Most scenic route from Denver to Jackson Hole

The longest and most beautiful route from Denver to Jackson Hole is approximately 519 miles (835 kilometers) long. If you don’t stop along the way, the trip takes about 8.5 hours. The journey also starts in Denver, Colorado, and concludes in Jackson, Wyoming. The best place to meet is in Rawlins, Wyoming, roughly 29 miles from the exact halfway point between Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Denver, Colorado. Laramie, Rock Springs, and Jackson Hole are important stopover locations from Denver to Jackson. Therefore, it is excellent to anticipate gorgeous scenic routes along this journey, including scenery, infrastructure, and weather, as will be discussed in this article. Instead of making a direct journey, you should schedule this trip to take three days to take advantage of all the unique experiences it can provide.

Day 1: Denver, Colorado

Remember that Denver, Colorado, has more scenic byways than any other state—more than 25, 11 of which have been recognized as “America’s Byways.” It offers everything from stunning mountain vistas with life-defying twists and drops to lazily winding pioneer trails through neglected ghost towns and historically significant sites. The state flower of Colorado, the distinctive blue and white star-shaped columbine, is proudly displayed on the road signs for these beautiful roads. As a result, keep an eye out for these signs when driving in this state. Don’t forget to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, and Lariat Loop, to name a few.

The 415 square miles of the Rocky Mountain National Park are 68 miles (one hour and 20 minutes) from Denver. It includes a fantastic variety of mountain environments. There is something for everyone to discover, from meadows in the montane living zone to shimmering alpine lakes and the towering mountain summits. Explore the more than 300 miles of hiking trails and fantastic animal watching along the route. It stretches from the lowest valley to the pinnacle of 14,259-foot-tall Longs Peak. Almost every viewpoint within the park offers a view of the mountains covered in thick snow; the park’s famous road, Trail Ridge Road, is 48 miles along the Divide with numerous hairpin twists and picturesque vistas.

Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway: Located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, Alpine Loop is a 65-mile route that passes through the communities of Ouray and Silverton and the mountain Engineer and Cinnamon Pass. The Byway passes by several villages and abandoned mining settlements, notably Animas Forks, a well-known ghost town. Alpine Loop typically opens around Memorial Day and shuts early in the fall each year. However, seeing many wildflowers during its brief, lovely season is beautiful.

Lariat Loop: The city of Denver constructed the Lariat Loop in the Front Range as one of the first roads to help its residents take in the breathtaking majesty of the Rocky Mountains. The towns of Golden, Morrison, and Evergreen are all included on this national scenic Byway, which also passes Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lookout Mountain, Buffalo Bill’s cemetery, and Dinosaur Ridge. The Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway is another option. It spans Colorado and Utah and creates a 512-mile diamond-shaped circle that passes via Moab, Grand Junction, and other places. The Byway comes from the excavation sites, including Dinosaur National Monument.

Day 2: Laramie, WY

It takes just two hours to go 130 miles (210 km) from Denver, Colorado, to Laramie, Wyoming. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway is a prime illustration of what visitors to Laramie, Wyoming, shouldn’t miss. Between the towns of Laramie and Saratoga, there is a section of Wyoming State Highway 130 known as the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. You can reach it from its eastern end near the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming, or its western end from I80, about 20 miles east of Rawlins. It rises above the lodgepole pine and sagebrush forests below. It offers vistas of jagged peaks rising to nearly 12,000 feet, glistening lakes, and stunning displays of native wildflowers in the high country’s spruce-fir forests and alpine regions.

The location of the overland trail is commemorated by a modest sign along this prairie stretch about 15 miles from Laramie. The Overland Stage Company used this track to carry mail and people between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Atchinson, Kansas. It gained notoriety during the 1860s as a rival to the California and Oregon trails. After a long day of touring the Laramie region and fishing to your heart’s content, end the day with a stay at the charming and historic Mountain View Hotel and Café in Centennial, which is west of town. 

Day 3: Rock Springs, Wyoming

From Laramie, Wyoming, you must travel for roughly three hours across 210 miles (330 kilometers). Knowing where to begin with so much to see and do along these gorgeous routes in Rock Springs, Wyoming, can be challenging. On a magnificent trip across Southwest Wyoming and northern Utah, take in the stunning rock formations, a large lake, and an abundance of wildlife. The Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway, one of the country’s All-American Roads, is a 150-mile trip from Rock Springs to Green River. Your journey from Rock Springs starts at Exit 99 off of I-80, taking U.S. Highway 191 south through the high desert region.

Vast herds of pronghorn antelope, wild horses, mule deer, and numerous kinds of raptors live in these extended, uninhabited regions. The Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin Byway extends around the spectacular scenery surrounding Lake Flaming Gorge, complementing the Utah National Scenic Byway. The view swiftly changes as it leaves the mountains to a high desert and open shrubland. Large herds of Mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and you can find bands of wild horses in this broad, open terrain. The northern part of the Byway is anchored by the historic gateway communities of Green River and Rock Springs, which offer a wide range of visitor services.

Jackson Hole

Your journey from Rock Springs, Wyoming, to this ultimate location will take roughly 3.5 hours over a distance of 190 miles (300 kilometers). You must decide whether to drive through early in the morning on the fourth day or arrive in the late evening. Whichever option you choose, you must be aware that Jackson Hole has some beautiful locations you must also see. Western Wyoming’s 175-mile Rock Springs to Jackson region sees a lot of traffic. It connects Rock Springs, which has a population of 20,200, on the south, and Jackson, which has a population of 9,806 on the north and is known as the State Significant Corridor (SSC). The Centennial Scenic Byway covers a portion of the corridor.

A portion of the Centennial Scenic Byway runs from Pinedale to Jackson. The route, which is Wyoming’s longest Byway, runs between Pinedale, Jackson, and Dubois through an area of tall mountains and deep valleys home to various species. One of the world’s most famous mountain scenery views, the Teton Range, can be seen spectacularly along the trip. The corridor crosses an area with a variety of geographies and economies. The route changes to mountainous terrain north of Pinedale, where there is some agricultural activity, and a thriving recreational tourism sector concentrated on the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

FAQs

Best place to stay between Denver and Jackson hole

The best place to stay between Denver and Jackson hole would be in the town of Laramie, Wyoming. There are many hotels and motels to choose from in Laramie, and it is a central location for many attractions.

Best RV route from Denver to Yellowstone

The best RV route from Denver to Yellowstone would be to take I-80 west from Denver to Laramie, Wyoming. From Laramie, you would take US-287 north to Cody, Wyoming. From Cody, you would take the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (WY-296) northwest to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Halfway between Denver and Jackson Hole

Halfway between Denver and Jackson Hole, you’ll find Yellowstone National Park. The most direct route from Denver to Yellowstone would be to take I-80 westbound to Exit 353 for US-20/US-26/US-87. From there, you can enter the park via the South Entrance. However, depending on your RV and where you’re staying in Jackson Hole, you may consider taking a different route. For example, if you’re staying at the Jackson Hole Campground, you may want to take US-191 northbound to US-26 eastbound and then enter the park via the East Entrance.

Denver to Jackson hole drive time

You can drive from Denver to Jackson hole in about 8 hours. This includes taking a lunch break and making necessary stops along the way. If you’re planning on making side trips, such as to Rocky Mountain National Park or Yellowstone National Park, you should invest additional time.

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