I don't know the best route but got the following distance and times on Google Maps:
I-90 E (going north west of YNP via Victor and West Yellowstone, to I-5)
357 mi 7 hours
US-26 E and WY-789 N
406 mi 8 hours
http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=sea+lion+caves&fb=1&gl=us&hq=sea+lion+caves&hnear=Oregon&cid=0,0,7893911813490786591&ei=KpK-S6KMMs-MnQeJpPyPCg&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CAwQnwIwAAEdited: 09 April 2010, 13:00
Teton Pass and US-20 to West Yellowstone and then US-191 through Big Sky to Bozeman and I-90. Skips Yellowstone (if you have already been there) so roads are much faster. About seven hours to Billings traffic and construction willing. Because it is more freeway with a little hedging on the speed limit it might still net out under seven hours. This is best fast route but not best scenic route.
I find it hard to believe but GoogleMaps says straight up through the park and over Beartooth Pass is 6-1/2 hours, But that would be the best scenic route for sure!
Sequim, the two routes GM showed me, posted earlier, excluded going through YNP. So, curious, I "pulled" one route to traverse YNP and that one said 5.5 hours rather than 6.5 hours. Go figure. :)
MapQuest showed, through Cody, 6.5 hours.
Good luck, CeCe! :)
Yeah. experience is telling me they are all pretty optimistic for speed. MapQuest is saying 6.5hrs for the outside the park route...which could be but is even lower than Google. In summer with tourist traffic trying to make the stated times could be really frustrating.
I think if I was in a hurry I would go around Yellowstone If I wanted to drive though Yellowstone (assuming already spent time there and just driving) I would leave early in the morning before other visitor are about and go out north entrance to Livingston and freeway. If I did not care at all about time (and weather was clear) I would go US-212/Beartooth Pass...mostly slower because I would be stopping so often to take pictures.
Thanks to all for your replies. I will have to research this one and see what is best/fastest/scenic????
I'd leave Anchorage out; too much backtracking. :)
BTW, the drive there (and, yes, back) is fascinating.
Yeah, I know, just a "throwaway" line about backtracking. :)
Agree, a long trip and need to take time en route to absorb.