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We finally did it—we embarked on a two-week RV road trip from Southern California to Yellowstone National Park. (AND IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE!!) There were four rigs total in our caravan, and yes, it required extensive research and planning to pull it off. Yours truly planned the trip, so I thought I’d share my road trip itinerary along with helpful links and resources for anyone else looking to plan a similar trip.

Our starting point was Southern California, and this itinerary takes you through Las Vegas, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and all the way up to West Yellowstone, Montana. Drive times, miles, and campgrounds are all noted below and in this downloadable PDF. The first two days of the trip are drive-heavy, but that fit with our plan to maximize our time in Wyoming and Montana. The homeward route jogs eastward a bit through Utah to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, which turned out to be a great two-night stop for swimming and relaxing at the reservoir. If you’re looking for the shortest drive home, then do not make the detour to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and Fishlake. For the shortest drive home from Yellowstone, you’ll want to head south through Beaver, Utah.

When reading through the itinerary, be aware that I chose RV parks and campgrounds that could accommodate our large group, and I booked most of the sites about five months in advance. We were undecided about the second week of our trip; half of the group wanted to explore northern Montana after our stay in West Yellowstone, and the rest of us wanted to start our homeward trek. About one month before the trip, the entire group decided to all travel the same way home, and I started scrambling to finish booking sites for the trip. By that time, every RV park and decent campground near Grand Teton National Park was totally booked, so we ended up boondocking in Wyoming on the Fourth of July in a wooded, secluded, beautiful spot that we never would have found otherwise. It was a happy accident that really made our time in Wyoming memorable, but I highly recommend booking campsites at least six months in advance so that you have a solid plan going into such a long trip. If you’re looking to camp within Yellowstone National Park or Grand Teton National Park, try to book 11-12 months ahead of time. (Next time, I am totally going to book campsites within the national parks. I already added reminders to my calendar so I can book those desirable sites a year in advance.)

Overall, each campground turned out better than I hoped, and our large four-rig convoy was able to camp together for the entire journey. I hope my itinerary helps you with your own road trip planning, Yellowstone or bust!

SUMMER 2019 ROAD TRIP
Jackson – Yellowstone – Grand Tetons – Flaming Gorge – Fishlake

FRIDAY, JUNE 28
Depart from home – 460 miles – Drive 6.5 hours

  • Beaver KOA Journey, 1428 N Manderfield, Beaver, UT 84713
  • Pool, big playground, very kid friendly
  • Full hookups
  • Spend 1 night
Beaver KOA Journey

Our site at Beaver KOA Journey, Beaver, Utah

SATURDAY, JUNE 29
455 miles via the 89 – Drive 7.5 hours

  • Fireside Resort, 2780 North, WY-390, Wilson, WY 83014
  • Spend 2 nights
  • Full hookups
  • Reserve well in advance, this campground fills up in the summer.
  • Scenic location, lots of trees and shade, RV sites are close to one another.
  • No pool, no playground.
  • About 15 minutes from downtown Jackson.

Fireside Resort, Jackson – Our RV and tow vehicle are to the right of dancing Hannah. The sites are fairly close together.

MONDAY, JULY 1
123 miles via the Teton Pass (highway 33, 10% grade) – Drive 2.5 hours

  • Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park, 210 S Electric St, West Yellowstone, MT 59758
  • Spend 3 nights
  • Full hookups, sites are immaculate
  • Playground, no pool, paved roads that are perfect for riding bikes and scooters around.
  • 5 minute drive to the West Yellowstone Entrance.
  • Stock up on water, propane, and food, and dump tanks before the next destination.

Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park, West Yellowstone, Montana

THURSDAY, JULY 4
106 miles – Drive 2.5 hours

  • Boondocking near Buffalo Valley Road at Forest Rd 30069, Moran, WY 83013
  • GPS Coordinates: 43.850517, -110.342024
  • Short dirt road leads to a large, semi-flat campground that can accommodate about six rigs.
  • No hookups
  • There are other dispersed camping spots along Buffalo Valley Road.
  • About 30 minutes from the Grand Teton National Park Moran Entrance
  • Spend 2 nights
  • Learn more about this boondocking spot in this blog post.

From Buffalo Valley Road, turn right onto Forest Road 30069 and you’ll find this large dispersed camping site. GPS Coordinates: 43.850517, -110.342024

Our boondocking campsite near Buffalo Valley Road in Wyoming.

SATURDAY, JULY 6
280 miles – Drive 5 hours

  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area – Mustang Ridge Campground
  • Mustang Ridge Campground Rd, Dutch John, UT 84023
  • Group Site – GRP1 (This site has an incredible view of the lake, and you can hike down to the water for a swim. It’s a rocky shoreline.)
  • This group site is a large paved area that can fit up to four rigs.
  • No hookups, but there’s a water spigot in the group site that we used to fill up our water tanks.
  • There’s a sandy swimming beach called “Sunny Cove” that is about a 5 minute drive from Mustang Ridge.
  • On our way in, we stopped at Antelope Flats to dump. Then on our way out, we stopped at Lodgepole Campground to dump.
  • Spend 2 nights 
IMG_20190707_104039

View of Flaming Gorge Reservoir from the group site at Mustang Ridge Campground.

Mustang Ridge Group Site

The group site at Mustang Ridge campground is a large paved area with room for four, maybe five rigs if you park them close together.

MONDAY, JULY 8
274 miles – Drive 5.5 hours

  • Fishlake National Park
  • Bowery Creek Rec Site Campground, Bowery Creek Campground Rd, Richfield, UT 84701
  • Site 14, Triple (This is a group site and it barely fit three rigs, two 36-foot class As and one 28-foot class C. Consider booking additional sites depending on your group size. May be difficult for very large rigs to maneuver between trees. There is also an RV park nearby.)
  • Campsite is a five minute walk to the lake
  • High elevation, cooler temperatures, cold lake water
  • Several grades on this driving route
  • Spend 2 nights
Bowery Creek Rec Campground

We could barely squeeze three rigs into the triple site at Bowery Creek Rec Campground. The third RV is parked alongside the RV on the left.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10
312 miles – Drive 5 hours

  • Las Vegas KOA at Sam’s Town Journey, 5225 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV 89122
  • Pool
  • Full hookups
  • Walking distance to Sam’s Town Casino
  • Very hot in the summer, plan on escaping to air conditioned casinos or buying a day pass for one of their incredible resort swimming pools. We like this one the best: MGM Grand Pool
  • Spend 2 nights

FRIDAY, JULY 12
241 miles – Drive 4 hours

  • Home sweet home! 

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THE ITINERARY
Have you made a similar road trip to Yellowstone? Share your road trip tips and tricks in the comments below, I’d love to hear about your camping stops along the way!

One last note: I did not receive any payment or discounts from these campgrounds for my trip or for including them in this blog post. These opinions are solely my own and based on my own experiences.

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