Road trip from Chicago to Yellowstone

Jun 1st, 2019, 09:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Road trip from Chicago to Yellowstone

We are planning a 6-7 day road trip from Chicago to (hopefully) Yellowstone.

The plan is to see The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower and maybe a few more attractions along the way.

Driving wise we have a five year old kid so we were planning to spend the first night around Sioux Falls, then on the second day to drive past The Badlands, Wall and spend the night around Rapid City.

Going forward, my question is whether it'll be a good idea to continue west to probably Cody, spend two nights there and use that time to explore major spots in Yellowstone and maybe in Grand Teton also. We are not planning any hikes but mostly driving scening routes with stops at scenic spots.

Will our 6-7 days allow us to do that? Or should we just stop at the Rapid City area? If anyone can share tips and advices it'll be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Mx_11 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2019, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,880
I'm going to compare my driving trip to Yellowstone with your proposed trip.

I was coming from California, abt 900 miles. You from Chicago, abt 1350 miles, no deviations. My companion was a professional driver, 3 days drive stopping 2 nights, didn't dawdle & didn't have a child. We only stopped for lunch through the Tetons.

We stayed 5 nights inside Yellowstone and it felt like the minimum needed to see the major areas with the drives between. No hikes, just walks among the thermal features. I wouldn't have wanted less time in the park.

I flew home but if I'd driven, another 3 days with 2 nights to get home at a comfortable pace.

Bottom line, I think your time is far short of what you'll need to make the drive so far worthwhile.

Last edited by MmePerdu; Jun 1st, 2019 at 01:06 PM.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jun 1st, 2019, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,322
>>We are planning a 6-7 day road trip from Chicago to (hopefully) Yellowstone.<<

Are you planning a road trip TO Yellowstone . . . or are you planning a road trip to Yellowstone AND BACK to Chicago?

If you are driving out and flying back you could get a taste (JUST) of Yellowstone.

But if you are driving round trip -- no way no how . . . Not at all feasible - especially with a young child on board.
janisj is online now  

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