Denver to Yellowstone family road trip

The Denver to Yellowstone National Park road trip takes you from Colorado to the Wild West and Wyoming. Drive through the white mountains, vast grasslands, deep lakes, gurgling rivers and roaming wildlife. The scenery in the parks is breathtaking.

The charming Wild West towns along the way add another dimension to the drive from Denver to Yellowstone. You can stop at several places when you drive from Denver to Yellowstone. You’ll start in Denver, drive through Casper, Cody, Yellowstone NP, Jackson/Grand, Teton NP, Lander, Laramie and end in Yellowstone.

Family outings bring families closer together. People get used to each other’s smells, annoying habits, and whining. Families can learn more about each other through fun games and conversation.

Create memories that last a lifetime. Your interaction skills will be sharpened through these nightly games. Family ties will be forged as you reconnect with each other. Research this trip on RV Trip Wizard, RV Life’s Campground Reviews, Roadtrippers, KOA Trip Planner, Campendium and iOverlander.

These will tell you about roads, weather, accommodations, maps, rules and regulations of the city you visit. Check the road conditions to make sure about the weather. This article will provide more information to make your trip bearable and manageable.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Planning the Trip

Table Of Contents

Route planning and estimated driving time

The drive takes almost 10 hr 51 min via I-25 N and I-90 W. Driving time is 8 hours 30 minutes for the first route and 8 hours 45 minutes for the other. That is the estimated time without stops. The first route is best for scenery and wilderness, whereas the other route has better roads and stopping points.

The first road is the South entrance, whereas the second is East Entrance. Now, write where you want to be and the things you want to do. Make a priority list so that you choose the best route. The road trip from Denver to Yellowstone will take a whole day, along some beautiful roads. Set off early and make headway during the morning so that you have more time to explore. 

Accommodations and campground options

If you plan on breaking up the long drive, find somewhere to stop for the night on the way. Accommodation of your choice depends on your budget and preference. Setting up a camp after a few hours on the road to sleep one night can be a lot of work but staying in a hotel can be more relaxing. 

Find camping at National Parks, State Parks, and private and local campgrounds ( Grant Village Campground offers sweet shady campsites, ideal for groups and families who wish for a great camping experience. There’s plenty of space for RVs and tents, and some sites offer views of charming Yellowstone Lake. You can also try Mammoth Hot Springs Campground, Tower Fall Campground, Indian Creek Campground, Yellowstone National Park, and many more. 

What to pack and essential items to bring

Are you going on a trip? Do not forget to pack these essentials! Take plenty of snacks, glasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. If you hope to see wildlife, pack binoculars or a spotting scope and bear spray just in case. Sturdy hiking boots, a rain jacket and water bottles are essential for outdoor adventures. And if you are traveling to a cold destination, pack warm clothing. Finally, a star chart can help you explore the night sky.

  • Snacks
  • Glasses 
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars or a Spotting Scope to see bears and wolves
  • Bear spray
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • A rain jacket
  • Water bottles 
  • Warm clothes
  • A star chart

Tips for keeping the kids entertained on the road

Are your kids bored on long car rides? Keep them entertained with these helpful tips! Bring plenty of snacks, turn your backseat into a movie theater, and download kid-friendly audiobooks and versatile apps. Play fun games like Road Trip Bingo and plan pit stops in advance for a change of scenery. And do not forget crafts – take along craft supplies for creative activity on the road.

  • Bring snacks
  • Turn your backseat into a movie theatre
  • Bring kid-friendly audiobooks
  • Download versatile apps.
  • Try Road Trip Bingo.
  • Play fun games.
  • Plan pit stops in advance
  • Arts and craft

Places to Stop Along the Way

Rocky Mountain National Park

1. Hiking and outdoor activities

It has more than 350 miles of hiking trails in the park, rafting, boating, biking, backpacking, climbing, fishing, or even taking a tour with a knowledgeable guide. Some hiking trails are Nymph, Dream, & Emerald Lakes Hike, Bear Lake Hike, Alberta Falls Hike, Odessa Lake & Fern Lake, Boulder Brook Hike, Alpine Ridge Hike, Mills Lake Hike, and The Loch Hike.

2. Wildlife viewing and photography opportunities

You can spot and photograph at Moraine Park, Cub Lake Trail, Estes Park, Horseshoe Park, Upper, Beaver Meadows, Kawuneeche Valley, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow, Sheep Lakes, and Old Fall River Road. Take pictures of wildlife and nature.

Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park

1. Scenic drives and viewpoints

Witness historic homesteads and breathtaking river valleys. The best places for scenic drives are 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive, Moose Wilson Road, Signal Mountain Summit Road, John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway, and Teton Park Road. The Teton Park Road offers stunning views of the Teton Range. Drive through Grand Teton National Park for stunning views of the Teton Range with wildlife. Many turnouts along park roads offer exhibits on park geology, wildlife, and plants.

2. Family-friendly hikes and ranger-led programs

The best family-friendly hikes are Bradley Lake Trail, Hidden Falls via String Lake Trail, Phelps Lake Overlook, String Lake Trail, Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail, Woodland, and Lake Creek Trail Loop.

Old Faithful and other geysers in Yellowstone National Park

1. Geyser predictions and viewing schedules

Yellowstone National Park has Daisy Geyser, erupting every 110 to 240 minutes for 3 to 5 minutes. It is one of the most predictable geysers in the park. The Old Faithful Geyser eruption is for no predicted time available. Old Faithful erupts about 17 times each day, with a prediction of a 90% estimate. It takes more patience to see an eruption as its window of opportunity to erupt is wider than Old Faithfuls.

2. Wildlife viewing and photography opportunities

Lamar Valley is in the northern range. The northeast is a hot spot for wildlife photography. Hayden Valley is on the park’s east side, which can also produce encounters.

Cody, Wyoming

1. Buffalo Bill Center of the West

It is home to five world-class museums and a wealth of family-friendly activities. The five museums include the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indians Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Draper Natural History Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum ( 

2. Old Trail Town

It is one of the best tourist attractions and historical sites. This town is on the site where Cody was founded. It contains buildings moved to this site from other Wyoming locations. The museum and the interiors of the buildings contain vast artifacts from the old West. 

Things to Do

Outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing

Visitors to Yellowstone can see all sorts of wildlife, crashing waterfalls, dense lodgepole pine and douglas fir forests, and bubbling mud pots where underground acid dissolves the surrounding rock. It all depends on the time of the year. There are vast campgrounds under the state. 

Ranger-led programs and guided tours

US National Park Guided Trips make traveling fun, not stressful. They will handle the planning. Find your trip, pay over time, and then set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Yellowstone offers ranger programs, walks, and talks in various locations. Take a ranger with you by using the self-guided tours option.

Visiting museums and historical sites

Stop at Fort Collins and Red Feather Lakes, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Rock Springs, Pinedale, Jackson, Grand Teton National Park, Driggs, and many more for museums and historical sites. The Laramie Plains Museum at the Ivinson Mansion is one of the best local museums. 

Exploring nearby towns and experiencing local culture

Choose your stops wisely since there are some you cannot afford to miss. Almost every stop has great scenery worth touring, but there are more incredible trails, views, wildlife, and activities to watch and do.


In summary, the drive from Denver to Yellowstone has a lot to do and see. Pick your favorite stops because there are countless of them. You can even spend a month traveling around, but few have the time to visit every attraction. Start planning the trip by creating your bucket list and budget. Pack your boots and warm clothes in case the weather turns uncomfortable. Enjoy your tour. Check the Yellowstone National Park website for weather and road conditions.

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