What Are Some Things To Do In Yellowstone National Park
This section could be endless, so rather than trying tosuggest every local activity or attraction, we’ll leave itopen-ended.
Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questionsbecause there’s an entire community of travelers talkingto each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is whereyou can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets,trip dates & more!
For example, here are some questions people have asked about Yellowstone National Park. Click on any question to see answers from the community!
Pit Stop In Tiffin Iowa
Congratulations! Youve reached the tail end of the trip. For one of the coolest rest stops throughout Iowa , visit the rest area before exit #73/Tiffin to see Iowa written in cursive across the building.
Make the Quad Cities your final stop for fun at the fabulous Family Museum and Lagomarcinos for a hot fudge sundae served with a small pitcher of hot fudge on the side. A nice way to end the most epic vacation ever.
Disclosure: Many thanks to Visit Sioux Falls, Visit Rapid City, Big Sky Resort, and Kinseth Hospitality who hosted us for the purpose of writing this article at several hotels and attractions. I was not required to provide any specific review and all opinions are my own.
Featured photo by: Shutterstock
Best Restaurants On The Way To Yellowstone National Park From Chicago
If dining is a pleasure, some restaurants will please you on your Chicago to Yellowstone National Park road trip. In this section, we list the five different restaurants to dine at on the road trip from Chicago to Yellowstone National Park. Stay hungry and enjoy!
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What To Do In Grand Junction
Grand Junction is the perfect stop because its close to Arches National Park, but youll also get a taste of city life. Theres plenty to do here and its a great place to restock during your trip. Here are some of the highlights near Grand Junction.
- Go on a hike through Arches National Park
- Sip on some beer at one of the local Grand Junction breweries
- Explore the Colorado National Monument
- Do some stand up paddle boarding on the Colorado River
Where to stay in Grand Junction: KOA Holiday
What To Do In Granby
Granby is located near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park . RMNP is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. and is a must on your trip out west. Here are some of the highlights while youre in Granby:
- Climb to a 12,000 peak at Alpine Ridge Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Stroll around downtown Grand Lake and grab a bite to eat
- Check out the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park
Where to stay in Granby: River Run RV Resort
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What To Do In Sioux Falls
- Butterfly House and Aquarium: At the Butterfly House and Aquarium, you can surround yourself with over 800 free-flying butterflies from all around the world. As South Dakotaâs only public saltwater aquarium, this destination offers opportunities to pet stingrays and sharks, view coral reefs, and touch unique invertebrates in the Pacific Tide Pool.
- Falls Park: You canât pass through Sioux Falls without exploring Falls Park, after which the city is named. Watch approximately 7,400 gallons of water plummet 100 feet over the Falls each second from the five-story observation tower or one of the many viewing platforms.
Pit Stops From Thermopolis To Cheyenne Wyoming
Our Wyoming itinerary didnt originally include Thermopolis, but boy were we glad to have stopped. Deemed the hot springs capital of the world, these hot springs have healing powers so a dip is a must.
Afterwards dig for dinosaurs at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center and come face to face with a Supersaurus. The ride from Thermopolis to Cheyenne through Wind River Canyon may have been one of the most beautiful drives our entire trip, with beautiful vistas and turn offs to take everything in.
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Driving Distance From Chicago Il To Yellowstone National Park
The total driving distance from Chicago, IL to Yellowstone National Park is 1,409 miles or 2268 kilometers.
Your trip begins in Chicago, Illinois. It ends in West Yellowstone, Wyoming.
If you are planning a road trip,you might also want to calculate the total driving time from Chicago, IL to Yellowstone National Parkso you can see when you’ll arrive at your destination.
You can also calculate the cost of driving from Chicago, IL to Yellowstone National Park based on currentlocal fuel prices and an estimate of your car’s best gas mileage.
Since this is a long drive, you might want to stop halfway and stay overnight in a hotel. You can find the city that is halfway between Chicago, IL and Yellowstone National Park.
Planning to fly a plane instead?You might be more interested in calculating the straight linedistance to fly from Chicago, IL to Yellowstone National Park.
Why Chicago To Yellowstone Is The Perfect Road Trip
Planning a road trip from Chicago to Yellowstone gives you flexibility. You can stay at each of these stops for as long as you want. Or you can be a bit more aggressive if you want to do the journey in a short amount of time.
