Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Road Trip, Washington, Wyoming

America the Rockies | Route

With a smart one-way from Seattle to Denver you can see a lot of the American Rockies without too many kilometers. Via North Cascades and Glacier you travel to the volcanic Yellowstone National Park. Then visit the presidents at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and reach the ‘mile high city’ of Denver through Rocky Mountains National Park.


 

Roky Mountains

Round trip for: Camper, Car or Motor | Number of days: 22 Days
Total distance: 2372 miles / 3817 kilometers
States: Washington State, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska

Route Overview

  1. Arrival Seattle
  2. Seattle
  3. Mount Rainier
  4. Mount Rainier
  5. Coeur d’Alene
  6. Glacier National Park
  7. Helena
  8. Yellowstone National Park
  9. Yellowstone National Park
  10. Yellowstone National Park
  11. Grand Teton
  12. Grand Teton
  13. Sheridan
  14. Rapid City
  15. Rapid City
  16. Badlands
  17. Cheyenne
  18. Rocky Mountain NP (Estes)
  19. Rocky Mountain NP (Estes)
  20. Denver
  21. Denver
  22. Departure Denver

Travel from day to day

Day 1. Home Country – Seattle
You leave your home country and arrive in Seattle with Plane.

Seattle, nicknamed ‘Emerald City’, is the home of Boeing, the espresso machine and Starbucks. The city became known worldwide in the early nineties when bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains laid the foundation for the grunge rock. The music comes to life in the renowned museum Experience Music Project, where also much attention is paid to Jimi Hendrix, who grew up in Seattle.
View accommodations in Seattle here !
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Day 2. Seattle
You pick up the camper/ Car/ Motor you have rent in Seattle in the afternoon.

Seattle’s most famous attraction is the 184-meter high Space Needle. At the top you have a great view over the city. Did you know that Seattle was much lower in the nineteenth century? A special experience is a tour of the now underground city. Visit the Pike Place Market, the oldest farmers market in the USA. Close that with a cup of coffee in the Original Starbucks; the first coffeehouse of the famous chain.
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Day 3. Seattle – Mount Rainier
Distance: 160 km / 100 miles || Travel time: about 2½ hours

The heart of Mount Rainier National Park is the 4.392 meter high volcano Mount Rainier. Although he has not erupted for 150 years, smoke plumes betray that he has not yet been extinguished. The center of the park is called ‘Paradise’. Here are vast meadows with wild flowers, rushing waterfalls and river gorges, with a view of the giant Mount Rainier. Paradise is always accessible from the west entrance. The Sunrise park part is only accessible from July / early August to the end of September / beginning of October.
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Camper travelers pay attention! 
-The road to Sunrise is not suitable for vehicles longer than 25 feet. 
-Campers over 3.8 meters (12 feet and 6 inches) can not ride from Paradise via the Stevens Canyon Road to Ohanapecosh / Sunrise through a tunnel. You can detour via the south.

Day 4. Mount Rainier
Paradise is the most visited area of Mount Rainier National Park. The center of this park region is the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center and the Paradise Inn, located on the Valley Road, a loop of the main park road. On the Valley Road (one-way road) a few beautiful walks start, which make clear why the area is called Paradise. One of the most beautiful walks is the Skyline Trail to the Myrtle Falls (1.6 km round trip).

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Day 5. Mount Rainier – Coeur d’Alene
Distance: 630 km / 390 miles || Travel time: about 7 hours

Wedged between river, forests and dozens of lakes, the city of Coeur d’Alene lies. To the south of the city, the forty kilometer long Coeur d’Alene Lake borders. On the lake you can practice various water sports. Hikers can indulge in Tubbs Hill. Lovers of history can visit the Museum of North Idaho. Also visit Fort Sherman Chapel, the oldest school, church, library and meeting place in one.
View for Accommodations in Coeur d’Alene here !
View for Campground in Coer d’Alene here !

