaff on the interstate over to where you pick up I-25 north near Albuquerque. If you are a BIG fan of interstate driving, you can stay on that all the way to Billings, Montana, then veer down to Red Lodge and take the Beartooth Hwy to Yellowstone's NE Entrance. This last portion of the drive is oh so scenic. If you want to stay on the interstate, you head west from Billings to Livingston, then go south down Hwy 89 to Gardiner and the North Entrance.

Another routing option that would offer a bunch of scenic splendor would be to route yourself through Monument Valley and Moab. One bonus option on this itinerary is the possibility of going by Canyon deChelly, which tends to be off the beaten track. It is well worth wrangling a route that offers the option, if you have the time. If you pass through Moab, you have the opportunity to visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park (at least Island in the Sky, which can be done rather expeditiously).

If you have any questions about these routes or other options, post back.


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