Bay Area to Yellowstone - Best Route?

Old Jan 8th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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Bay Area to Yellowstone - Best Route?

I am planning a road trip for our family of five that will take us from the San Francisco bay area to Yellowstone in early August. Thanks to this forum, I have lots of good information about the area, and have booked the following:

1. 3 nights Roosevelt Lodge YNP
2. 3 nights Snow Lodge YNP
3. 3 nights Signal Mtn Lodge (cabin) GTNP

My questions relate to the LONG drive from CA to WY and back. Since we have 14 days to make the trip, and 9 days booked in the parks, we are left with 5 travel days. From our area, we are looking at:

CA to NV via HWY 80 and stopping somewhere in NV
Turn North at Wells NV into Idaho
Stop somewhere in Idaho -- Twin Falls? Idaho Falls?
Enter YNP via West Yellowstone

Leave GTNP and Travel South to Salt Lake City
Spend 1 night in Salt Lake City area
Pick up HWY 80 and head home
- Stop 1 night somewhere
- Possible 2nd night stop in Lake Tahoe area

Our route is flexible, but our time is limited to the 2 week period. Any advice regarding best places to stop or overnight along the way would be appreciated.

Saratoga_CA is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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From San Jose...Reno is ~ 5 hours away, Winnamucca is ~ 7 hours away and Elko is ~ 9 hours away. Those are the only three locations that I would stay for your first night of traveling.

Outside of Reno will be motel type of accomodations.

I've done the eastbound drive twice and I would stay in Winnemucca and Idaho falls to keep your driving about the same distance each day. If you can drive longer the first day Elko is nicer than Winnemucca but I guess it just depends on the kids.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 06:29 PM
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We did the same road trip from Sacramento to YS/GT last fall. You East bound route is the most direct in my opinion. During planning, I couldn't find anywhere I wanted to stay in Nevada so we booked a Hampton Inn in Idaho Falls. It was about 7 to 8 hours. You can fly along 80 in Northern Nevada and make great time. If you are truly in San Jose then that is probably too far. But if you are farther North or East, you may consider Idaho Falls and just make lots of stops. The rest stops in Idaho are awesome. CA and NV rest stops were dirty and smelly.

By the way, we stayed at Signal Mountain Lodge and it was excellent.
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