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Geise asked

Itinerary for 8-day road trip from LA to Yellowstone

My boyfriend and I decided to drive 1000 miles to Yellowstone, next week!  

We have a small budget, but we won't skip cool restaurants and traditional diners on the way. We are not planning to camp since we read that the nights in Yellowstone are freezing!   

Departure: Wednesday 11th, 2pm 

Return: Thursday 19th, 8pm at last 
Wed 11th 

We will leave to CEDAR CITY, which will be a 7h drive  

Where should we have dinner?  
Thur 12th 
We will leave the hotel at 7 and arrive in IDAHO FALLS at 4 PM
Where can we grab lunch? 
Fri 13th 
We will leave at 6am, drive to YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK!  We will arrive at 9am. 
Where should we have lunch and dinner?  

From here, we will go to a hotel in JACKSON  
Sat 14th 
We will visit GRAND TETON  
Dinner recommendations there? 

Then we will drive to SALT LAKE CITY at 6am, arriving at 11am
Sun 15th 
Hotel, breakfast, and tour ideas for Salt Lake City? 
We will leave at 5pm and drive 4.5 hours to ST. GEORGE.  Any dinner ideas in St. George?
Mon 16th 
We will leave the hotel at 9am and drive 30 min to ZION national park, then we will leave at 6pm to drive to VEGAS, arriving at 9pm  

Dinner ideas in Vegas?
Tues 17th 
Outlet stop and should we visit Hoover Dam? We will l eave at 7pm at drive back to LAWed 18th  
Home :)  
We are open to any ideas of hotels, restaurants, fun diners and nice tourism along I-15 N.  

Thank you :)
Update: We are now pondering about stopping in Panguitch in Utah... Any recommendations? :)

Los Angeles (California) Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)   Cedar City (Utah)   Idaho Falls (Idaho)   Jackson (Wyoming)   Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)   Salt Lake City (Utah)   Saint George (Utah)   Zion National Park (Utah)   Las Vegas (Nevada)   Panguitch (Utah)

7 Answers
top answer by
JR from Manhattan Beach

Geise, this is going to be an amazing trip!! So stoked for you! My thoughts are below. Some slight changes to your plan. Basically inserting a couple other parks and Park City and removing Salt Lake City.  

Day 1: Manhattan Beach to Cedar City (Utah) (options would be to stop in Vegas or St George for dinner. Plenty of options in each, but on this trip plan on eating quickly or in the car)

Day 2: Power drive up to Idaho Falls

Day 3: Your plan of seeing all of Yellowstone and getting to Jackson (Wyoming) the same day is too aggressive. You're driving all the way to see Yellowstone, I think you'll want to spend one night there, which I know will be pricey but probably worth it so you can take your time and see more. Then the next day you can explore more of Yellowstone on your way down to Jackson via Grand Teton National Park on the way. Once you make it down to Jackson, you're not going to want to back track to see Grand Teton.

Day 4: Tour more of the Yellowstone and then leave through Yellowstone National Park South Entrance and drive through Grand Teton National Park and stay in Jackson (Wyoming). I think you'll be ready for a proper meal there and a good night sleep. The little downtown is quaint and you'll like it. If you get there by sunset, I would recommend going up to the Amangani Resort to watch it. Splurge on a drink in their lobby. It's beautiful up there. 

Day 5: Skip Salt Lake City altogether (not a ton to see there IMO unless you want to the mormon temple) and stay up in the mountains. Go in the back way to Park City and have lunch there. It has a cute main street that's worth a stop. Hosted the winter olympics in 2002 too. Then leave Park City, head south to get set up for a Utah parks day. Stay as close to Capitol Reef National Park as possible. 

Day 6: Get up and drive through Capitol Reef National ParkBryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. And stay the night in St. George, Utah

Day 7: Go see Las Vegas and stay the night there. Have fun! If you really want you can go see the Hoover Dam, it's very impressive, but i have a feeling you'll be gassed by then. Get a good night sleep, then drive home the next morning. 