This itinerary also ticks off many bucket list destinations. Youll visit four national parks and you could easily add more. Plus, a variety of wildlife. And the drive is split up in increments so youll have plenty of rest days. One thing to note: the drive time listed here is for standard cars. If youre towing an RV, add some time on to the drive.
If youre not towing an RV, each of these campgrounds also has cabin rentals.
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From Chicago To The Mall Of America
From here, we are off to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Mall of America. This trip will take you west on Interstate 90 all the way from Chicago to Minneapolis. Along the way, youll be driving through towns, such as Rockford, Illinois as well as Madison and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Upon reaching Minneapolis, you will cross the iconic Mississippi River.
Best Chicago To Yellowstone National Park Drive In September And October As I Did It In 10 Days Chicago Illinois To Wyoming Road Trip
So you want to go on a road trip from Chicago to Yellowstone National Park!
In September and October 2021, I did a road trip from Chicago to Wyoming.
Well actually it was from Michigan to Wyoming. It was a road trip out west from Michigan.
But that included driving on the outskirts of Chicago on day 1 so that means I also did drive from Chicago to Yellowstone.
So I can also give you some ideas on how to get to Yellowstone if you are starting from the Chicago area!
It took me 10 days to drive from Chicago to Yellowstone.
That is one way, from leaving the Chicago area to entering Yellowstone National Park for the first time.
No, it doesnt have to take you 10 days to drive from Chicago to Yellowstone!
And in fact, my first overnight stop was in Wisconsin.
If you are starting the drive from Chicago, you probably wont want to make your overnight stop until after you get out of Wisconsin, unless youre getting started from Chicago late or something.
So you could say it was more like 9 days to get from Chicago to Yellowstone. Even so, its possible to make the drive in much fewer days if you want.
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What To Do In Casper
- National Historic Trails Interpretive Center: Enjoy free admission to the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, where you can learn about the historic trails along which early pioneers traveled. With eight galleries and several temporary exhibits, the Trails Center provides rich context into the experiences of emigrants in the American West.
- Tate Geological Museum: Visit the Tate Geological Museum, which houses over 3,000 fossils and minerals. Enjoy the dinosaur fossils, Dee the Mammoth , and the giant bronze T. Rex replica. The Tate delivers an educational and exciting museum experience.
Great River Bluffs State Park
On a previous trip back from out west, I made a stop at Great River Bluffs State Park.
Great River Bluffs State Park is a Minnesota state park in Winona MN, and this can make for a break-up point right after you leave Wisconsin.
It is located pretty much directly off of I-90.
So if you want to get a little further out from Chicago but still want a shorter driving day, then this can be another camping option, as there is the Great River Bluffs State Park campground.
You can also make it a stop to go for a short hike that ends with views of the Mississippi River.
There is a Minnesota state park entry fee of around $7.
Chicago to Great River Bluffs State Park is around an 4.5 hour drive.
Great River Bluffs State Park to Yellowstone National Park is around an 16 hour drive.
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Overnight Stay In Des Moines Iowa
Our first stop lies some 333 miles to the west of Chicago, in the state of Iowa.
The capital and largest city in the state, Des Moines is a beautiful location that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, largely due to its location. While there’s plenty to keep you entertained night and day in the city, it’s an attraction just outside the city that may be the most compelling reason to visit.
Winterset is a small town just outside Des Moines and is known as the birthplace of the one and only John Wayne. An absolute must is visiting the museum dedicated to his life located in the house where he was born.
This museum will let you get one of the most famous movie stars of all time on a very personal level with lots of mementos and interesting displays.
Considering we’re headed to Wyoming, which is widely known as cowboy country, what better stop to make than learning about the big screens most famous cowboy along the way.
Considering this is going to be a journey full of beautiful historic locations, why not stay in a hotel brimming with history and charm at the Historical Oscar Lofquist House.
Located in the heart of Des Moines, the apartment will feel like a home away from home with welcoming hosts and everything you need to make for a great stay.
Where To Stay In Chicago
There are plenty of lodging options available in Chicago, depending on your budget. Stay at the Fairmont Chicago, a short walk from Millenium Park and Maggie Daley Park.
