The pandemic put a cramp on my international plans but what about the US of A. We have so many national treasures in our backyard, so why not explore them? So for my July trip, I decided on a road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and invited three of my friends that would take us driving through Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.
The National Parks are relatively inexpensive but the hotels and airlines are not. You know they jacked up the prices because the outside is officially “open”. Anywho, planning the epic road trip was a bit challenging but I rose to the occasion.
I did a lot of research and the flight options to see Yellowstone and Grand Teton were either Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. However, since they are considered “smaller” airports, the airfare was slightly higher and so I decided on Salt Lake City and turned it into a road trip.
Salt Lake City offered the best bang for your money with all the major airlines. I warned my friends that this was my first time doing this, so be gentle with the newbie.
We all had tasks assigned and shared the drive. One person was in charge of scoping the food/restaurant, the other person was for hiking, and the other was the photography. As you know I was the planner 😉
When coordinating with people who are arriving from different cities and times, make sure to plan to arrive a day/night early before the road trip. The road trip would take us via the scenic route and it would take about six (6) hours. That sounds like a lot of time being in the car, but with frequent stops, it is so much fun.
Road Trip: Salt Lake City, UT
Our arrival was a late-night one, so we stayed in one of the hotels near the airport. You need a good night’s rest before the road trip.
Before starting our road trip, we needed nourishment and one of the best spots for our breakfast was at Pig & a Jelly Jar. The meal was beyond delicious! Sorry, no pictures of the food but we did get a customary photo outside the restaurant.
After breakfast and a stop at a souvenir shop, it was time to hit the road. I purposely picked this route because of the beautiful scenery.
On your way from Salt Lake City, there are some interesting places to see and experience. It all depends on how much time you have as to how long you will want to take.
Road Trip: Places to Stop Along the Way
Logan County, UT
Learn about some of the best stops along the way below. You might even find a paradise you never would have considered before! Our first stop was the sign that we were “leaving Cache National Forest.” Truthfully, we had no idea but it was a great opportunity to stretch our legs after 1.5 hours of driving and take a photo.
Second Dam Logan in Logan County, UT
Our next stop is the Second Dam Logan. This spot is just beautiful. We ended up taking a million pictures and frolicking. Basically enjoying the beauty of nature.
Bear Lake, UT
Okay, when we mentioned paradise, this is the place we were talking about. Bear Lake is a gorgeous freshwater lake at the top of Utah and the bottom of Idaho. Right before entering the town of Garden City, stop at the Bear Lake Overlook which is about two hours north of Salt Lake City. Pictures cannot describe the beauty of the view.
Besides the lake, this town is famous for its raspberry shake. Head over to La Beau’s and get yours! With the views of the lake and the yummy shake in hand, life will seem good.
Star Valley Scenic Byway
After leaving Garden City, we were on the 80-mile Star Valley scenic byway.
The byway begins along the Idaho-Wyoming border on US-89. One minute we were in Idaho and next Wyoming.
The drive took us through the Alpine Valley, Caribou-Targhee National Forest – Palisades Reservoir
Along the way, we saw a chipmunk (and he doesn’t look like Alvin)
and an elk/moose/caribou in the middle of the highway. We were too busy braking and screaming to get a good picture. The elk/moose/caribou gave us a look and we looked right back after shutting up lol.
After that excitement, we drove to Rexburg, Idaho, and were on the lookout for any more wildlife.
We stayed in Rexburg, ID where the hotel rates were somewhat reasonable. If you are on a budget and willing to do the commute (2-hours one way) to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, then Springhill in Rexburg is the best option.
Come back for another road trip to Grand Teton which is outside of Jackson, Wyoming.
Thank you so much for reading this blog and joining me in my adventures! Make sure to check out my other blogs and contact me when you are ready to travel domestically or internationally. I am here to curate a trip for you, your friends, and your family.
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