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Go Beyond the Weekend Road Trip

Weekend road trips are a summer staple – jump in the car and head a few hours away for a few days’ change of pace. But if you’re itching to get away for longer, there are plenty of options for extended road trips from Los Angeles. If you have a week or more, consider planning your next road trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The first National Park in the world and home of the famous Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone is comprised of 3,468.4 square miles of  lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges that stretch from Wyoming into Montana and Idaho. Driving is one of the best ways to visit Yellowstone National Park on a budget – particularly if you’re comfortable camping in a tent or in a small popup trailer.  But you don’t have to make the 2300 mile, 36+ hour drive in one stretch; that would take all the fun out of it!

Instead, take your time. You could stop in Las Vegas or spend a day or two hiking around the Grand Canyon and then make your way through Zion National Park to Salt Lake City, Utah. From there, swing by Jackson Hole, Wyoming or head straight to the park for camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The drive around Yellowstone is one of the best road trips for nature lovers, with the park home to Grizzly Bears, wolves,  bison, elk and hundreds more species of animals that roam freely.

You’ll want to devote at least a few days to Yellowstone as the park is massive and there is so much to see and explore. If you’re short on time, you can return your rental car at the airport and fly home, or take the meandering drive back, stopping at places you missed on the way out. The drive from California to Yellowstone, through Nevada, Utah and Idaho, is a classic summer road trip you won’t soon forget.

Photo by Jim Dollar