If you want to see some of the best parts of the rugged state of Idaho, then you’ll want to take a tour of southern Idaho on a Boise to Yellowstone National Park road trip. If you’re willing to do some extra traveling, you’ll get to see some stunning national parks that are home to multiple exciting environments. You won’t have any problems putting together a stellar road trip itinerary from Boise to Yellowstone National Park thanks to the bevy of excellent state parks, points of interest, and cities along your route.
Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is an awesome place to visit if you want to see many different wonders that are all in one place. If you’re willing to drive five hours south of Twin Falls, Idaho, you’ll get to walk through an ancient bristlecone pine forest, explore some interesting caves, and check out a glacier. There are also hundreds of different species of animals in the park, so you’ll have plenty of flora and fauna to look at while you’re hiking on some of the park’s 60 miles of trails.
Capitol Reef National Park
If you want to see some of Utah’s fabulous red rocks on your road trip from Boise to Yellowstone National Park, then you’ll need to drive five hours and 40 minutes south of Pocatello, Idaho, to Capitol Reef National Park. This national park is full of unique rock formations that can give the landscape an otherworldly feel; there are also plenty of canyons, pillars, arches, domes, bridges, and more for you to explore. You’ll have the chance to explore some great trails on foot, horseback, or bike; if the fruit-bearing trees are in season, you might be able to get your hands on some peaches, plums, apricots, or cherries.
Glacier National Park
If you’re willing to drive six hours north of West Yellowstone instead of heading directly into Yellowstone, you’ll get to see the jaw-dropping wonders of Glacier National Park. Not many national parks could make a compelling argument for delaying your arrival at Yellowstone, but the so-called “Crown of the Continent” is one of them. This million-acre park is home to more than 130 lakes, multiple microclimates, and, of course, awesome glaciers. Unsurprisingly, this park is a great place to go rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and fishing.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is your final destination; you could easily spend an entire vacation or two doing nothing but exploring America’s first-ever national park. When you first see iconic features like Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, and Lower Falls, then you’ll probably understand why generations past wanted to preserve this marvelous environment for future generations. Whether you want to see the most famous parts of Yellowstone or to explore the lesser-known areas of the park, you’ll be able to take advantage of the great trail network that opens up this national treasure.
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone is often crowded because of its popularity, so if you want to enjoy the splendor of the Teton Range without the presence of so many people, then you should travel a mere 10 minutes south of Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park. More than 200 miles of trails take visitors through mountains and forests and past lakes and waterfalls. Horseback riding, hiking, mountaineering, and backcountry camping are all favorite pastimes here.
Lake Cascade State Park
Before you leave the Boise area, you should travel about an hour and a half north to visit beautiful Lake Cascade State Park. You’ll enjoy looking at the sparkling waters of the 27,000-acre Lake Cascade and the surrounding Boise National Forest. Water sports and fishing are popular here thanks to Lake Cascade; there are also some nice trails that are ideal for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Bruneau Dunes State Park is only 25 minutes southwest of Mountain Home, Idaho, so you should stop by and explore this dune field that contains North America’s largest single-structure sand dune. Most visitors prefer to explore the dunes on foot, but you can also check out the park on horseback. Some lakes at the base of the dunes are good for fishing while the night sky is perfect for stargazing. Don’t forget to go sand-sledding on the dunes with a board that you can pick up near the park’s front.
Massacre Rocks State Park
Massacre Rocks State Park takes its name from the lay of the terrain that allowed Oregon Trail travelers of the past expect to be ambushed on their journey. Nowadays, the only thing likely to ambush you here is the giant catfish you might be able to pull from the Snake River. You’ll be able to take advantage of some of the rugged rock-climbing and hiking areas in the park and can even visit Register Rock, which has the scratched names of many emigrants who traveled west on the Oregon Trail.
Willard Bay State Park
If you want to visit a park with a large reservoir that’s only separated from the Great Salt Lake by a barrier wall on your Boise to Yellowstone National Park RV road trip, then you should head down to Willard Bay State Park. The park’s just an easy hour-and-a-half drive south of Pocatello down Interstate 15, so it’s definitely worth visiting. If you don’t have your own watercraft, you can rent anything from a canoe to a pontoon boat at the local marina.
Bear Lake State Park
While you’ll have to travel two hours from Pocatello to reach Bear Lake State Park, you’ll get to experience the beauty of the “Caribbean of the Rockies” on your road trip from Boise to Yellowstone National Park. Between the blue water, the white sand, and the scuba diving opportunities, you’ll wonder if you’ve somehow ended up in the islands. You can rent boats and jet skis here, so there are plenty of great ways you can enjoy Bear Lake.
Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area is 40 minutes from Kuna, Idaho. Towering cliffs along the Snake River provide an ideal place for roughly 1,600 birds of prey to nest and raise the next generation. There are plenty of other animals you can see as well; multiple great trails will help you explore this park on foot, bike, horse, or boat.
Shoshone Falls Park
Shoshone Falls Park is only about 15 minutes off of your route as it goes through Jerome, Idaho. This waterfall is taller than Niagara Falls and is known as the “Niagara of the West,” so it’s a worthy addition to your road trip itinerary from Boise to Yellowstone National Park.
Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge
You can find Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge 20 minutes from American Falls, Idaho. Lake Walcott, its shorelines, and its wetlands are great places for wildlife watching, hunting, and photography. You can fish in multiple locations at the park and hike on several miles of paved trails.
Yellowstone Bear World
Yellowstone Bear World is five minutes from your route as it goes through Rexburg, Idaho. Since you never know what wildlife you’re going to see in Yellowstone itself, you might want to visit this auto tour that lets you experience the animals of this region from the comfort of your vehicle. After you’ve seen the bears on your tour, you can visit a petting zoo, ride some amusement rides, and visit Butterfly Haven.
Yellowstone Aerial Adventures Zipline Adventure Park
Before you leave West Yellowstone, you should head two minutes off your route to experience Yellowstone Aerial Adventures Zipline Adventure Park. If you want to have some extreme fun on your road trip from Boise to Yellowstone National Park, then you’ll enjoy the zip lines, rope bridges, and more at this adventure park.
Twin Falls, Idaho
Be sure to stop by the Museum of Clean and the Idaho Museum of Natural History while visiting Pocatello. There are multiple local dump stations that you can use to clean your camper and there are campgrounds where you can rest.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
West Yellowstone, Montana
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Boise to Yellowstone National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Boise or Yellowstone National Park.