A journey from the West Coast, and a city like Sacramento, to Grand Teton National Park takes you from a fertile valley across mountain ranges and the Great Plains. When you reach the Grand Tetons, you see a fantastic range of peaks with no foothills so they appear to leap out of the ground. The park is filled with towering spires and deep clefts, presenting incredible photo opportunities. Along the way, you have the chance to visit four other national parks within easy driving distance. State parks serve as great rest points with incredible wildlife walking about in their natural habitat. To take in all these possibilities, follow this road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
The first detour on your Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park road trip takes you 162 miles north to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Known for its volcanic activity, Lassen is home to bubbling mud pits, steaming fumaroles, geysers, vast lava fields, and numerous volcanos. Hikers enjoy miles of trails that take them to crystal blue lakes and rushing mountain streams. Hillsides covered in wildflowers greet hikers as they emerge from beneath dense forests. Winter sports such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling make this park a year-round location for family enjoyment.
Kings Canyon National Park
Another national park within easy driving distance from Sacramento is the 124,406-acre Kings Canyon National Park. Located deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this park protects impressive stands of redwoods, some of which are anchored to deep canyon floors and others atop rocky outcroppings. Kings Canyon is famous for its giant boulders that make hiking an interesting experience. Lakes, fishing streams, and a horizon dotted with mountain tops contribute to the amazing views photographers capture at this park.
Yosemite National Park
After visiting Kings Canyon National Park, travel north 70 miles to visit Yosemite National Park. The park protects 748,542 acres of vertical cliffs, high mountain peaks, wild streams, waterfalls, and impressive redwoods. Yosemite is on the bucket list of most Americans. The iconic park supports an amazing array of wildlife, including over 400 species of vertebrates. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails contribute to the fun. Rangers organize collective outdoor activities that take you on tours of wildlife preserves, waterfalls, and rocky peaks. Rock climbers find the park especially challenging, with several climbs up sheer faces taking days to accomplish.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most iconic locations in the United States. Filled with geologic activity, this park's most famous attractions include geysers that force heated water to incredible heights at regular intervals. It is said that President Theodore Roosevelt commented he could set his clocks to the action of "Old Faithful." The park protects wildlife, much of which was endangered. With miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails reaching distant sections of the 2.2-million-acre park, visitors get plenty of opportunities to watch wildlife in its natural habitat. As you might expect of the oldest national park in the world, the park is home to several species, including grizzly bears, moose, wolves, elk, bison, otters, and elusive foxes. Fishing in Yellowstone is excellent, but if bears or other wildlife are in the streams, they take precedence over any human anglers.
Donner Memorial State Park
Donner Memorial State Park is located near the direct route for your road trip from Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park. The park is on the site of the Donner Party Tragedy, where pioneers seeking the California central plains were snowed in and trapped. Included in the 3,283-acre park are Donner Lake and Donner Creek. It has 2.5 miles of hiking trails and 3.5 miles of lakeshore from which to fish. The lake is stocked with trout, and visitors are invited to take a dip in the designated swimming area.
Massacre Rocks State Park
Located outside Pocatello, ID, Massacre Rocks State Park brought images of danger to pioneers crossing this section of the Idaho territory. From those images grew the myth of Massacre Rocks. The park is a maze of granite rocks popping up at random, some so enormous that they hang overhead, creating crevices through which the wheels of wagons wore down the rock. Located on the Snake River, the park has some of the best catfish fishing you will find on your Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park RV road trip. Hiking trails run amongst the eerie rocks and along the banks of the Snake River.
Buffalo Bill State Park
Located 969 miles into your road trip from Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park, Buffalo Bill State Park includes 11,290 acres of land next to the Buffalo Bill Reservoir on the Shoshone River. With its intimate connection to the lake, the park provides access to year-round fishing for lake trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, walleye, perch, carp, and suckers. An ADA-accessible trail leads to the lakeshore and a pier from which guests are welcome to fish. The park is affiliated with the Wild West Rodeo that holds events each night.
Located in Sacramento, the fort is the first structure completed in the first community of non-Native Americans in California's central valley. After its start in 1839, the location grew famous for its association with the Donner Party, the Gold Rush, and the development of Sacramento. Today, the fort is an integral part of Sutter's Fort State Historic Park.
When you reach Winnemucca, NV, you are 298 miles into your road trip from Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park. While you are in Winnemucca, make sure to stop at the Humboldt Museum. Located at the site where pioneers forded the Humboldt River, this museum consists of a modern brick building holding artifacts from the great migration to the West Coast. Along with the contemporary building, the museum includes an 1880s store and 1899 house.
Evel Knievel Snake River Jump Site
Just outside Twin Falls, ID, 594 miles into your Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park road trip, is the remains of the Evel Knievel Snake River Jump Site. Evel Knievel earned the Guinness Book of Records title of the most bones broken during a lifetime performing unbelievable jumps on his bikes. At this location, he successfully leaped the Snake River Canyon on September 8, 1974.
Billed as "The Biggest Little City in the World," Reno, NV, offers some of the best restaurants, shops, and museums in northwest Nevada. Make sure to visit the Nevada Museum of Art and the National Automobile Museum for takeaways that you will never forget. While you are here, take advantage of one of its dump stations. Stay a night or two at one of the campgrounds in the area.
Twin Falls, Idaho
Twin Falls, ID, serves as a midpoint rest area for travelers on a Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park road trip. Visit the incredible Shoshone Falls, the double waterfall system that gives the town its name. Today, there is only a single waterfall most days because of the damming of the river, but enough water is released during holidays to reveal the waterfall tandem in its full glory. While you are here, take advantage of the numerous dump stations and campgrounds that Twin Falls offers.
Jackson, WY, is the gateway to Grand Teton National Park. Stop in this town to replenish your supplies before entering the park. It is home to a fantastic mix of restaurants with imaginative menus. Drop by Miazga's for a unique combination of Italian and Polish cuisine. While you are in the city, take the time to clean your tanks at one of the local dump stations before taking off for Grand Teton National Park. To stay a night or two and enjoy Jackson Hole's sights, register at one of the many campgrounds in the area.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Grand Teton National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Sacramento or Grand Teton National Park.