Continuing our Summer road trip series to: the Rockies! You’ll start and end this trip in Denver, CO but the adventure lives in more places than here. From Colorado to South Dakota, Wyoming, a few National Parks, State Parks, and no shortage of awe-striking mountains, your list of places seen and experiences had will continue to grow. What’s so special about the Rocky Mountains? We’re so glad you asked!
This mountain range is actually 3,000 some miles long reaching as far North as Alberta, Canada, and as far South as New Mexico. That’s touching five states and two countries – so much ground to cover! Our take on this area features
Road Trip Itinerary
Our already mapped-out Rockies Road Trip has enough ground, sights and activities to cover a little over two weeks of travel. That’s a lot of time, that usually entails a lot of planning. But fear not, it’s yet another reason to book with Tumbleweed Travel Co., because we’ve already done that tedious background research and travel planning for you. Buckle up, friends – we’re headed to Denver!
The first leg of your trip takes you from capital to capital. There’s 100 miles between Denver, CO and Cheyenne, WY. While this itinerary does not include fun in and around Denver, you can absolutely plan for a couple days prior or after your trip to dive in. And, we’d be happy to help plan that out for you too. Once you reach, Cheyenne, you can explore the small city and learn more about the state of Wyoming at the Capital building itself, or one of its several museums. You’ll be here for a night – grab a bite at 2 Doors Down, or some brews at Accomplice. And in the morning, you’ll start the trek to Hot Springs, SD.
Another 1-nighter spent here, you’ll find the mineral-rich hot springs that gave the city its name, mammoth fossils, and several places to slow down. Dip your toes in the springs, do a yoga practice, enjoy the scenery.
About an hour North, you’ll drive into “little Yellowstone,” or Custer State Park! Two nights will be spent here seeing SO much wildlife, grassy meadows, unique rock formations, and more natural landscape. Seriously, it’s ranked within the top 10 wildlife reserves in the WORLD. The Wildlife Loop Scenic Byway, Sylvan Lake, Crazy Horse, Burros, are just a few of our favorite things here.
After Custer, you’ll continue North on a quick jot to Mount Rushmore. Grab some TJ’s original ice cream and get an up-close and personal view of the monument on President’s Trail. This is also in the Keystone, SD area so you can check out that town during your night stay here.
Leaving Mount Rushmore, Rapid City will be the next drive through city before heading West to Devil’s Tower National Monument. There’s a really cool “walk with the Presidents” throughout Rapid City where it hosts statues of ALL presidents! Devil’s Tower is an insane geological feature that is sacred among the indigenous people. A sight worth seeing indeed, and you’ll also be able to explore Sheridan, and Cody, WY (catch the night rodeo!)
The famous Yellowstone National Park is next on the list. America’s first National Park, and arguably the one with the most varied unique ecosystems. It has the mountains, wildlife canyons, waterfalls, forests, yes. But it also has these wild hydrothermal and geologic wonders. With so much to see and learn about this one of a kind place, it’s the perfect spot for a Junior Ranger Program too.
You’ll spend two nights in Jackson Hole next. So much to indulge in here – hiking, biking, horseback riding, parks, museums, kid’s camps, shall we go on? Jackson Hole, WY is the gateway to the parks: Bridger Teton, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Park. You’re in the center of it all here.
We’re positive once you see Wyoming, you’ll never want to leave. But, for the last leg of the trip, you’ll be making your way back down South to (the equally beautiful!) Colorado. You’ll make a pit stop in Rock Springs, WY to break up your stint on the road.
And finally, you’ll reach Rocky Mountain National Park. Drive through the famous Trail Ridge Road. Take in the deepest, grateful breath amongst the most gorgeous peaks, luscious valleys, and dense forests. You have three days here, and what an amazing finale to a trip it will be.
Although you’ll be rounding the end of your trip and heading back to Denver, we’re hopeful you and your family will have big ole smiles slapped on those happy faces of yours riding that traveler’s high all the way back home.
In efforts to keep you hooked on the feeling – check out some of our favorite highlights that can easily become your favorites on this trip too.
We hope you have an inkling to take a walk (or drive!) on the wild side, and find the courage to do so. A trip around the Rockies is the perfect opportunity to act on that inkling. The amount of natural scenery covered on this road trip is insane – and one that can’t accurately be put into words. You’ll know what we mean when you see it all for yourself. We’ll catch you out there!