Hi there!

 

I did a Wyoming road trip in September and October 2021.

There are of course many ways you can spend 7 days in Wyoming.

Below is basically how I did it.

Hopefully it can give you ideas as you are planning your own Wyoming road trip!

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. driving across wyoming road trip. wyoming travel blog

 

 

 

This Wyoming itinerary will feature outdoor destinations in Wyoming

 

1. Yellowstone National Park

7 days in Wyoming: driving across wyoming road trip. northern wyoming. road trip to yellowstone national park. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming: driving across wyoming road trip. northern wyoming. road trip to yellowstone national park. wyoming travel blog

 

Wyoming is home to a supervolcano: the Yellowstone supervolcano. As a result there are a ton of thermal features to explore in Wyoming. Make it a road trip to Yellowstone National Park to see the famous geyser eruption and the famous colorful hot spring!

 

 

 

2. Grand Teton National Park

7 days in Wyoming: driving across wyoming road trip. northern wyoming. road trip to grand teton national park. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming: driving across wyoming road trip. northern wyoming. road trip to grand teton national park. wyoming travel blog

 

Wyoming is also home to tons of mountain ranges. The most famous mountain range in Wyoming that’s in a national park is the Teton Range. Make it a road trip to Grand Teton National Park to do the scenic loop drive for tons of mountain views!

 

 

 

3. Wyoming national forests

7 days in Wyoming: driving across wyoming road trip. northern wyoming. road trip to bighorn national forest. wyoming travel blog

 

To experience more of Wyoming mountains, you can visit one of Wyoming’s many national forests. Make it a road trip to one or more of Wyoming national forests to hike to a mountain lake in Wyoming!

 

 

 

Wyoming driving route: Devils Tower to Yellowstone

This drive across Wyoming starts in eastern Wyoming and ends in western Wyoming.

In short, it is a slow drive across Wyoming from Devils Tower to Yellowstone.

It is possible to drive from Devils Tower to Yellowstone in one day.

With no stops, drive time from Devils Tower to Yellowstone is maybe around 7.5 hours. (map) Yellowstone is big, and it will vary based on your destination within Yellowstone. 

This Wyoming road trip takes one week to get from Devils Tower to Yellowstone!

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. driving across wyoming road trip. wyoming travel blog

 

To put it simply, this was my general Wyoming route that includes entering Wyoming and leaving Wyoming:

 

Explore the map. If you are looking at this map in the winter and there is no route outlined, this is likely because there is a closed road. This closed road is likely in Grand Teton National Park. Remove Teton Park Road from the list of stops to get a visual of the driving route!

 

 

Getting to Wyoming: South Dakota to Wyoming

I was coming from South Dakota.

On this particular trip, I spent 3 days driving across South Dakota. (I entered South Dakota from Minnesota. Also see driving in the opposite direction: South Dakota to Michigan.)

If you’re making it a road trip across America and you’ll be driving across South Dakota to get to Wyoming, then know that South Dakota is all about the Badlands and Black Hills!

On a previous trip, I spent 10 days in South Dakota. At that time, I was coming from North Dakota, where you’ll find the remote North Dakota national park too.

My first destination in Wyoming was Devils Tower National Monument. Or rather, it was actually a hotel outside Devils Tower. I spent the night there before the first “real” day of the Wyoming road trip!

 

See more for planning your Wyoming itinerary:

 

More below about one week in Wyoming!

 

 

 


 

 

Now…

The Wyoming road trip itinerary: Road trip to Wyoming national parks and Wyoming national forests

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. driving across wyoming road trip. wyoming travel blog

 

We will start Day 1 with the first full day in Wyoming!

Note that on this is a generally slow-going drive across Wyoming. It doesn’t need to take you 7 days to drive from eastern Wyoming to western Wyoming.

It’s possible for you to drive through Wyoming more quickly without making overnight stops as I did.

So, consider this a starting point for Wyoming travel ideas!

 

 

Day 1: Devils Tower National Monument

7 days in Wyoming road trip: road trip to devils tower national monument. devils tower to yellowstone. wyoming national parks road trip. wyoming travel blog

 

The Devils Tower campground was first come first serve. So my first stop in Devils Tower was the campground. That night there was a “campground full” sign! This was the end of September. After setting up camp, it was a full day in Devils Tower National Monument!

The Tower Trail will get you as close as you can get to the icon of Devils Tower… if you won’t be rock climbing!

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: road trip to devils tower national monument. devils tower to yellowstone. wyoming national parks road trip. wyoming travel blog

 

Devils Tower is said to be a great place to view the night sky. And the sky was clear the night I was here and you could see a ton of stars.

