Boise to Yellowstone Road Trip

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Need a few reasons to visit Yellowstone National Park?—It’s the oldest national park in the country and certainly one of the most famous parks in the world. Its proximity over an active volcano means that there’s plenty of geothermal activity in the surrounding areas, including mineral springs, geysers, and sulfur pools. But there’s also a bevy of wildlife and nature activities that lend to Yellowstone’s enduring legacy.
Seeking out one of the most unique landscapes our country has to offer is all well and good—but you can’t forget to protect yourself for the longest stretch of a road trip—time on the open road.
Before you head out on your Yellowstone adventure, download the comparison shopping and broker app Jerry. Not only will Jerry make sure you’re paying the best price for car insurance (the average driver saves $879 a year!), Jerry also has roadside assistance membership that includes towing, lockout services, Uber credits, and much, much more.
In other words, Jerry is your invested road trip companion (and you don’t even have to buy him snacks when you stop at the gas station).
Read on to discover the best road trip from Boise to Yellowstone.
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Total trip distance: 427 miles

Start in—Boise

Boise is often overlooked as far as big cities go, but it’s been slowly coming into its own as a bustling center of culture, food, and recreation.
Boise is an incredible town for those who prefer life in the great outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, or fishing, before winding down with good food, craft beer, and great music. Boise is not a city for business-class travelers, and that’s all a part of its appeal.

Eat here

  • The Basque Market: A great location for authentic Spanish cuisine.
  • Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro: Start the day off right at one of Boise’s best breakfast joints.
  • Guru Donuts: Skip the chain coffee-shops, and grab a fresh, handmade donut from the legendary Guru.

Do this

  • Basque Museum and Cultural Center: Boise is home to the largest Basque population in the United States, and the Museum and Cultural Center is a prime opportunity to learn more about their incredible heritage.
  • Old Idaho Penitentiary: For those who love diving into humanity’s darker history, this penitentiary was once home to some of the Old West’s most infamous criminals.
  • World Center for Birds of Prey: The nature lovers out there can’t miss a stop at the headquarters for conservation and recovery for America’s endangered raptors.
  • Boise River Greenbelt: A tree-lined pathway following the river, this 25-mile path is one of Boise’s most beloved parks.
  • Boise Trolley Tours: Hop aboard a historic Boise trolley and take a tour around Boise’s best stops, including the Egyptian Theatre and the State Capital.
The Boise Depot building stands over a waterfall.
Boise, Idaho

Stop in—Twin Falls, ID

Twin Falls carries a particular infamy as being where Evel Knievel attempted to jump the nearby Snake River Canyon, but there’s lots more to this mid-sized town than daredevils.
Snake River offers up some amazing sights, including the Shoshone Falls, while the canyon itself is a prime spot for ziplining. If you opt to spend a night here, check out the Rock’n H Resort or the Hagerman Valley Inn.

Eat here

  • Milners Gate: Amazing American cuisine with a twist, including the infamous fig burger
  • Buffalo Cafe: Great American classics, including breakfast (obviously).

Do this

  • Shoshone Falls: One of the nation’s largest natural waterfalls, Shoshone actually surpasses Niagara Falls in height.
  • Perrine Memorial Bridge: Fans of Evel Knievel will want to check out this picturesque bridge, located near where he attempted his famous jump.
  • Centennial Waterfront Park: The key access point for all water activities, including kayaking and paddle boating, and is a great place to scope out zip lining and BASE jumpers.
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument: Take a detour to one of the world’s richest known fossil deposits and get a first-hand glimpse into our planet’s long-gone past.

Stop in—Pocatello, ID

Pocatello’s nearby geysers and hot springs are a great prologue to Yellowstone, but it’s also worth a visit thanks to its rich Native American history. It’s ideal for a day trip, but if you feel the need to stop overnight, check out the Hampton or Holiday Inn.

Eat here

  • Jeri’s Jumbo Cafe: Start off the day with a hearty American breakfast in a classic cafe.
  • Sandpiper: A great stop for classic American dining.

