If you live in Denver and want to visit one of the world’s most breathtaking natural parks, or if you’re visiting and planning a trip, Yellowstone National Park is the perfect place to start in Denver.

The journey from Denver to Yellowstone takes the whole day and takes you along beautiful roads. With more than 8 hours of clean driving you want to get up early in the morning and take a step forward.

If you are travelling with small children or do not want to sit in the car all day, a stop on the way can interrupt the long journey.

To help you with your planning, here is our complete travel guide from Denver to Yellowstone.

How far from Denver is Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park is 510-545 miles from Denver, depending on the road and direction you enter the park.

The walk takes 8 hours and 30 minutes before you have to pay for gas and food. You will want to refuel in front of the entrance of the park and you really need to stretch your legs at least twice, so it is best to take at least 10 hours to get there.

You can do it in one day – go to Yellowstone to find accommodation before sunset.

However, the length of the plate allows you to stop on the way. So you can relax in the car and set up a tent or move into your home in peace and quiet.

Wyoming Road between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park
Road between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park

haveseen/Shutterstock.com

Driving is the only real way to get from Denver to Yellowstone. Amtrak trains don’t run near Yellowstone, so they won’t help. From Denver there are only indirect flights to Yellowstone, which not only cost quite a bit (especially for the family), but also include connections and still take up most of the day.

You can fly to Jackson, the airport of the famous Jackson Hole ski resort, and drive to Yellowstone, but it still involves going to the airport, walking with your luggage and then driving from Jackson to Yellowstone in a rental car and a half – a considerable time saving with a lot of extra effort.

Best route on the Denver to Yellowstone Highway

There are two main roads from Denver to Yellowstone. Both go north from Denver on the I-25 to Fort Collins. The separation is carried out immediately after the time.

Driving from Denver to Yellowstone National Park - Map and directions

The quickest and most scenic route will be from Exit 271 on Mountain Vista Drive. After passing Terry Lake take Highway 287, which takes you to the southern entrance of Yellowstone National Park at US-191. You can cross the I-80 from Laramie to Rawlins to speed up your progress.

The alternative is to take the I-25 past Fort Collins and follow it to Casper. From Kasper take Highway 20 to the eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Your route will take you along Highway 26 in the United States and Highway 120 in Wyoming before you go to the park.

  Route 1 Route 2
Distance (miles) 510 545
Driving time 8 hours 30 minutes 8 hours and 45 minutes
Best for Scenario and wilderness The best streets and stops
Yellowstone approach South entrance East entrance

The first route is the fastest and most direct from Denver to Yellowstone (in about 20 minutes) and offers the best scenery on the way. The second city runs through several large cities and has longer interstate borders.

The advantage of Highway 1 is the passage for the Shoshone National Forest and the route between Grand Teton National Park and Bridger Teton National Forest on the Yellowstone Highway. With a walk around Jackson Lake, this could be one of the most amazing CDs in the United States.

Specifically, the main difference between the two routes is the direction from which you enter the park. Depending on your itinerary and where you plan to stay or start your trip in Yellowstone, one may be better than the other.

Best place to stay between Denver and Yellowstone

If you plan to interrupt a long journey, you will need to find a place to stay overnight along the way.

Even if you’re camping when you arrive in Yellowstone, you may not want to camp for the night after a few hours drive – a hotel stay is a much more relaxing option.

The cities of Laramie and Cheyenne are good options if you want to go out in the evening after work. It will take you 1 hour 45 minutes or 2 hours 30 minutes to get there, which will save you a lot of time to arrive the next day.

Cheyenne is the capital of the state and therefore has a number of interesting sites to offer.

The State Capitol Building in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on a sunny day.

Rafel/Shutterstock.com

For those who want to divide the disc into two equal days, Rawlins and Kasper are the best choice, depending on the route chosen. You can make a detour to Saratoga, which is beautiful in summer – drive west from Denver to Aparajo and Roosevelt National Forests, then take Highway 40 and Route 125 to the north.

Another good idea is to enjoy the ride from Denver on the first day and then go to the park on the morning of the second day. This way you stand in front of the crowd, come through the lines and make the most of your first day in Yellowstone.

If this strategy sounds good, plan to stay in Jackson or Cody, depending on the route. Jackson is a picturesque town with many fantastic hotels. Cody, east of Yellowstone, is also a great city to stay in and there are many things to do that will make you want to spend more time.

Best time to travel from Denver to Yellowstone National Park

The best time to travel from Denver to Yellowstone is from June to September. Many people will say that you should go in spring or autumn to avoid the crowds, but the weather in Yellowstone in April and October can be cool.

The Madison River at the western entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

NaughtyNut/Shutterstock.com

The park is huge, so even in high season you won’t be overwhelmed by the crowds of tourists that are everywhere.

Please note that all roads leading to and within the park will be closed if you choose to drive in winter. You can travel to the edge of the park and spend the night in Grand Teton National Park or go west and stay in the Island Park Valley (it’s amazing that you can visit the park on your own).

You will have to rent snowmobiles or find other ways to get to the park from there. Some of the cottages and hotels around Mammoth Hot Springs are open during the winter season, but nothing else. You may see more wildlife on the way from the mountains to the warmer plains, but it is usually best to stay in the summer.

A bison herd in Yellowstone National Park in winter.

BlazingBighornStudios/Shutterstock.com

Don’t forget that even if you go out in the middle of summer, the weather in Yellowstone can vary considerably – take warm layers with you.

Points of interest on the Denver to Yellowstone Highway

Some of the best sights on the road to Yellowstone are further down the road as you approach the park.

If you follow Slope 1, you will pass the breathtaking scenery just before entering the park – Grand Teton National Park is popular with winter sports enthusiasts – Jackson Hole is one of the most popular ski resorts in the country.

Surprisingly, the high snow-capped peaks, valleys, lakes and Elk National Reserve in summer are often overlooked by visitors for a ride on the Yellowstone Highway.

Chuck Ledgerwood/Shutterstock.com

Route 1 also runs through the large nature reserve of the Windrivier in the centre of Wyoming. The Shoshone and Arapajo, Native Americans, live on the reserve through which the 20th century passed. American Highway.

The long road from the Colorado/Wyoming border to the border of the national park runs along large plateaus and many of the empty depths of the country. There won’t be many places to see along the road except for a few mining towns in the Carbonne district which have the largest linear stripes in the area.

Route 2 runs through the city of Kasper. The river Platta runs through the city, as well as museums, cafes and many restaurants, which are ideal for a stopover.

Sunset over Kasper and Platta River in Wyoming with mountains in the background.

Doug Tunison/Shutterstock.com

Best route to Yellowstone from Denver

There are two easy access roads from Denver to Yellowstone National Park, the southern and eastern entrances. The other three entrances are located on the north and west sides of the park.

South entrance to Yellowstone National Park - Highwayside kiosks

RaksyBH/Shutterstock.com

There is little difference between the two entrances, both of which give access to part of the park and both lead to Lake Yellowstone.

However, if you are west of Yellowstone, this is the best entrance if you drive west of Yellowstone towards Madison, West Yellowstone and Old Believer. Even if you are on the west coast of Yellowstone Lake at Westamb or Grant Village, the south entrance will take you there directly.

If you take the walk around the northern part of the park and see some of the high peaks and the Mammoth Lakes from the east, it might work better.

You can also take Highway 1 to Jackson, then drive around Island Park and drive from West Yellowstone to Montana.

Shops along Canyon Street in West Yellowstone, Montana.

Matthew Thomas Allen/Shutterstock.com

This is a longer and less beautiful route, but it allows you to reach the western and northwestern part of the park as quickly as possible.

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