Day 8: Arrive home :)

Comments (2)

Wow, thank you very much! We were really thinking about visiting Bryce Canyon. It really sounds like a better plan to spend some more time in Yellowstone, we will try to stay the night! Actually, my boyfriend mentioned he didn't want to stay at Salt Lake City so now we have another option :) Thanks for suggesting Park City. We checked online and it's a pretty town! :)

This looks like a great trip! I may have to add Yellowstone to my wish list!

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answered by
Ryan from Redondo Beach

I did this trip a few years back. We made it to Yellowstone from LA in a 2 day drive so I don't have many tips for along the way. One thing that was amazing to me though was driving through the night in Northern Utah and seeing lightening in the distance. Pretty amazing stuff to see.

Anyways, when you're in Yellowstone I'd recommend swimming in the Boiling River. There are hot springs that flow into the river. It's at the end of this little hike on the Boiling River Trail near the North Entrance.

Enjoy your trip!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boiling River (attraction)
  2. Boiling River Trail (attraction)
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answered by
Larry from Chicago

You are not spending nearly enough time at Yellowstone National Park or Grand Teton National Park. You won't see much if you just drive right through to Jackson which is south of the Tetons. However I do recommend my favorite place to eat which is Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon in Teton Village.

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answered by
Lidia from Cedar City

On Wednesday the 11th while in Cedar City, a great place to dine is Chef Alfredo's Ristorante Italiano. Its a casual fine dinging experience with great home made Italian recipes. Great chicken, pasta and seafood dishes. They offer wine and beer but no liquor.

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answered by

In Las Vegas Stripit really depends on what you are looking for to eat. There is everything! Hoover Dam is worth a trip if you've never been and there is also Boulder City there, which is adorable. I've written a bit about it on my site if you want to check it out:



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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Las Vegas Strip (metro area)
  2. Hoover Dam (attraction)
  3. Boulder City (city)
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answered by
Claire from Fort Worth, Texas

Yellowstone National Park  Like the previous poster  I highly recommend you give Yellowstone/Teton at least 2 days.   We found some moderately priced hotels in West Yellowstone just past the western Park gate.  From West it is a straight shot into Old Faithful..  staying in the park is pricey and you pretty much need to reserve in advance. . long in advance in high season...

The park is closed to visitors in the winter except for specially outfitted tours.  Highly limited due to tons of snow  so check ahead to be sure you can even get in before you haul all the way up there.  

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answered by

Now we have the final itinerary for the trip! 


Thanks so much for the suggestions!  


We are still pondering about stopping in Panguitch... Any recommendations? :) 




Drive to Cedar City (Utah)  

Leave at 2pm  

Drive 7h 

Arrive at 9ish  




Drive to Jackson  

Leave at 11 

Drive 8h 

Arrive at 7ish 


FRI 13TH  


Leave at 8am 

Drive 1.2h  

Arrive at 10am  



Drive to Grand Teton  

Leave at 9am 

Drive 20 min 

Arrive at 9:20 

Drive to Park City at 6pm 

Drive 4.3h 

Arrive at 11pm 



Visit Park city /lunch  

Leave at 3pm 

drive 4h to Panguitch ??? 

arrive at 7ish 



Leave at 9am 

Drive 25 min 

arrive at Bryce Canyon at 9:30ish  

Leave 6pm 

Drive 1.30h Cedar City (Utah) 

Arrive at 8ish 



Drive 20 min 

Kolob Canyons/ Zion Park  

Leave at 6pm 

Drive 3.3h to Vegas 

Arrive at 10pm  



Drive 1h to Hoover Dam  

Drive 5h back to Los Angeles  



Home :)

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Panguitch (city)
  2. Cedar City (Utah) (city)
  3. Panguitch (city)
  4. Cedar City (Utah) (city)
  5. Hoover Dam (attraction)
  6. Los Angeles (city)
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