Day 6. Coeur d’Alene – Glacier National Park
Distance: 390 km / 240 miles || Travel time: about 4 hours

Glacier National Park protects forests, mountain meadows, lakes and rugged mountain peaks. The most characteristic features are the valleys worn by glaciers and glaciers from the ice age 10,000 years ago. You explore Glacier via the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Top attractions are St. Mary Lake in the eastern part of the park and Lake McDonald in the west. Due to snow and avalanche danger, the Sun Road is open from the end of June / beginning of July to half / end of September.
View for Accommodation in Glacier National Park here
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Please note that campers longer than 21 ft are not allowed on large parts of the Sun Road. You can take a campsite on the east / west side and go to the park by shuttle bus or detour to visit St. Mary Lake and Lake McDonald

Day 7. Glacier National Park – Helena
Distance: 350 km / 220 miles || Travel time: about 4 hours

During the gold digging era Helena was born, now the capital of Montana. Visit the Capitol Building here or sail over the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains. Also visit the ExplorationWorks Museum or one of the ghost towns from the mining history such as Elkhorn or Marysville. Helena often serves as a place to stay between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.
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Day 8. Helena – Yellowstone National Park
Distance: 360 km / 220 miles || Travel time: about 5 hours

Hot springs in all colors of the rainbow, simmering pools, sulfur fumes and geysers; Yellowstone National Park consists of an impressive collection of geological phenomena. You can reach all the sights via the 229 kilometer long Grand Loop Road, which runs in an 8-shape through the park. A visit to Yellowstone is extra special if you see a black bear, grizzly, bison or wolf. An often seen resident is the each (Wapiti). There are no less than 35,000 deer in Yellowstone; it is the largest population in the world.
View for Accommodation in Yellowstone National Park here !
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Day 9. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park contains half of the geysers on earth. Most geysers can be found in the ‘Geyser Country’ park section. Here are 150 pieces on one and a half square kilometers. Old Faithful is the most famous. He lets a powerful stream of water and steam into the air about every hour and a half. You can literally wait for it. In addition to geysers and hot springs, Geyser Country has geological gaps from which gases escape and mud pools.
How do you book campsites in National Parks America?

Day 10. Yellowstone National Park

The hot springs that bring travertine to the surface are a special sight, a soft white substance. The sources ensure that two tons of rock are added to the tens of meters high limestone terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs every day. Another striking appearance in Yellowstone National Park is the brightly colored Grand Prismatic Spring. This is the largest hot spring of the park, with a diameter of 113 meters and a depth of 37 meters.
National Parks | 6 Things you need to know before you visit them

Day 11. Yellowstone National Park – Grand Teton
Distance: 90 km / 50 miles || Travel time: about 1½ hours

Just below Yellowstone is another natural wonder: Grand Teton National Park. In the east of this varied landscape, the Snake River winds through the wide Jackson Hole valley. In the west you can see the snowy peaks of the steep Teton Range. Mormon Row is worth photographing: these two barns from 1880 form a beautiful picture in the morning light. You can easily explore this park by car or camper through the Inner – and Outer Park Road, but do not forget to stop on the way for a stunning view or a brisk walk.
View for Accommodation in Grand Teton here !
View for Accommodation in Grand Teton here !

Day 12. Grand Teton

The crystal-clear Jenny Lake District is a popular destination among hikers in Grand Teton National Park. There is a ferry in the summer season. Highlights along the lake are Cascade Canyon, the view at Inspiration Point and the Hidden Falls (a 60 meter high waterfall). It is also beautiful walking along the large Jackson Lake. Information about the art and culture of Indians can be found in the visitor center of Colter Bay District.

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Day 13. Grand Teton – Sheridan
Distance: 560 km / 340 miles || Travel time: about 6 hours

With its authentic Main Street, cowboy shops with saddles and lasso’s and the Bighorn Mountains in the background, Sheridan is a nice place to spend the night. Between Yellowstone and Sheridan you drive straight through the Bighorn Mountains, also called ‘the sister of the Rocky Mountains’. The vast landscape is varied. During your ride you will see forests, grass plains, picturesque mountains, valleys and crystal clear lakes.
View for Accommodation in Sheridan here !
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Day 14. Sheridan – Rapid City
Distance: 390 km / 240 miles || Travel time: about 3½ hours

Rapid City is nicknamed the ‘Gateway to the Black Hills’. It is an ideal base for visiting the Mount Rushmore sculpture and its Indian counterpart Crazy Horse Memorial. Mount Rushmore consists of the heads of former presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. The Crazy Horse Memorial is the answer of the Native Americans and still under construction. Once complete, this will be the largest sculpture in the world.
View for Accommodation in Rapid City here !
View for Campgrounds in Rapid City here !

