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Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

Denver
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3 posts
3 reviews
2 helpful votes
Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

When I was looking to reserve for 2019, I got lucky and was able to piece some cancelled reservations together for June 2018. So, I'm putting this trip together a bit late and looking for help. It will be my husband and I traveling with our two boys, 2 and 4 years old from Denver. My boys travel well, but we will be a bit slower. Here is what I have so far:

6/12 - Leaving Denver

6/13 - Lake Frontier Cabin

6/14 - Mammoth

6/15 - OF Lodge

6/16 - OF Lodge

6/17 - Drive back to Denver

However, I don't know how I should enter and exit the park. I'd like to do a little time in GTNP. So here are my thoughts:

6/12 Denver to Cody or Wapiti and stay one night before entering the park. Then to make some time for GTNP, I can drop my last reserved night at OF Lodge and stay in Jackson or GTNP instead.

OR

6/12 Denver to Jackson or GTNP (depending where I find lodging), then waking up and spend time in GTNP the first day, but make our way into Yellowstone and stay at Lake that night.

Our primary goals for this trip is to see wildlife, scenery and small trails.

Thank you!

7 replies to this topic
Spery, Iowa
Level Contributor
11,735 posts
181 reviews
60 helpful votes
1. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

I like the second one, exit the south gate, that way you can drive through GTNP both ways. However, OF to Denver is a long drive- can you break that up or do you have to make it all the way back on the 17th?

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
35,872 posts
509 reviews
160 helpful votes
2. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

Have done OF to Denver with 2 adults and it is a super long day.

Denver
Level Contributor
3 posts
3 reviews
2 helpful votes
3. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

Yes, I agree the drive will be really long. I’m not worried about getting to Cody or Jackson and we are open to stay somewhere on the way home if we need to. Luckily my boys are amazing sleepers on the road and our van has a DVD player, so they’ll be okay. They’ve taken international flights longer and did fine, but we’ll see.

Denver
Level Contributor
3 posts
3 reviews
2 helpful votes
4. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

We have flexibility to stay somewhere between OF and home if we need to and probably will.

Spery, Iowa
Level Contributor
11,735 posts
181 reviews
60 helpful votes
5. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

Closer to YNP/GTNP is Lander (Lander Llama Bunkhouse), and Sinks Canyon. Closer to Denver is Saratoga (Wolf Hotel) and the hot springs there. Both great choices with kids.

Dubois, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Lander, Dubois, Riverton
Level Contributor
496 posts
49 reviews
56 helpful votes
6. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

Cody is the long way around. Doesn't really make a lot of sense unless you have another reason to go up that way. Plenty of great scenery going the southern route, especially from Lander on.

Fruita, Colorado
Level Contributor
31 posts
73 reviews
35 helpful votes
7. Re: Denver to Yellowstone June 2018 - Best Route

We are making a similar trip in June from Grand Junction, CO. We are going to wind river, wyoming for a night and then entering GTNP from route 26 and heading into YSNP. Then on way home going back through GTNP to Jackson for the night before heading home.

You could do the opposite...jackson for your first night and then back through GTNP on the way home. That way you get to GTNP, avoid extra travel time by going through Cody and have a halfway option for lodging on your way home. Wind river has two casino lodging and I believe a few other options so they shouldn't book up should you decide to just keep on driving back to denver.

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