People watching (climber watching) is a thing at Devils Tower. You can see people (rock climbers) scaling Devils Tower.

Also very interesting to me at night was the rock climbers that were still climbing Devils Tower in the dark! (Presumably they were on their way down!) You could see them lighting up Devils Tower even from a distance.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: road trip to devils tower national monument. night sky devils tower. wyoming travel blog
👆 Rock climbers lighting up Devils Tower at night!

 

 

Day 2: Bighorn National Forest

Devils Tower to Bighorn National Forest: Cloud Peak Skyway

2 nights in Bighorn National Forest cabin

If you’re driving from Devils Tower to Yellowstone, the Cloud Peak Skyway is said to be the scenic route, and it’s also said to be the route with the least grade.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. scenic route off i-90. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. scenic route. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. lowest grade. best route for RV to yellowstone. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. scenic route US-16. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. cloud peak skyway. scenic route US-16 west. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

 

The Cloud Peak Skyway is a drive from Buffalo WY to Tensleep WY, and it will take you through Bighorn National Forest.

Driving from Buffalo to Tensleep without stops will take you less than 1.5 hours.

I didn’t make it all the way to Tensleep.

Instead, I spent 2 nights in Bighorn National Forest in a Wyoming national forest cabin. There are chain hotels in Buffalo WY.

So this was an easy-going day. I basically used it as a slow day to also get used to the elevation for the high altitude hike planned the next day in Bighorn National Forest!

The highest point you will get by driving the Cloud Peak Skyway is 9,666 feet as you are driving the Powder River Pass.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. cloud peak skyway. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to yellowstone. cloud peak skyway highest elevation is powder river pass at 9666 feet. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

 

 

Cabins in Wyoming national forests

7 days in Wyoming road trip: wyoming national forest cabin in bighorn national forest. muddy guard cabin. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

 

Across Wyoming, you can find cabins in national forests.

I thought the option of being able to stay at a cabin in a Wyoming national forest was so great.

I stayed at the Muddy Guard cabin in Bighorn National Forest.

The national forest cabins vary depending on what they offer, so you’ll want to be sure to read through the description thoroughly to understand what you need to bring with you.

The reviews I read for national forest cabins in Wyoming were all pretty good as I recall, but you’ll want to be sure to read the reviews. I had also looked into national forest cabins in Idaho, and the ones I happened to look at, the reviews were quite terrible. So, read the reviews!

But generally for national forest cabins, you will need to bring your own bedding. The amenities will vary. You may or may not have electricity. You might have a kitchen complete with kitchenware, fridge, and microwave. You may or may not have water. If you don’t have water, it means you’ll need to be sure to bring your own water. There may or may not be a bathroom inside the cabin. Instead, there may be an outhouse where you need to go outside to go to the bathroom. etc etc!

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: wyoming national forest cabin in bighorn national forest. muddy guard cabin. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: wyoming national forest cabin in bighorn national forest. muddy guard cabin. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: wyoming national forest cabin in bighorn national forest. muddy guard cabin. buffalo to tensleep. wyoming travel blog
👆👆👆 Muddy Guard cabin in Bighorn National Forest.

 

Some cabins have a minimum 2-night stay required.

When I stayed at the Muddy Guard cabin, it was $44 per night including fees.

Book early! You’ll also need to call the National Forest Service for the code to get into the cabin. Be sure to remember to do this before you go. You won’t have phone service at the cabin! And service was nearly non-existent in Buffalo WY, although maybe you’ll be able to get some.

 

 

How to find a Wyoming national forest cabin

The way to book a national forest cabin in Wyoming is through recreation.gov. You can search by location (Wyoming) and then you can filter the results to include cabins only.

Then, take a look at the map to see if there are any cabins that are somewhat along your route! Or drive out of the way to it!

To get to your cabin, it is best to follow the directions as provided by the US Forest Service in your email confirmation, instead of relying on google maps.

Cabins can be in remote areas with various backroads leading to them. And those backroads may be what google maps directs you to but not the best way to get there!

Also take this as meaning that it can be an epic Wyoming experience by staying at a cabin in a national forest! Search for your perfect cabin!

 

 

Day 3: Bighorn National Forest

7 days in Wyoming road trip: road trip to bighorn national forest. wyoming national forests road trip. wyoming travel blog

 

This was basically a hiking day in the Cloud Peak Wilderness!

I hiked the Lost Twin Lakes Trail to the Lost Twin Lakes. Well actually there are 2 lakes (“twin lakes”) and I only made it to one.

