Road Trip Out West

Travel Forums North America Road Trip Out West

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Yellowstone National Park
1. Posted by mere_mag (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!


My family and I are planning a 3 week long road trip out West. We have reservations booked to stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellowstone and then further north in Glacier National Park. I understand this is quite the adventure we have planned, and know that the drive is going to be "half the fun". I am looking for suggestions on things to do and places to stay. We will be travelling from Columbus, Ohio to Jackson Hole first along I-80. Our return trip will be from GNP along 212 and I-90. Definitely thinking about stopping at Mt. Rushmore along the way. Any advice, tips, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!!

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3814 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

"Any advice, tips, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!!"


(I will let someone talk about the "things to see" stuff.)

I am assuming you will be using your own car. Check your car out thoroughly before you go. Repairs made on the trip will probably cost more on the road. Check your car warranty and see what you have to do if you need service away from home. Some drivers buy supplemental breakdown insurance. I have some top up oil in my trunk and some basic tools for long trips. Pushing your car at highway speeds for long distances might burn some extra oil. If not needed no big loss.

When on a long trip I include a coffee pot or something to boil water for hot drinks. Maybe include some soft drinks and drinking water too. (Natural born cheapskate. ) Anyone who requires prescription meds it might be helpful to get the prescription filled before you leave. I always have some wet wipes when I travel. If your kids are young, they might get a little sticky from time to time.

Don't forget your phone and computer chargers.

Have fun on your trips and remember to check your tires!

3. Posted by 55vineyard (Full Member 164 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

When? Right now the Going to the Sun road in Glacier is still closed, it usually does not open until some time in July. Also hopefully you have lodging reservations. Check COVID restrictions, right now the GNP website says masks are required in all indoor NPS sites and many others and in crowded outdoor sites.

Posts 4 & 5 were removed by moderators
6. Posted by AlexTTT (Budding Member 3 posts) 1d Star this if you like it!

I have done that same trip from Columbus Ohio to GNP, but using I-90. I did stop in Mt Rushmore (can't miss that one!), so let me see if i can give you some pointers:

Stay in Rapid City when going to Mt Rushmore for cheap but really nice hotels.
Sioux Falls in SD is really nice, it does stink a little though (hope is not permanent, but when I passed through there it did) the city has the beautiful falls that you can walk around.

If you go through I-80, then stay for some good days in Gran Teton NP and Yellowstone (it is worth to go around all the park and check all the points of interest like the Old faithful and the hot springs) .

I recommend to do this trip starting on the second half of May because if not, the roads will be closed or too dangerous.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1791 posts) 1d Star this if you like it!

Here's some info from the National Park Service about Going to the Sun road.

We drove it on July 23 and it was incredibly hot that day . . . but beautiful. When it is open depends entirely on the weather and there is no real predicting that. If you are going in June, the later you go, the better your chances. July and August are the best time although it can get warm.

If you go through Sioux Falls, do take time to stop and see the falls. They are beautiful.

In 3 weeks you should be able to see a lot. Have fun.

8. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 269 posts) 17h Star this if you like it!

Sioux Falls: we went through there on our way to Santa Fe this past September and the water level was pretty low. Not as falls-like had it been higher.