Most scenic route from Jackson Hole to Salt Lake City

Without any stops or diversions, the drive from Jackson, Wyoming, to Salt Lake City, Utah, is 278 miles (447 kilometers). When organizing this road trip, be careful to account for traffic, road conditions, rest stops, and fascinating side trips. Give yourself two days to take in everything this route offers if you intend to stop at many points along the way. The most scenic route from Jackson Hole to Salt Lake City provides visitors easy access to breathtaking landscapes, national parks, and diverse, abundant wildlife. Starting in Jackson, Wyoming, the route to Salt Lake City, Utah, stops in Logan, Utah, Salt Lake City, and eventually Jackson, Wyoming.

Day 1: Moose-Wilson Road (Jackson, WY)

The Moose-Wilson Road links the towns of Moose and Wilson. This winding route travels eight miles from the Grand Teton National Park’s entry, right past Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, to the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. You can find numerous wildlife species along the road, which passes through ecosystems like marshes and forests. 

The Granite and Death Canyon Trailheads and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve are accessible through Moose-Wilson Road. The Moose-Wilson Road is 15 meters (24.1 km) long, with 7 meters (11.5 km) inside the park, and it takes 20 to 60 minutes to travel it. RVs and trailers (vehicles longer than 280 inches/23.3 feet) cannot use the 1.5 miles of unpaved Moose-Wilson Road, which is closed to them.

The Moose-Wilson Road, bordered by chokecherry and hawthorn shrubs, winds through wetlands and hillsides, passing by beavers busy building burrows and blue herons perched in the shallows. The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center, a moose habitat overlook, Granite Canyon, Phelps Lakes, and Death Canyon trailheads are all accessible from the drive. It will be best to have a park pass to enter the park located at the east end of Moose-Wilson Road. But you won’t need one if you come in from Moose. 

Be sure to check the condition of this road before making travel plans since it is susceptible to closure due to grizzly bear activity and weather. While at Jackson Hole, you can also schedule a time to drive through the other areas: the Snake River Canyon, the inner Grand Teton National Park, Kelly & Slide Lake, and Teton Pass, among others.

Logan, Utah

From Jackson, Wyoming, it takes 3.5 hours to go 180 miles (290 km) to Logan, Utah. Because Logan Canyon is close to the state borders of Wyoming and Idaho, many travelers use it as a beautiful detour on their way to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. You can drive the entire byway in one continuous motion for roughly an hour. The byway offers access to great leisure activities and breathtaking landscapes. The historical Jensen Farm, contemporary cheese manufacturing, and you can find the local Utah Festival Opera Company in the charming hamlet in northern Utah.

In the summer and the winter, Logan Canyon is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, and hunting. As a result, the most beautiful route from Northern Utah to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in Wyoming is the 41-mile Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway. From the city of Logan to Garden City, the byway follows the twisting Logan River. A large portion of the corridor passes by breathtaking, steep limestone cliffs. The beautiful byway ascends to a stunning vista over Bear Lake’s turquoise waters before winding its way down the mountain to the Idaho border.

Day 2: Logan to Ogden

By car, it takes 48 miles (77.25 kilometers) to get from Logan to Ogden in the south if you use US-89 and US-91. If you drive nonstop, it takes 49 minutes to get from Logan to Ogden. This drive offers a lot of variety. For instance, the Ogden River Scenic Byway is in north-central Utah, and from Ogden, the byway travels east until it reaches the Wasatch-Cache National Forest’s eastern limit. With an alternative 30-mile descent to Woodruff in the Bear River Valley, it is a 30-mile canyon/alpine journey. 

The Ogden River Scenic Byway follows a small canyon away from the city and up into breathtaking alpine scenery, much like other highways that travel east from valleys into mountains. It winds through a complicated quartzite gorge, a stunning high valley, and some of Northern Utah’s best mountain meadows and forests on its high point of almost 9,000 feet at Monte Cristo Summit.

There can be a lot of weekend travel between Ogden and Huntsville in the summer and during the ski season. Along the journey, notable manufactured attractions and eateries have won awards. The entire route is paved and appropriate for all types of cars. Highway 39 probably won’t see much traffic after Huntsville, especially after the high point at Monte Cristo. Any time after September, expect snow. When icy, the road through the canyon above Ogden can be extremely challenging and uncomfortable for large RVs. The byway is vulnerable to winter snow closures east of Huntsville.

Salt Lake City 

Ogden to Salt Lake City transportation options include bus, train, taxi, and vehicle. After traveling for around 38.3 miles, connecting these two locations takes about 38 minutes. Ideally, it takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Logan, Utah, to Salt Lake City, which is 80 miles or 130 kilometers away. Northern Utah’s Great Salt Lake and its islands offer breathtaking beauty and a variety of outdoor activities. The Western Hemisphere’s largest saltwater lake. Lakeside sunsets may be stunning; fantastic red, orange, lavender, and magenta hues gently fade in the dusk sky. 

Sailors are drawn to the lake’s turquoise waters, while swimmers and sunbathers enjoy its white sand beaches. Hikers and mountain bikers are drawn to the lake’s rugged outcroppings on Antelope Island and some of its coastline sections. The clear, white sand beaches at Antelope Island State Park are popular for swimming and sunbathing. Other recreational activities include sailing, kayaking, and fishing.

Little Cottonwood Canyon also provides an easy and enjoyable chance for a day vacation with Salt Lake City only 25 miles away. Its name derives from the size and shape of the canyon. Massive granite slabs helped construct the Historic Temple Square and Conference Center extracted from a quarry at the mouth of the canyon. Despite being smaller, it is nevertheless a fantastic playground that offers visitors a variety of recreational activities. On your trip to Snowbird and Alta ski resorts, this 7-mile trail takes you past the stark, rocky cliffs and into a corridor carved out by glaciers. Both north and south are home to wilderness regions.

FAQs

Driving from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole in winter

The drive from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole is a popular winter trip. Most of the route is relatively easy, but there are a few things to be aware of. First, the section between Salt Lake City and Rock Springs is mostly downhill and can be very icy. It’s important to drive carefully and give yourself plenty of time. Second, the section between Rock Springs and Pinedale is mostly uphill and can be slow going in heavy snow. Finally, the section between Jackson and Grand Teton National Park can also be very icy and is best avoided if possible.

When is the best time to drive from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole?

The best time to drive from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole is in the summer when the roads are clear, and the weather is warm. However, when planning a winter road trip, check the conditions carefully. You may consider alternative routes, such as driving through Yellowstone National Park.

What is there to see between salt lake city and Yellowstone

There are several things to see between Salt Lake City and Yellowstone, including the Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, and the Yellowstone National Park. Depending on the time of year, you may also be able to see wildlife such as bison, elk, and grizzly bears.

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