National Parks Out West Road Trip Itinerary

Our two week crazy road trip round trip from Minneapolis. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and finished off exploring some of Minnesota. Check out the itinerary below.

Day 1

  • Fly into Minneapolis
  • Pick up rental van
  • Drive to Sioux Falls, SD 3h 45m (detour a little to cross Iowa and Nebraska)
  • Stop at grocery store to get cooler, water and snacks
  • Lunch – depends on arrivals – TBD
  • Stay – Holiday Inn Sioux Falls Empire Mall
  • Drive 15 min to Falls Park and walk to Sculpture Walk and dinner MacKenzie River

Day 2

  • 7:30AM Breakfast at hotel
  • Drive to Badlands National Park 3h 45m
  • Pick up lunch nearby (Subway) to picnic or anything we see on the highway
  • Hike Notch Trail (1.5 miles)
  • Drive to Mt. Rushmore 1h 25m
  • Drive through Needles Highway
  • Dinner in Custer (30m drive) Black Hills Burger and Bun or The Custer Wolf
  • Dessert – Bobkat Purple Pie Place
  • Stay- Holiday Inn Custer

Day 3

  • 8AM Breakfast at hotel
  • Drive 3h 19m to stop for lunch Casper, WY Cottage Cafe or Arepa Barn
  • Options in Casper – Fort Caspar or Tate Geological Museum
  • Drive 4h 45m to hotel in Jackson- Cowboy Village Resort
  • Walk to Dinner – McPhail’s Burgers or Hand Fire Pizza

Day 4

  • 7:30AM Grab breakfast at Pearl Street Bagels (5 min drive) pick up lunch to eat after the hike
  • Drive 1h to Jackson Lake
  • 9am Morning Hike – Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail (3 miles)
  • If time, stop at Moose Visitor Center on the way back
  • Drive 1h to Mad RIver Boat House for BE THERE BY 2PM Afternoon Rafting (paid)
  • Rafting is from 2:30-5:30PM
  • Dinner – Merry Piglets Mexican

Day 5

  • 7AM Breakfast at Cowboy Coffee (5 min drive)
  • Drive 2h 11m to Old Faithful Inn
  • See Old Faithful and get a map to hike Upper Geyser Basin Loop Trail
  • Eat lunch at the Old Faithful Inn
  • Drive 13 min to Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Dinner in West Yellowstone – Wild West Pizzeria, The Buffalo Bar or Boondocks (Island Park)
  • Drive to house –  Lodgepole in Island Park

Day 6

  • Leave by 7AM to Hike Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (picnic lunch)
  • Mammoth hot springs and Boiling River
  • Dinner – any of the above choices

Day 7

  • Leave by 8AM  Drive 4h to have lunch in Missoula – Notorious Pig BBQ or Tamarack Brewing Company
  • Stop at Garnet Ghost Town ($3 pp)
  • Drive 2h to Whitefish, MT
  • Grocery store to get breakfast and lunch items for Glacier Park
  • Dinner – Jersey Boys Pizzeria, Buffalo Cafe, Loula’s
  • Stay two nights – AlpenGlow B&B

Day 8

  • Drive Going to the Sun Road
  • Stop Avalanche Lake/Trail of the Cedars picnic lunch
  • Continue Going to the Sun Road and stop at Many Glacier (Redrock Falls)
  • Dinner – see above choices

Day 9

  • Riverside Park (bike or river float) and go to City Beach on Whitefish Lake
  • Lunch – Piggyback BBQ
  • Dinner – Rikki’s Pizza and Pasta, Cafe Rio Mexican
  • Stay Fairfield Inn Great Falls $160

Day 10

  • Breakfast at the Hotel – leave by 8AM
  • Drive 3h 47m  to Summit Corral for lunch
  • Drive 2h 46m to Theodore Roosevelt Park – South Scenic Loop Drive
  • Hike Wind Canyon Trail  (½ miles loop)
  • Painted Canyon Visitor Center and Hike Painted Canyon Nature Trail (1.1 miles)
  • Drive 30m to Dickinson – Townplace Suites
  • Fluffy Field Winery
  • Dinner – Los Cabos Mexican or Schlotsky’s

Day 11

  • Drive 4h 12m to lunch at Fargo, Sickies Garage
  • Drive 3h 30m – Drive around downtown
  • Drive 15m to Minnehaha Falls
  • Drive 12 min to Great Wolf Lodge

Day 12

  • Water park fun
  • Stay and eat there

Day 13

Flight leaves in the AM