Provo to Yellowstone National Park Road Trip Guide


Provo, UT is a beautiful small city located just south of Salt Lake City, UT. It is the home of Brigham Young University, which has several great museum facilities open to the public including the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, the Brigham Young University Museum of Paleontology, the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, and others. The Sundance Resort is located just to the north of town, which plays host to portions of the Sundance Film Festival every January. There are also three major National Parks within a three and a half hour drive. Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are all within a long day trip.

Lakeside RV Campground is located on Utah Lake just outside of Provo. It is a highly rated park and makes for a great stay while you are in the area.
The trip to Yellowstone is pretty easy. Take I-15 north to through Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls, ID. From there, switch to RT-20 which will take you straight to West Yellowstone. The west entrance to the park is just outside of town.

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Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: family

Point of Interest

Henry's Lake State Park

Henry's Lake State Park is located just off of Route 20 15 miles north of Island Park, ID. The park has several campsites available as well as boat ramp access to Henry's Lake. The lake is absolutely beautiful and is considered one of the best trout fisheries in the west. The area surrounding the lake is home to all kinds of wildlife including moose and antelope. Herds of antelope are often seen in the area. There are also a number of off-road vehicle trails surrounding the lake.

Just before the park entrance, Red Rock Road goes off RT-20 on the left. If you follow this road it runs along the south shore of the lake. This is a great place to stay when visiting Yellowstone in an RV, particularly if the RV parks in West Yellowstone are full. The road passes through National Forest Property and there are several free boondocking sites here.

Further down the road is Red Rock RV Park which a great park to stay. It's quiet and the night skies are gorgeous. It also has access to the ATV trails around the lake. Just past the park is a road that runs down to the lakeshore. There are a couple of RV boondocking sites there as well that can accommodate smaller RVs.

Idaho Potato Museum

Idaho is known for its potatoes. This state is the largest producer of the starchy spuds in the United States, with roughly 600 major farms overseeing about 300,000 acres of production. Being the state's largest cash crop, it is deserving of its own museum The Idaho Potato Museum is that place.

Here you will learn the history and fun facts about potatoes and potato farming. The 5,500 square foot facility has many great displays including the world's largest potato chip. The museum is located in Blackfoot, ID just off I-15 about a half hour before Idaho Falls.

The Buffalo Meadows RV park in Fort Hall, ID is a great place to stay. It is located at the Shoshone-Bannock Casino just off I-15 about 15 minutes south of Blackfoot. In addition to the casino facilities next door, there is also gas and groceries near the entrance.

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

Craters of the Moon is a large lava flow field in central Idaho. It last erupted about 2,000 years ago. The overall landscape is a barren, rocky terrain reminiscent of the surface of the moon - hence its name. The park has a seven-mile loop road that can be driven in a short time to get a quick peek at the park. For those looking for a more in-depth visit there are several hiking trails off the loop road which allow you to explore both the surface terrain as well as several caves located within the park.

Staying in the park is easy. The Lavaflow Campground has RV spaces and can accommodate large rigs on a few sites. The other campgrounds are tent only. For those who are extra adventurous, backcountry camping is allowed in the wilderness areas of the park.

If Craters of the Moon is too far out of the way, Hell's Half Acre is a similar smaller lava flow area. It also has a couple hiking trails to explore and it is located much closer to Idaho Falls on the way to Yellowstone.

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty is 1500 foot by 15-foot sculpture created in 1970 by Robert Smithson. Constructed entirely of locally sourced materials including mud, salt crystals, and basalt rocks, this piece of art is impressive to see in person. The visibility of the sculpture depends on the water level. The Great Salt Lake is a shallow lake and the water depth can vary quite a bit depending on the annual precipitation in the region. When the water is deep, it will cover the Spiral Jetty and make it difficult to see.

It is located in a fairly remote area which is accessible only by gravel roads which can be difficult to drive. A 4x4 vehicle is recommended, but you can get out there without one most of the time. Before making the trip try checking the visitor website for current information

Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is the western hemisphere's largest salt lake and the largest lake in the United States which is not part of the Great Lakes. The water in the lake has no way to escape other than through evaporation. That means all the salts and minerals which are fed into the lake by its three supply rivers are there to stay. Today, those salts and minerals have accumulated to make the lake much saltier than the ocean.

The high salinity and mineral content prevent most life from living in the water, with the exception of brine shrimp. However, the lake is a substantial stopover for many migratory birds, making it a great place for birding.

One of the best ways to see the lake is through a Salt Lake Tour. This tour covers 50 miles and takes you to many points of interest along the lake while covering the history, chemistry, and importance of the lake to the local economy. Weather permitting you may even go for a swim to experience how the high water salinity affects how you float.


Not only is Yellowstone National Park America's first national park, it is one of the most visited and diverse parks in the park system. This is truly an amazing place. In addition to having the highest concentration geothermal features like geysers, hot springs, fumeroles, and boiling mud pots in the world, it also has most of the major ecosystems within its borders. Freshwater lakes, plains, mountains, rivers, swamps, deciduous forests, and evergreen forests are all here. With the great diversity in ecosystems comes a great diversity in wildlife. You can see everything from bears to bison in the park. Elk are common, wolves run free and otters can often be seen in the rivers.

The park is huge. To get the most of it you really need several days, but you can get a great taste in just a day or two. There is a loop road that runs around the park. It can be driven in a day with time for a few stops along the way. The major points not to be missed include the Old Faithful area, Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Village and Yellowstone Lake at either Fishing Bridge or Grants Village.

If you would like to experience the thermal features of the park in a different way, consider taking a swim at the Boiling River. The trailhead is just north of Mammoth Hot Springs on the north entrance road at the Gardner River. From the trailhead, it's about a half-mile hike back to the swimming area. Follow the trail, don't hop the fence because the trail loops over where the boiling river pours out of the ground. It's interesting to see where all that hot water comes from. Just down from there, the Boiling River pours over the banks of the Gardner River and mixes with the cold water, making a perfect warm pool to swim in. Be sure not to touch the Boiling River water directly, it's hot!
The closest RV parks to the park entrance will be in West Yellowstone, which is also a neat little town to hang out, eat and shop in. Of those in town, Grizzly RV Park is an excellent choice. If the parks in town are full, or if you want a quieter place to stay Red Rock RV park on Lake Henry is awesome and only about 20 minutes from the West Entrance Gate.

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