Day 15. Rapid City

From Rapid City you can easily drive to Custer State Park: the largest nature reserve in South Dakota. This park is famous for its views over vast prairies and its herd of about 1,400 bison. You have the best chance to see the bison on the Wildlife Loop Road in the south of the park, especially in the morning and evening. Also live in Custer State Park elk, mule deer, mountain goats and cougars.

Day 16. Rapid City – Badlands
Distance: 120 km / 80 miles || Travel time: about 1½ hours

This national park in South Dakota’s South Dakota protects an almost unearthly landscape, consisting of rock pillars and steep gorges. Bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and (threatened) black-footed ferrets live in this barren area. Badlands have been found in Badlands of thirty million years old. Archaeologists also found relics of rhinoceroses and saber-toothed tigers. The Badlands Loop Road offers beautiful viewpoints.
View for Accommodations in Badlands here !
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Day 17. Badlands – Cheyenne
Distance: 510 km / 320 miles || Travel time: about 5½ hours

Cheyenne is the capital of the state of Wyoming. This cowboy town has retained its authentic charm. Crooks, corrupt judges, escapes from prison; the Cheyenne Gunslingers set a lifelike Old West show in high season. The last full week of July is dominated by the Cheyenne Frontier Days. This is America’s biggest rodeo in the open air. Another pride of Cheyenne is the Wyoming State Capitol. You can look around indoors on working days.
View Accommodations in Cheyenne here !
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Day 18. Cheyenne – Rocky Mountain NP (Estes park)
Distance: 150 km / 90 miles || Travel time: about 2 hours

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado gives you a good impression of the eponymous mountain range, stretching 4,800 kilometers from Alaska to New Mexico. The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park is relatively dry and is characterized by pointed peaks and deep valleys. The eastern entrance gate is Estes Park, where you can go horse riding, rafting and mountain biking. At the beautiful Bear Lake you can walk well. The west side consists of green forests and wet grasslands.
View Accommodations in Estes here !
View Campgrounds in Estes here !

Day 19. Rocky Mountain NP (Estes)

The 77-kilometer Trail Ridge Road is the main road from Rocky Mountain National Park. During your ride you see valleys, tundra and the Colorado River, which has defined large parts of the American landscape (including the Grand Canyon!). A literal highlight is Longs Peak, the highest mountain in the park. The flat top towers above all other mountains and can be seen from almost the entire park. Animals that you can encounter along the way include deer, elk, bighorn sheep and black bears.

Day 20. Rocky Mountain NP (Estes) – Denver
Distance: 120 km / 70 miles || Travel time: about 2 hours

‘Mile High City’ Denver is located exactly one mile high, in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Denver, once a gold miners’ settlement, combines the charm of a bustling city with the mystery of the Wild West. Striking is the Colorado State Capitol with its golden dome. There is a museum in the building, free tours during the week. Lower Downtown Denver, LoDo for insiders, has cozy streets with historic buildings. Larimer Square is the meeting place.
View Accommodations in Denver here !
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Day 21. Denver
You deliver the camper/ car / motor in the morning.

In Denver, visit the History Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Black American Museum or take a day trip through the area. Very beautiful is the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved motorway in America. On the 4,348 meters high summit of Mount Evans you have a beautiful view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
View Accommodations in Denver here !

Dag 22. Denver
You fly back home!

Due to the time difference you can possibly arrive the next day in your home country. Keep this in mind.

  • This trip is based on self-arranging flight, hotel/campinggrounds & renting RV, car or Motor.
  • Of course you can always shorten or extend your trip to your own wishes.
  • Need help or advice with this trip, please feel free to contact us through the contact form

 

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