5 epic scenic drives in Yellowstone National Park

with 8 Comments

Each calendar year marks the end of another year in travel. This year, a road trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park has been amongst our most inspiring journeys yet. Living in the cities makes it tough to fathom the sheer scale and size of our natural resources. Yellowstone’s otherworldly landscapes, countless geysers, hot pools, and diverse wildlife turned this trip into a delightful visual lesson for us.

While we experienced jaw-dropping moments almost across this 3,471 mi² park, the following driving routes were as spectacular as the scenic spots they were surrounded by.

Starting with the best driving route from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park, take a look at our five favorite driving routes in the area with some beautiful photos of Yellowstone National Park scenery.

The best scenic drives in Yellowstone National Park

1. Grand Teton – Yellowstone National Park South Entrance

Grand Teton is another awe-inspiring national park in Wyoming, often overlooked. In fact, just to be able to explore this park, we stayed overnight in Jackson. The fact that it is an hour away from Yellowstone makes a visit to this park convenient. As we drove this route, postcard views of the Teton range followed us along. 

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Jenny Lake

PS: Begin this road trip all the way down from Salt Lake City. Read about the best driving route from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone. 

2. Firehole Lake Drive

Located on the route from Grand Prismatic Spring towards Canyon Village or Mammoth, this short one-way loop has an air of mystery.

Grand Prismatic - Firehole -1-2

Grand Prismatic - Firehole -1

Grand Prismatic - Firehole -2

3. Blacktail Plateau Drive

We found immense praise for the Blacktail Plateau Drive on (believe it or not) Reddit threads and decided that we had to make the 30-45 minute detour on our route in Lamar Valley. This drive begins on the uneven ground, it’s a single lane drive and a bit of a test for the person on the driver’s seat. The threads mentioned that chances of bear spotting are high in this area, but we were not as lucky. Nonetheless, it is a hauntingly beautiful drive. 

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Blacktail Plateau Drive

4. Mammoth Hot Springs – Roosevelt Lodge

In our quest to spot grizzly bears in the wild, we found ourselves on this route multiple times. Mammoth hot springs consist of a series of hot springs with calcium carbonate deposits on hills. This magical area features high on every Yellowstone traveler’s wishlist and gets very crowded during the day. Minutes outside of the hot springs is the route to Lamar, a dense valley covered with trees, plateaus, and slopes. Roosevelt Lodge is the starting point of the valley. We thought the drive to this lodge was particularly enchanting and spotted elks, bison, and deer amidst rolling hills. Tip: Make sure you stop for brunch or lunch at Roosevelt Lodge. The Blacktail plateau detour is also located right before the lodge.

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Elk

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Mammoth Hot Springs

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Mammoth Hot Springs

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Roosevelt

5. Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley is the grand finale in Yellowstone National Park. It doesn’t get more breathtaking than this far-flung expanse. We began our drive from Mammoth Hot Springs before sunrise and were welcomed by a sheath of misty clouds floating above this panorama. 

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Lamar Valley

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Lamar Valley

While that made wildlife spotting tricky, the sheer aura of this landscape bowled us over.  

Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Lamar Valley
Epic Yellowstone National Park drives: Lamar Valley

Ready to include Yellowstone National Park in your travel goals? Let us know your picks for scenic drives in Yellowstone National Park. Pin this post, or check out our other Yellowstone posts:

15 epic photos of scenic drives in Yellowstone National Park

yellowstone national park

best driving routesalt lake city __ yellowstone

Follow Supriya:

As a kid, Supriya had to be brought back to reality from her daydreaming excursions. A digital marketer by profession, she enjoys reading, writing, and photography. Her wanderlust list changes each week, but she's strongly eyeing countries in South America and the Middle East as destinations for her journeys :)

8 Responses

  1. shivam
    | Reply

    The photographs are mindblowing the trip is well explained and written.

    • Supriya
      | Reply

      Yay, glad you liked them Shivam. This part of US is mind-blowing!

  2. Dhara
    | Reply

    Beautiful and informative post, Supriya! We visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton many years ago…would love to go back! Your photos are gorgeous. Love the way the mountains at Grand Teton rise up so dramatically, and the vistas at Yellowstone are of course superb.

    • Supriya
      | Reply

      Thanks Dhara. Glad you liked our pictures- we were having a hard time choosing these for the post 😀

      When did you guys visit? We’d like to go back too and maybe plan this time for a winter adventure- have read that the scenery is otherworldly!

  3. Agness of eTramping
    | Reply

    Yellowstone Park is on my bucket list for a while and I really hope to cross it off soon, Supriya and Bhara. These picturesque landscapes are breathtaking. When would it be the best time of the year to go hiking there?

    • Supriya
      | Reply

      Hi Agness, sorry for the delay in responding as were traveling in Peru w limited connectivity.

      Glad you liked the pictures. The landscapes are so stunning that it makes a photographer’s life easier 🙂
      Believe the best time for hiking would be from mid-June through September. Although beware that August can be super crowded as it is in Europe too. Happy to help further if need be!

  4. Shannon Entin
    | Reply

    Yellowstone is such a treasure. It was nice to look at your photos and relive a bit of my own visit there. Looking forward to going back!

    • Supriya
      | Reply

      We love Yellowstone NP. Totally want to visit more parks in Utah, Glacier NP and Yosemite. Among others 🙂 Glad you could relive your visit.

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