The journey from Provo, UT, to Yellowstone National Park is more than a physical move from a prosperous and expanding community looking toward the future to an area that preserves the past. The journey runs through mountain ranges, across high deserts, and alongside immense lakes and rushing rivers. Each traveler along this path finds old military forts, large and small communities, and the intense beauty of nature as the explorers, mountain men, and pioneers found it. To see the best national and state parks, the cities that grew from nothing, and the wonders of nature preserved in the region, follow this road trip itinerary from Provo to Yellowstone National Park.
Capitol Reef National Park
Situated 170 miles south of Provo, Capitol Reef National Park hosts several unique rock formations. Visitors come from around the nation to camp, hike, bike, or ride horseback inside the park, where natural domes, bridges, arches, and canyons greet the eye. Fascinating destinations like Cathedral Valley, Hickman Bridge, and the Chimney Rock pillar draw the majority of visitors. However, the gems inside this park lie deeper and are accessible through ranger-led adventures.
Canyonlands National Park
Near Monticello, UT, 244 miles southeast of Provo, the Canyonlands National Park covers 337,598 acres of deep canyons and high buttes carved over millennia by the Colorado River. The park provides some of the most picturesque scenery found in the nation. The contrasts between the red, orange, and cream-colored desert rock and the intense blue of the Colorado River present a magnificent display where nature prevails and wildlife holds dominance over human intervention. The outdoor activities are endless in this park, with hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails that run for miles amongst the thousands of deep canyons that give the park its name. Between hikes, visitors take to the water in tubes or rafts to blow through the whitewater and get a completely different point of view of the towering bluffs.
Arches National Park
Immediately north of Moab, UT, 191 miles southeast of Provo, sits Arches National Park. Covering 76,679 acres of desert, the park features over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Many of these arches are so delicate that air traffic is restricted from its airspace for fear that the smallest sonic disturbance may cause the collapse of one or more structures. Upwards of 1.8 million people visit the park each year to see these incredible designs left by geologic formations eroded through millions of years.
Grand Teton National Park
When you reach Jackson Hole, WY, 345 miles into your road trip from Provo to Yellowstone National Park, you are on the northern doorstep of Grand Teton National Park. Covering 310,000 acres of mountainous terrain, the park offers some of the most unique visuals in the world. Towering above Jackson Hole, the Grand Teton Mountains appear to jump from the ground. Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding are amongst the favorite activities that draw visitors to this park.
East Canyon State Park
East Canyon State Park is located 19 miles east of South Weber, UT, which is 71 miles into your Provo to Yellowstone National Park RV road trip. Once a major gathering point of the Native American Ute tribe, the area grew to become a resting place for pioneers passing through to the rich farmlands of Oregon. Surrounded by narrow canyon walls, the park includes 267 acres beside a 608-acre lake created by the East Canyon Dam. Water skiing and other watersports are major draws that bring visitors to the park.
Massacre Rocks State Park
Massacre Rocks State Park is located 41 miles southwest of Pocatello along the Snake River. The park got its name from the boulders and natural rocks through which pioneers walked. No massacre occurred here, but the fear of one caused the pioneers to name these rocks for the possibility of an attack. The 990-acre park delivers miles of hiking trails to locations like Register Rock, where hundreds of pioneers carved their names into the rock surface. Fishing in the section of the Snake that runs beside the park is excellent for giant catfish.
Buffalo Bill State Park
Considered a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Buffalo Bill State Park lies 50 miles to the east in Wapiti, WY. Covering 11,290 acres, the park offers stunning views of the Absaroka Mountains, incredible fishing in the Shoshone River, and miles of hiking trails through Shoshone Canyon. Boat ramps provide easy access to the river that runs through the deep Shoshone Canyon. Views of wildlife include pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and an occasional cougar.
When the first Mormon settlers arrived in Provo Valley in 1849, the need for a protective structure became evident. Thus, Fort Utah was built in the first year and then, after it was flooded in the spring, moved to its present location. The fort consists of log houses surrounded by a 14-foot palisade with gates on the east and west sides. An elevated platform sits in the center of the 110-by-220-yard structure to hold the cannon.
Museum of Clean
Located 206 miles along your road trip from Provo to the Yellowstone National Park, Pocatello, ID, holds a unique and imaginative museum called the Museum of Clean. Encompassing an entire block of the city, this museum promotes the concept of cleanliness. The museum is an interactive experience that encourages every family member to be active when dealing with others, themselves, and the environment.
Granite Hot Springs Pool
Located south of Jackson Hole, WY, the Granite Hot Springs Pool features a vast bowl fed by natural hot springs that comfortably hold up to 50 people. Towering cedars surround the pool while Granite Creek tumbles beside it. Accessible in the summer via a dirt road capable of handling RV traffic, the pool is only reachable by snowmobile in the winter. The views of the surrounding mountains are spectacular from the parking lot and the pool itself.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Just 45 miles north on your Provo to Yellowstone National Park road trip sits the sprawling community of Salt Lake City. Famed for its spectacular architecture and exquisite gardens, Salt Lake City sits next to the Great Salt Lake and is the center of the Mormon faith. This town is a bustling hub of entrepreneurship and industry. Don't leave town without visiting one of their signature restaurants like Five Alls Fine Dining. While you are here, take advantage of one of its dump stations. There are several campgrounds nearby with tremendous amenities.
The second-largest city in Utah, Ogden, is just 80 miles north along your road trip from Provo to Yellowstone National Park. Initially, the town was a way station on the journey from Salt Lake City to the military presence in the Idaho and Montana territories. However, once the intercontinental railroad passed through Ogden, it became the major rail hub for all traffic coming to the territory. Here, you find a history that shouts the significance of rail traffic in the west at the rail depots that are museums today. Those traveling by RV can take advantage of the numerous dump stations and campgrounds that surround Birmingham.
In Pocatello, visitors are sandwiched between the high deserts of Idaho and the impressive mountain ranges that make up the border between Idaho and Montana. Visitors still find the remnants of Fort Hall, the initial structures established in the area, and parts of Old Pocatello, established after the arrival of the railroad—a stereotypical "Wild West" town. Once considered the "gateway to the Snake River Plain," Pocatello remains a blue-collar community with ties to the past and a vision of the future. It is a classic western community with restaurants, shops, and points of interest revolving around the theme of exploration. While you are here, use one of the numerous dump stations or one provided at the campgrounds that surround Pocatello.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Provo 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 Provo or Yellowstone National Park.