Do this

  • Soda Springs Geyser: The nation’s only captive geyser, timed to go off every hour, because otherwise it actually impedes the regular eruption of Old Faithful.
  • Shoshone Bannock Tribal Museum: Learn more about the Native American history of the region, with old photos, artifacts, and more.
  • Zoo Idaho: If you’re not keen about seeing Idaho’s wildlife in their natural habitat, Zoo Idaho has you covered. The zoo focuses only on species indigenous to the region.
  • Museum of Clean: A must-stop for anyone who appreciates cleanliness, this museum’s mission is to sell the value of clean.
  • Heber Hatchets Axe Throwing: Can’t wait for a Renaissance fair to chuck some axes? Do it year-round at Heber’s!
A man enters the colorful Center Street Underpass Pedestrian Walkway.
Pocatello, Idaho
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Stop in—Jackson, WY

Jackson’s proximity to Yellowstone makes it a fabulous and convenient town to stay in before you hit the national park, not least because it’s styled as an old west town.
If you’re keen on getting some skiing done, it’s also conveniently located near a number of excellent ski resorts. If you opt to stay here instead of directly within Yellowstone, we recommend the Huff House Inn or the Cowboy Village Resort.

Eat here:

  • Bin22: Located in town square, this is your one-stop shop for excellent wine and specialty foods, with an included wine bar.
  • Miazga’s: Enjoy homemade comfort food and a menu of simple, classic dishes.
  • Virginian Restaurant: Jackson’s favorite breakfast and lunch joint, featuring famous corned beef and pancakes.

Do this

  • Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum: History buffs will undoubtedly love the chance to learn more about the history of not just Jackson, but the entire Yellowstone region.
  • Sunrise Hot Air Balloon ride: If you’re an early bird, consider a hot air balloon ride over Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Teton Range and Grand Teton National Park, and enjoy some champagne when you land.
  • Granite hot springs: Available in the summer or winter, have a soak in the natural hot spring to ease any tired muscles.
  • Snake River raft tour: The calm waters of Snake River are ideal for a relaxing float tour through Grand Teton.
A hot air balloon floats by the Grand Teton mountain range.
Jackson, Wyoming

Arrive in—Yellowstone National Park, WY

There are about a million things to see and do in Yellowstone, and this is just a small sampling.
All of Yellowstone’s appeal is built on its breathtaking natural splendor. But this is still an area of intense geothermal activity, and with active wildlife. Be sure to respect and observe all rules and regulations, keep a safe distance from the wildlife, and travel only along designated paths and trails.
If you want to splurge a little, stay at the colonial revival classic Lake Yellowstone Hotel, recently designated as a national monument.
Or if you’re looking for something a little more rustic, stay at Lake Lodge— its186 cabins overlooking Yellowstone Lake make this location the perfect idyllic camping spot.

Eat here

  • Lake Yellowstone Hotel dining room: Even if you opt not to stay at the hotel, enjoy creative, upscale dishes with local fish and wild game, while overlooking nearby Lake Yellowstone.
  • Mammoth General Store: If you prefer simple, good, hearty food, fast, Mammoth fits the bill. The highest-rated eatery in Yellowstone also conveniently offers groceries and amenities.

Do this

  • Old Faithful: No trip to Yellowstone would be complete without visiting Old Faithful, one of the most famous and punctual geysers in the world.
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: The third largest hot spring in the world, Grand Prismatic gained its fame not only for its size, but for its vivid colors, making it Yellowstone’s prime beauty spot.
  • Upper Geyser Basin: One of the best areas in the park for geysers and hot springs, Upper Geyser Basin is also known for its black sand, composed of crushed obsidian, otherwise known as volcanic glass.
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone: Often overlooked thanks to its namesake in Arizona, Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon is a spectacular natural wonder, carved out by the Yellowstone River and decorated with beautiful massive waterfalls.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: This must-see spot is unique in that it’s comprised of limestone, unlike the rest of the park, which offers up truly spectacular rock formations.
  • Lamar Valley: This tributary is one of the best places to see Yellowstone’s indigenous wildlife, including ospreys, bald eagles, longhorns, wolves, bears, and herds of bison.
A river cuts through a valley in Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park

Why you need roadside assistance

To be frank, breaking down sucks. And as beautiful as Idaho and Wyoming are, they’re comprised largely of small towns that are few and far between, and that means repair options are limited.
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