For kiddie-themed rooms, a stay at the triangular-shaped hotel Swissotel Chicago will not disappoint. For a splurge, stay at the fancy-yet-family-friendly The Langham Chicago.
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Chicago To Yellowstone National Park Airports And Flights
In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a privateplane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city.But for most of us, we’re going to be flying on a commercial airline. So that means we really needto account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport,waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.
To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we’veput together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventuallyyou’ll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airportsand flights. But for now, here’s an example we’ve selected togive you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.
Departure airport: Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Arrival airport: Jackson Hole Airport
With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to andfrom the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.
Getting to the airport: 47 minutes
Getting to your destination: 170 minutes
Now finally, let’s look at an example flight from ORD to JAC and figure out how long it would take to fly includingtake-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.
Commercial flight time: 2 hours, 59 minutes
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time fromChicago to Yellowstone National Park including time spent getting to/fromthe airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSAsecurity lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.
Total travel time: 9 hours
Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Geothermal Activity at Yellowstone National Park | Photo by Cheryl Eugenio
Yay! You made it! To do Yellowstone justice, more than two days should be dedicated to exploring Americas first national park.
The lower loop with its geysers, bubbling mud pots, and springs was a sight not to be missed. Dont forget to see the most iconic of them all, Old Faithful Geyser.
Travel through the rest of the park to see rivers, waterfalls, canyons while spotting some wildlife. Here are 5 family-friendly Yellowstone hikes to get you started.
Find off the beaten path things to do with the family in Yellowstone. There is so much more to explore on your Yellowstone vacation.
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Road Trip From Chicago To Yellowstone National Park
Driving from Chicago to Yellowstone National Park is a monumental journey that takes you from the Great Lakes to the grand wilderness of America’s very first national park.
The 1,340-mile road trip from Chicago to Yellowstone takes over 21 hours of driving without stops and takes you through the wilderness of Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Take at least 3 to 4 days to make the most of the scenic route.
Read on to find the best places to stop, amazing nature to explore and top tips for making the long drive to Yellowstone as enjoyable as possible.
Find The Wild West In Cody
Locals like to brag Cody and the surrounding area is where your great American adventure begins. Here is our list of the top 10 things to do in this town founded by Buffalo Bill Cody.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Smithsonian-Affiliated 5-Museum ComplexHe rode for the Pony Express, entertained Queen Victoria, called Mark Twain a friend. Learn about the legend and the world and culture Buffalo Bill loved.
Buffalo Bill Village at Buffalo Bill Village Resort in CodyThese 83 historic cabins maintain the exterior historic cowboy hand hewn log the interior is a complete, full service non-smoking hotel room.Read more.
Comfort Inn at Buffalo Bill Village Resort in CodyThe Comfort Inn is located 52 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks and eight blocks from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast.Read more.
Holiday Inn Buffalo Bill Village Resort in CodyCodys only full-service hotel is conveniently located downtown, 52 miles from Yellowstones east entrance and eight blocks from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.Read more.
Pahaska Tepee ResortOriginally Buffalo Bills hunting lodge, the Pahaska Tepee Resort is the closest lodging to the parks East Entrance at only 2 miles.Read more.
Elephant Head LodgeLess than 12 miles from the park, this small resort sits along a national forest. Stay in a log cabin listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Read more.
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Chicago To Yellowstone Road Trip: An Adventure Through The Great Plains And The Rockies
Travel from an iconic Midwestern city filled with skyscrapers through farmland before ending up in the mountains of the American West on this Chicago to Yellowstone National Park road trip.
The Chicago to Yellowstone National Park road trip allows you to explore some amazing shopping destinations, visit a world-famous national monument and take part in some outdoor adventures of the American West. On the way, you will see all manner of breathtaking scenery as you move from the wide-open plains of the Midwest into the sprawling and impressive Rocky Mountains. At your final stop, you will get to see the many wonders of Yellowstone National Park.
How Far Is It The Other Way
The distance is the same either way if you’re flying a straight line . But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differencesso go ahead and check the reverse directions to get thedistance from Yellowstone National Park to Chicago, or go to the main pageto calculate the distance between cities.
If you happen to know Chicago, don’t forget to help othertravelers and answer some questions about Chicago!
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