You will get to see much of the state of Wyoming during your Fort Collins to Idaho Falls RV road trip. There are several national parks near your route, and each one is an iconic symbol of the western U.S. If you enjoy hiking, you'll love places like Grand Teton National Park. The route is also near the iconic Yellowstone National Park, which became the United State's first national park in 1872. When you get to Idaho Falls, you'll have several museums and historic landmarks waiting to explore.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Since you're starting in Fort Collins, you'll have a great chance to explore one of the best parks in the national park system, Rocky Mountain National Park. It's just an hour southwest of the city. Each year more than 3 million people come to experience the wild beauty of this iconic symbol of the Northwestern U.S. The park boasts more than 100 peaks that possess an elevation of 11,000 feet or more, and Longs Peak is one of Colorado's "fourteeners" and has an elevation of 14,259 feet. A third of the park is alpine tundra and is one of the largest such ecosystems in the contiguous United States.
Grand Teton National Park
For those looking to spend time in a region that possesses striking landscapes, historic settlements and buildings, and recreational activities, Grand Teton National Park is the answer. The Teton Range rises in a steep, vertical ascent to an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level with no underlying foothills. The peaks are covered in snow, and the dramatic effect of the mountains is heightened by the absence of foothills. Six small, deep lakes around the eastern edge of the mountains reflect the peaks. U.S. Highway 89 runs through the entire park between Jackson and the southernmost entrance of Yellowstone National Park and features numerous pullouts. Visitors have a good chance to see bison, elk, and antelope in some areas of the park. The park has a shuttle service to Jenny Lake, where you can hike up Grand Teton or take shorter hikes to Leigh Lake and Paintbrush Canyon. There are also many other hiking trails throughout the park, including the challenging Granite Canyon trail and the Death Canyon to Static Peak Divide trail.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park enjoys the status of being the first designated national park in the U.S. Created in 1872, Yellowstone has remained a popular national park in the system and attracts an average of above 4 million visitors annually. The park is famous for its hot springs and geysers. The most notable of these is "Old Faithful," which vents water and steam around every hour and a half. Visitors to the park will see a diverse landscape of geysers, hot springs, forests, meadows, rivers, and canyons, many of which can be enjoyed by hiking on the more than 900 miles of hiking trails in the area. Yellowstone contains 67 species of mammals, which is the most of all the national parks. You have the chance to see mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, white-tailed deer, moose, bison, pronghorn antelopes, mountain goats, and more. Predators include grizzly bears, black bears, Canada lynx, wolves, coyotes, wolverines, and mountain lions. The park contains a number of rivers, of which the Yellowstone River is the largest.
Guernsey State Park
Guernsey State Park is known for its many structures that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s as part of the work relief program during the Great Depression. Of these buildings, Brimmer Point, the Guernsey Museum, and the Castle are fine examples of the quality craftsmanship of the CCC workers. The Castle has a giant fireplace and a curved set of steps that lead to an observation area with a view of the park and the reservoir. The museum is on a high cliff that overlooks the lake and has a roof of hand-split cedar shakes and a floor with flagstones. Besides these architectural features, the buildings offer scenic views of the park from their high elevations. The CCC also built many of the bridges, roads, and trails in the park. Ten miles of these original trails have been restored, and visitors can access the trail system at Brimmer Point.
Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park offers a varied landscape around the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. If you add this park to your Fort Collins to Idaho Falls road trip itinerary, you can enjoy the many opportunities for fishing on the Granite, North Crow, and Crystal Reservoirs. You can fish for salmon at Granite Lake, and Crystal is stocked with brown and rainbow trout, as well as kokanee salmon.
Sinks Canyon State Park
Sinks Canyon State Park is home to Sinks Canyon, which is located at the foot of the southern Wind River Mountains. Here, you will find an amazing variety of ecosystems, including foothills, conifer forests, and aspen meadows. The canyon begins with the cascading falls on the Popo Agie River and continues into the Lander Valley. Visitors will be able to see a wide diversity of birds and other types of wildlife while enjoying the dramatic landscape.
The highest peak in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak is one of the more interesting natural attractions in Colorado. Named for the explorer Zebulon Pike, it is one of Colorado's "fourteeners," which are mountains that are 14,000 in elevation or higher. Pikes Peak was the inspiration for the song "America the Beautiful" and is known as "America's Mountain." Many visitors access the park via Peak Highway or by taking the cog railway or hiking into the park. Barr Trail, a 13-mile path, leads to the summit and gains 8,000 feet in elevation.
Cheyenne Botanical Gardens
If you don't mind going about an hour off your route, stop in Wyoming's capital city and check out the Cheyenne Botanical Gardens. Here, you'll find nine beautiful acres of award-winning perennial and annual landscapes. As you walk through the gardens, you'll see everything from roses and herbs to cacti and wetland plants. Be sure to also check out the vegetable garden and Grand Conservatory.
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site
When you pass through Laramie, be sure to check out the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site. Built in 1872, this facility operated as a federal penitentiary for nearly three decades and a state prison for another nine years. It now operates as a museum that teaches visitors about the history of punishment and rehabilitation in the Old West.
Depending on your chosen route on your Fort Collins to Idaho Falls road trip, you can take the time to stop in Jackson, WY, a popular Western-style resort city that is close to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Jackson has a unique charm, and you will love spending time here. Some of the interesting sites in the city are the National Elk Refuge and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which has displays of the artist Andy Warhol and the poet Georgia O'Keefe. If you need the services of a dump station, you'll find many convenient options in the Jackson area. The Curtis Canyon Campground is located above the National Elk Refuge and has wonderful views of the Teton Mountains.
Rock Springs, Wyoming
Rock Springs is a fun city to experience. The downtown area has lots of shopping and eating options, and you can find many attractions just a few minutes away from the city proper. The city is located in the high desert and is close to the Killpecker Sand Dunes, which are the largest sand dunes in the U.S. Many visitors come to drive the dunes in their ATV vehicles. Other attractions include Boar's Tusk, an extinct volcanic core, and the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Dump stations are readily available around Rock Springs if you plan on using one. The Sleeping Bear RV Park & Campground has spectacular views and lots of fun activities for the family.
Whether you want to explore the history or culture of Laramie or you enjoy getting outside, you are sure to find an activity that fits the bill. Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming, many museums, a historic downtown area, and lots of cultural venues. The city is beautifully encircled by two mountain ranges, and you will enjoy the views while you walk around the city. It is easy to find a dump station for your RV while you are near Laramie on your road trip from Fort Collins to Idaho Falls. Western Hills Campground has old-time charm and modern amenities that combine for a comfortable stay.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Fort Collins to Idaho Falls, 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 Fort Collins or Idaho Falls.