This was a big hiking day in Wyoming at around 13 miles round trip. It will be best to wear good footwear for this hike (aka hiking boots) as there is some rough surface across rocks. You may want to give yourself around 6 hours to complete this Wyoming hike.

It starts from the West Tensleep trailhead which you will access off the Cloud Peak Skyway.

If you are looking to go backpacking in the Wyoming mountains, the Mistymoon Lake Trail to Cloud Peak seems to be one to consider for an overnight trip. You can also start this from the West Tensleep trailhead.

 

See more for planning your Wyoming itinerary:

 

 

Day 4: Shoshone National Forest and Bridger-Teton National Forest

Bighorn National Forest to Grand Teton National Park

2 nights near Grand Teton National Park

This was mostly an easy-going driving day to get near Grand Teton National Park to be ready for a full day in Grand Teton National Park the following day! From Buffalo WY or Tensleep WY to Grand Teton National Park is around a 4.5 to 5.5 hour drive with no stops.

My destination near Grand Teton National Park was Moran WY. This is a smaller town.

This was first a drive through Tensleep Canyon and Wind River Canyon.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: tensleep canyon. devils tower to grand teton. devils tower to yellowstone. cloud peak skyway, wyoming scenic byway. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to grand teton. devils tower to yellowstone. tensleep canyon, cloud peak skyway, wyoming scenic byway. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to grand teton. devils tower to yellowstone. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: wind river canyon. devils tower to grand teton. devils tower to yellowstone. wind river canyon, wyoming scenic byway. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to grand teton. devils tower to yellowstone. wind river canyon, wyoming scenic byway. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: devils tower to grand teton. devils tower to yellowstone. wyoming travel blog

 

Then, it meant a drive through Shoshone National Forest and Bridger-Teton National Forest.

I stopped by Shoshone National Forest to hike from Brooks Lake to Jade Lake. The Jade Lakes Trail goes to 2 lakes. Going to both of them is around a 5.5 mile hike. You might want to give yourself around 3 hours for the hike.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: driving through shoshone national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: driving through shoshone national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: brooks lake road, shoshone national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog
👆 Road to Brooks Lake in Shoshone National Forest.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: brooks lake, shoshone national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: trail from brooks lake, shoshone national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog
👆👆 Brooks Lake in Shoshone National Forest.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: jade lakes trail, shoshone national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog
👆 Jade Lakes Trail in Shoshone National Forest.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: driving through bridger-teton national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: driving through bridger-teton national forest. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

 

 

Hotels near Grand Teton National Park

Hotels near Grand Teton National Park are expensive.

The popular gateway town near Grand Teton National Park is Jackson WY.

I stayed in Moran WY which is also near Grand Teton National Park, but it’s not much of a town.

I was very happy to be able to find a place to stay for $115 a night including taxes and fees. It was a budget room at the Hatchet Resort. It was quite literally on the border of Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The room was small, the walls were thin, and it was a shared bathroom. They actually call it a hostel room because of the shared bathroom. It gave me a place to stay for “cheap” near Grand Teton National Park so I didn’t mind though.

But, keep this in mind if you are thinking about staying here! This is basically just a spot to rest your head!

 

 

Day 5: Grand Teton National Park

It was a day in Grand Teton National Park!

I started off driving part of the Grand Teton scenic loop drive along Teton Park Road and Jenny Lake Scenic Drive on the way to the Lupine Meadows trailhead.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: driving through grand teton national park, teton park road. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog
👆 Driving the Teton Park Road on the Grand Teton Scenic Loop Drive in Grand Teton National Park.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: driving through grand teton national park, jenny lake scenic drive. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog
👆 Driving the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive in Grand Teton National Park.

 

This was another big hiking day in Wyoming.

From the Lupine Meadows trailhead, I ended up hiking to Delta Lake, Surprise Lake, and Amphitheater Lake. This turned into something like a 12 mile round trip hike.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: hiking in grand teton national park, delta lake. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: hiking in grand teton national park, surprise lake. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

7 days in Wyoming road trip: hiking in grand teton national park, amphitheater lake hike. devils tower to grand teton. wyoming travel blog

 

 

See more for planning your Wyoming itinerary:

 

 

Day 6: Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone National Park

2 nights near Yellowstone National Park

This day was basically a few hours in Grand Teton National Park and a few hours in Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone are directly connected by road.

So first in Grand Teton National Park, I did the rest of the Grand Teton scenic loop drive that I didn’t do the day before. And then I did a shorter hike to another mountain lake with views of the Teton Range. That was a hike to Taggart Lake which is around a 4 mile round trip hike. You might give yourself around 2 hours to complete this hike.

Then it was onwards to Yellowstone National Park!

