The Complete Road Trip Itinerary
Welcome to my Yellowstone road trip itinerary. When my husband and I first decided to tackle this road trip, I began consulting a variety of sources to assist in planning our itinerary. Although, I personally enjoy the researching, scheduling, and problem solving involved in planning a trip, I know not everyone shares this sentiment (like my husband for instance). So whether you’re like me, hoping to align all the puzzle pieces yourself, or like my husband who wants the work done for you, I hope you find this post to be helpful to whatever your personal traveling needs may be. Before beginning, I feel that it is important that I clarify that even though this post is titled Yellowstone the complete itinerary covers our entire road trip starting in Southwest Michigan and, in addition to Yellowstone, includes stops in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Grand Teton National Park.
On the Road Day 1
Location: Driving from Southwest Michigan to outside Sioux Falls, SD.
Approximate drive time: 11.5 hours
Lodging: Big Sioux Recreation Area
Food: Various fast food, and Phillips Avenue Diner located downtown Sioux Falls, SD.
Location: Badlands and into Black Hills, SD
- 7 am: departure from Big Sioux Recreation Area. (approx. 4 hour drive)
- 11:30 am: arrive in Badlands National Park
- 3:30 pm: departure from Badlands National Park to Rapid City (approx. 1.25 hour drive)
- 5 pm: arrival at Holy Smoke Resort
- 7 pm- evening: at Crazy Horse Monument and Laser light show
Lodging: Holy Smoke Resort Cabin rentals
Location: Black Hills, SD to Cody, WY
- 8 am: departure from Holy Smoke Resort to Mount Rushmore
- 8:30-10 am: arrive at Mount Rushmore National Monument
- 10 am: departure from Mount Rushmore National Monument drive to Deadwood, SD (approx. 1.25 hour drive)
- Winery Pit-Stop- Prairie Berry Winery
- 1 pm: arrival in Deadwood, lunch downtown.
- 2 pm: depart from Deadwood and drive to Devil’s Tower National Monument. (approx. 1.5 hour drive)
- 3:30-4 pm: explore Devil’s Tower National Monument
- 4-10 pm: drive from Devil’s Tower National Monument through Bighorn National Forest, into Cody, WY. (approx. 5 hour drive, additional hour included to plan for scenic stops)
- 10 pm: arrive in Cody, WY lodging.
Lodging: Cody’s Cowboy Village
Food: Saloon #10
Location: Cody, WY to Yellowstone
- 8 am: departure continental breakfast at Cody’s Cowboy Village
- 8:30 am: departure from Cody to Yellowstone.
- 8:30-10 am: Drive from Cody to Canyon Village area of Yellowstone
- 10-11:30 am: Explore Canyon of Yellowstone, short hike.
- 11:30-2 pm: Drive from Canyon Village area to Tower-Roosevelt area. Stopping at Tower Fall scenic overlook and in Lamar Valley area to see buffalo.
- 2-3:30 pm: Drive from Tower-Roosevelt area to Mammoth Hot Springs, explore the Hot Springs area.
- 3:30-6 pm: Drive from Mammoth Hot Springs to Grant Village area, passing through Norris area to Madison area checking out geysers and springs along the way.
- 6-10 pm: Check-in to Grant Village lodging, dinner at Grant Village Dining Room, enjoy sunset at Lake Yellowstone
Lodging: Grant Village
Food: Mammoth Terrace Grill and Grant Village Dining Room
Location: Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park
- 5-9 am: Drive to Old Faithful area. Explore geysers, walk the boardwalk, wait for Old Faithful eruption. Return to Grant Village area.
- 9-10 am: Breakfast at Grant Village Lake House Restaurant
- 10 am- 2 pm: Drive from Grant Village into Grand Teton National Park. Arrive at Paintbrush Canyon trailhead near Jenny/String Lake area.
- 2-4:30 pm: Hike the Jenny Lake trail, taking String Lake trail loop.
- 4:30-5 pm: Drive up the Signal Mountain Summit overlook.
- 5-6:30 pm: Dinner at Signal Mountain Lodge with a killer view.
- 6:30 pm: Drive from Signal Mountain Lodge to Jackson Lake Lodge for check-in.
- 6:30-10pm: Explore Jackson Lake Lodge area, enjoy a beverage or dessert while watching sunset on the patio, or go for a swim in the pool.
Lodging: Jackson Lake Lodge
Food: Trapper Grill/Deadman’s Bar at Signal Mountain Lodge
Location: Grand Teton National Park
- 8-9:30 am: Breakfast at Pioneer Grill in Jackson Lake Lodge
- 11-3:30 pm: Drive to Taggart Lake trailhead. Take the Taggart Lake trail hiking to Taggart Lake, then pick up the Bradley Lake trail to Bradley Lake. Take trail back to Taggart Lake Parking area.
- 4:30-5:30 pm: Drive to Death Canyon area. Take Death Canyon trailhead up to overlook.
- 5:30 -7 pm: Drive to Colter Bay area and have dinner at Leek’s Marina Pizzeria.
- 7-10 pm: Sunset drive through the Tetons. Drive out to Antelope Flats/Mormon Row area and explore the Moulton Barn. Stop at scenic overlooks along the way.
Lodging: Jackson Lake Lodge
Food: Pioneer Grill, Leek’s Marina Pizzeria
Did you find this itinerary to be helpful? Have a suggestion or a favorite spot we’ve missed? Comment and let your fellow travelers know!