What’s the best route from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park?

My family and I are planning a summer road trip to the country’s best national parks. We’re starting at Glacier National Park and then heading to Yellowstone National Park—what’s the best way to get there?

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Answer provided by
Andrea Barrett
Answered on May 12, 2022
Both of those destinations are definitely worth the drive! There are four main routes you can take from Glacier to Yellowstone that differ in driving distance and time. Here they are:
Option #1: Glacier–Bitterroot Valley–Yellowstone
  • Distance: West Glacier to West Yellowstone = 467 miles (8 hours, 28 minutes)
  • This route travels through some of Western Montana’s most scenic and serene valleys, which is a great route for getting off the beaten path.
  • This trek will take roughly two days—plan an overnight stay in Hamilton or Stevensville.
Option #2: Glacier–Seeley-Swan Valley–Yellowstone
  • Distance: West Glacier to Gardiner = 394 miles (7 hours, 5 minutes)
  • This route takes you through the breathtaking scenery of Seeley-Swan Valley, one of the prettiest roads in the state, before passing through the capital of Helena.
Option #3: Glacier–Missoula–Yellowstone
  • Distance: West Glacier to West Yellowstone = 446 miles (7 hours, 48 minutes)
  • This route takes you mostly on freeways, but even those are incredibly scenic. You’ll pass the richest hill on earth—Butte’s Berkeley Pit, named after its rich copper deposits—and Lewis and Clark Caverns.
Option #4: Glacier–Rocky Mountain Front–Yellowstone
  • Distance: St. Mary to Gardiner = 378 miles (6 hours, 24 minutes)
  • If you’re ready to hit Montana’s open roads running—and see the picturesque views of the Rocky Mountains—this is the route for you.
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