When coming from Grand Teton National Park, the West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone can be a perfect first stop. This is located on the southern side of Yellowstone (aka the Grand Teton side) so it will basically be the first “big” stop you’ll come across where you can see what Yellowstone is known for! (That’s thermal features.) This also allows you to not only see Yellowstone Lake, by you’ll do a walk along the lake too!

 

 

The popular Yellowstone attractions were for the following day!

 

 

Hotels near Yellowstone National Park

Hotels near Yellowstone National Park are very expensive. I really do not like paying $250 a night for a hotel. (And this is somewhat “off-season.”)

I don’t like it so much that I was seriously considering camping in 30 degree weather, as the weather forecast was at one point.

I’m not sure if I would have.

But Grose Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park had availability. (I had made a reservation before leaving on this Wyoming road trip.)

And Lewis Lake Campground in Yellowstone National Park was first-come first serve and it did not seem to not be filling up on a daily basis. (Yellowstone has a cool feature where it shows you what time campgrounds fill up each day! I was checking that regularly in the days leading up to the trip to Yellowstone.)

But then, the weather forecast changed to overnight lows in the 20s. I definitely was not doing that. (Although I did consider it for a split second.)

Well, I guess because it was off-season I was able to find a hotel for “only” $221 a night with taxes and fees for a same-day booking in West Yellowstone MT at Days Inn. But you are better off booking early if you’ll be traveling in Wyoming in the summer!

West Yellowstone is in Montana located right outside of Yellowstone National Park, and this is a popular gateway town with many chain hotels. The vast majority of Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming, but there is a very small portion of land that is also in the neighboring states of Montana and Idaho.

 

See more for planning your Wyoming itinerary:

 

 

Day 7: Yellowstone National Park

It was a day in Yellowstone National Park!

I wasn’t all that interested in a jam-packed day, so this was a mostly easy-going one day in Yellowstone National Park.

The theme of the day was the thermal features that Yellowstone is known for! I saw tons of thermal features including hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steam vents (aka fumaroles).

The most famous hot spring in Yellowstone is the Grand Prismatic Spring.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: colorful hot spring in yellowstone national park, grand prismatic spring. devils tower to yellowstone. wyoming travel blog

 

 

I saw some small geysers erupting, including the Clepsydra Geyser and Jewel Geyser.

 

 

And as it goes in Yellowstone, your timing will be off and you will likely pass by a bunch of geysers and maybe even wait around hoping that they will erupt when you’re there… and they don’t erupt. 😜

 

 

The most famous geyser eruption in Yellowstone is the Old Faithful geyser.

 

7 days in Wyoming road trip: geyser eruption in yellowstone national park, old faithful geyser. devils tower to yellowstone. wyoming travel blog

 

You have a very good chance of seeing this geyser erupt because its eruptions are predictable and the National Park Service will even tell you when the next geyser eruption is predicted. It usually erupts every 1.5 hours.

When you arrive, you can go to the Old Faithful visitor center and there will be a time listed for the next Old Faithful geyser eruption.

Yellowstone National Park is also known for buffalo. I didn’t go to the areas of Yellowstone that are best known for buffalo sightings. (That is Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley.)

But I still did see buffalo several times in different areas of the park, including right in front of an erupting geyser! But if you want to increase your chances of seeing buffalo, you’ll want to head to the places that are best known for wildlife sightings!

 

 

 

See more for planning your Wyoming itinerary:

 

 

Leaving Wyoming: Wyoming to Idaho… and then Wyoming to Nebraska

From Wyoming (or more specifically Montana since that’s where I was staying near Yellowstone National Park), it was onwards to Craters of the Moon and lava fields in Idaho!

Then after that, it was basically a loop back around from Idaho back to Wyoming to drive back east.

I drove across southern Wyoming on the way back.

First was a quick stop in Fossil Butte National Monument (NPS) in southwest Wyoming.

And then I stopped in Medicine Bow National Forest for 2 nights in another national forest cabin. That was $94 a night.

Driving through Medicine Bow National Forest also included the Snowy Range Scenic Byway from Saratoga to Laramie WY. After that, I also did an overnight in Cheyenne WY in southeast Wyoming and that was just for sleep. (I didn’t actually do anything in Cheyenne.)

Then, from Cheyenne WY, it was leaving Wyoming again! And after that, it was Wyoming to Nebraska with the next destination as the Nebraska badlands that are part of a national grassland!

 

See more for planning your Wyoming itinerary:

 

 

And those are some ideas for your Wyoming road trip itinerary!

 

HAPPY PLANNING YOUR WYOMING ROAD TRIP!

 

 

See Yellowstone thermal areas in action on youtube!