Take a drive on the wild side on your Billings to Salt Lake City road trip with stops at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, both known for their majestic beauty, otherworldly ecosystems, and fierce wildlife. Many state parks are also located along your route, such as Massacre Rocks State Park and Harriman State Park, offering plenty of opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Unwind and take in a bit of history in Bozeman, Idaho Falls, and Ogden at a few fun and informative museums with more outdoor adventures available at each destination.
Nothing makes your Billings to Salt Lake City road trip more exciting than spending a few days at a couple of America's most beautiful national parks.
Yellowstone National Park
A visit to Yellowstone National Park is an absolute must on your Billings to Salt Lake City RV road trip. At this breathtaking park, you'll experience the wilderness in a unique hydrothermal setting that includes the natural wonders of Mammoth Hot Springs, the Yellowstone Caldera, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and Old Faithful, which erupts on schedule. A day at Yellowstone Lake is great for boating, and at Firehole River, you can enjoy fly-fishing, views of a waterfall, and a geyser. There are over 1,000 miles of trails to hike and 290 waterfalls to see at this park, so grab your hiking boots and get a map at the visitor center. You'll also want to add these sights and things to do to your Yellowstone bucket list: Hayden Valley, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, Mystic Falls, Inspiration Point, Fountain Paint Pots, and Roosevelt Arch. To properly enjoy this park, you'll want to spend at least three to four days exploring here.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is another must-see park that features the Grand Teton, the highest peak in the mountain range and the most popular hiking destination. At Jackson Lake, you can spend the day boating, kayaking, fishing, or relaxing on the beach while enjoying the rugged mountain scenery. Lake Solitude, Oxbow Bend, Hidden Falls, and Cascade Canyon are more beautiful places to enjoy where you can take in spectacular views of the Tetons and snap some unforgettable photos. Fun trails to trek at this park are Jenny Lake, Teton Crest, Death Canyon, Phelps Lake Loop, and Paintbrush Divide. Take the aerial tram in Jackson and drive the Wyoming 390 through the Jackson Hole Valley. With its vast amounts of breathtaking areas to explore, you could easily stay at this park for a minimum of three to four days.
The relaxing ambiance and natural beauty of many state parks are excellent for adding more adventure to your road trip itinerary from Billings to Salt Lake City.
Harriman State Park
With over 11,000 acres to explore, Harriman State Park in Idaho is fantastic for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and snowboarding, skiing, camping, and viewing a variety of wildlife that includes black and grizzly bears, swans, moose, and elk. This park is located in the center of Henry's Fork Caldera with easy access to several popular hiking trails, such as Silver Lake Trail, Golden Lake Loop, and Thurman Creek. Henry's Fork offers 8 miles of pristine stream for some of the best fly-fishing in the country.
Massacre Rocks State Park
Massacre Rocks State Park in Idaho is great for a starry overnight stay with daytime activities that feature hikes to the park's famous Massacre Rocks, Minidoka Falls, and Register Rock. Boating ramps are available for Snake River adventures and fishing in addition to these park features: scenic picnic areas, disc golf, camping, biking trails, and plenty of rock-climbing routes.
Antelope Island State Park
A stop at Antelope Island State Park, located on the Great Salt Lake in Utah, treats you to a special wildlife viewing experience with free-roaming bison, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and mule deer. You can check out the park's trails on foot, on horseback, or by bike and then enjoy a peaceful afternoon bird-watching from the shores of the lake.
With nearby access to Jackson from Grand Teton National Park, you'll want to take your time exploring this small and famous mountain town. Perfect for a day of skiing, snowboarding, or hiking, depending on the time of year you choose to visit, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is definitely the main attraction here. At the resort, guided climbs up the Via Ferrata are available, and there's a downhill bike park that offers a lift for you and your bike to the top, so you don't have sweat the uphill grind. If you prefer to explore on foot, a hike up Wildflower Trail to Bridger Gondola rewards you with a free tram or gondola ride down. From Teton Village, you can also take the aerial tram to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain for a mouthwatering breakfast or lunch at Corbet's Cabin. More places you'll want to check out in Jackson are the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Pearl Street, Teton Raptor Center, and Jackson Hole's Elk Antler Arch.
Lava Hot Springs
A stop in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, is the perfect place to rest and recharge before hitting the road again. A soak in one of the town's mineral hot springs definitely does the trick with a variety of pools and temperatures to choose from. Be sure to sample the local cuisine at Portneuf Grill and Lounge, Greystone Manor, and the Riverwalk Cafe. A walk through Historic Downtown offers refreshment at the local trading post with a fun candy shop nearby and an eclectic array of boutiques.
Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
Definitely worth a visit, Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho lies on a sea of hardened lava flows with several trails to hike and an abundance of natural features to explore. Some of the top spots you'll want to experience at this park are the Crystal Ice Caves, Devil's Orchard, Inferno Cone, and Big Cinder Butte.
Enjoy a respite in Bozeman, and get ready for a Jurassic adventure at the Museum of the Rockies that features the largest collection of dinosaur fossils and bones in the U.S. as well as the largest T. rex skull ever unearthed. While you're here, check out the shops and galleries in downtown Bozeman, and visit the Gallatin History Museum; then, pop over to the Montana Arboretum and Gardens. Before you leave, spend some time at Big Sky Resort and Beall Park and hike the Gallagator Trail. Beautiful campgrounds with dump stations are located nearby, so you can feel free to extend your time in this city.
Idaho Falls, ID
Stop in Idaho Falls on your road trip from Billings to Salt Lake City for a few fun adventures. In this sweet town, you can view exotic wildlife at the Idaho Falls Zoo, go under the sea at the East Idaho Aquarium, and take a spine-tingling Ghost Walk tour of the downtown area. More to explore here is the Snake River Plain, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, and the Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest. Lovely campgrounds in the area allow you spend more time enjoying this city at your own pace, and some of them have dump stations for your convenience.
Ogden is one of the last cities you'll drive through as you near Salt Lake City. Some of the fun attractions to see here are Ogden's S. George Eccles Dinosaur Park that sits on 5 acres of land filled with lifelike dinosaur replicas, the Ogden Nature Center, a 154-acre preserve, and the Ogden Botanical Gardens. In this city, you'll also have nearby access to Snowbasin and the Nordic Valley Ski Resort that are perfect for summer and winter activities. Great hiking trails are located on the east side of Ogden. The most popular are the 29th Street Trailhead and Waterfall Canyon Trail. A stay at a campground close to the city gives you the opportunity to continue exploring the area. Nearby dump stations are available to help you keep your RV clean.