A Scenic Road Trip From Phoenix to Yellowstone
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From botanical gardens to the Grand Canyon, this Phoenix to Yellowstone road trip will take you through some of the best scenery the country has to offer.
Getting out of the house and driving through nature is the perfect way to vacation. Whether it’s watching Old Faithful erupt or riding a mule through the Grand Canyon, you’ll be able to check off a lot of bucket list items by the time you’re done with this adventure!
And to ensure you hit all the must-see spots, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled the perfect itinerary for this two-day trip. So ensure you’ve got your roadside assistance in order, grab some snacks, and let’s get started in beautiful, sunny Phoenix.
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Start in Phoenix, AZ
Perpetual sunshine and endless deserts make Phoenix the perfect destination for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts—and the ideal place to start your trip.
The city offers abundant arts and cultural attractions, historic neighborhoods, and an outstanding selection of resorts and hotels in case you want to rest before the drive ahead.
What to do
Whether you’re looking for a beautiful backdrop for that perfect Instagram photo or want to learn more about the gorgeous cacti, succulents, trees, and flowers that make Arizona unforgettable, the Desert Botanical Garden is a unique experience for all ages and worth the visit.
The warmth of Phoenix means these gardens are open year-round, so you won’t have to worry about any extra planning!
If you want to get a birds-eye view of the road ahead, taking a Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride is exactly what you need. You can even choose to take off at sunrise or sundown to create the perfect start or end to your day!
Where to eat
Loved for its authenticity and the skills and charm of the man behind the grill, chef Rene Andrade, Bacanora PHX ($$) offers the finest of Northern Mexican and Sonoran cuisine. It can be a popular spot, particularly on weekends for brunch, so make sure to keep that in mind if scheduling it into your day.
If you just want to pick up something delicious before embarking on your trip, the family-owned Balkan Bakery ($) has freshly made breads, desserts, and filled boureks that can serve as the perfect morning pick-me-up.
Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
224 miles, 3 hours 25 minutes
A short drive will take you to one of the Earth’s greatest natural wonders: the Grand Canyon. You can spend days touring the park and not get bored!
What to do
Getting through the Grand Canyon by white water rafting is always guaranteed fun, and there are countless expeditions and excursions offered. It can be an exhilarating ride for those seeking some thrills!
If you’re looking for some adventure with a little more control, take a mule ride down into or along the rim of the Grand Canyon. Mules have been carrying canyon visitors since the 1800s and are a great way to take in the gorgeous scenery.
Where to eat
Presenting gourmet dining with an atmosphere of casual elegance, El Tovar ($$$$) is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. After a day of trekking through nature, an elevated menu and rustic ambiance to help you recharge and refuel.
Where to stay
A historic oasis nestled at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Phantom Ranch is the only lodging below the canyon rim—and can only be reached by mule, on foot, or by rafting the Colorado River.
Their individual cabins are the perfect spot to rest if you need to catch some sleep before heading out on the next leg of the trip.
MORE: Road trip essentials
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon to Salt Lake City, UT
380 miles, 6 hours
A six-hour drive will take you to Salt Lake City. You’re over halfway through your road trip once you arrive here, and stopping in the city can be a great opportunity to rest and restock!
Lying in a mountain valley, the vibe of the city is friendly and laid back. Access to both urban and outdoor adventures creates opportunities for travelers of every type.
What to do
Big Cottonwood Canyon is home to two world-class ski resorts (Solitude and Brighton), legendary rock climbing routes, and picnic areas straight out of a magazine. Pack some hiking boots and lots of water to get out and stretch your legs!
Where to eat
Located in a historic log mansion in the Wasatch National Forest, Log Haven ($$$$) offers the perfect serene atmosphere. If you’re able to snag one, getting a table out on the patio will put you directly in the beautiful woodland atmosphere centered around a waterfall—talk about peaceful!
If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, Pretty Bird Chicken ($$) has perfected the fried chicken sandwich. Everything is served up fresh, crispy, and with delicious house sauces.
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park, WY
320 miles, 4 hours 45 minutes
You’ve driven, hiked, rafted, and (maybe) muled your way from Phoenix to the iconic Yellowstone National Park. Known for its geysers and bison herds, it’s the perfect end to such a breathtaking road trip.
What to do
What’s a visit to Yellowstone without watching some geysers erupt? Whether it’s Old Faithful, the Grand Prismatic Springs, or any of the other 500 geysers found here, there are countless exciting sights to see.
If you want to make sure to view an eruption, you can check the predicted times in advance and plan accordingly.
For a break from the excitement of the eruptions, Yellowstone’s Tower Fall is a beautiful, accessible waterfall worth seeing. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, peregrine falcons, osprey, and red-tailed hawks while you’re there!
If you want a more hands-on journey through Yellowstone, there are kayak tours available that’ll place you right in the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Choose between day, sunset, and overnight trips.
Where to eat
Located in the Old Faithful Inn, Bear Pit Lounge ($$) offers cocktails, microbrews, and great pub food. After a long day exploring, opt for their huckleberry margarita—you deserve it!
Where to stay
As a national historic landmark, Old Faithful Inn is one of the most popular places to stay in the park. Built in 1903–1904, it’s considered the largest log structure in the world and features a massive stone fireplace and hand-crafted clock made of copper and wood in the lobby.
Yellowstone National Park
Why you need roadside assistance
You know just how crazy and unpredictable a road trip can get. There might be harsh weather, random pit stops, and unexpected car breakdowns.
Protect yourself (and your sanity!) by getting roadside assistance from Jerry.
For just $6.99 per month, you’ll get vehicle towing up to 10 miles, jumpstarts, tire changes, fuel delivery, lockout help, and even Uber credits.
“Jerry blew my mind, honestly. From start to finish, using the app took me 10 minutes and I ended up with $100 of savings a month. Best of all, customer service answered all my questions about rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance.” ––Savanna R.
Finding cheap car insurance
The last thing you should be worrying about on your trip is whether or not your current insurance plan will cover you in the short term and be financially feasible over the long term.
If you want to make sure you’re getting the best policy for the best price, get Jerry. Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy!
So why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better? The average Jerry user saves $897 per year on their car insurance.
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