Explore {our first great American roadtrip – itinerary}

Several of you asked about our itinerary for our big road trip. I told Chris I feel like I need to make a million disclaimers before sharing this. Chris and I have both traveled overseas and can handle primitive/rustic living conditions. We are both pretty low-maintenance and can ‘go with the flow’. We travel that way. With a big family, we also try to do cheap and free. Mainly free. So, for whatever it is worth, here are some of the places we went and stayed. I don’t recommend them for everyone, but we sure had an incredible time! Most days we woke up and decided what we would do that day…we had a very loose ‘plan’ which allowed us to explore as we found things.

For the most part, we picked one location to camp and then explored several surrounding areas. This method worked well for us.

Below is the itinerary for our trip with a few notes (the blue font designates it links to a post I wrote during our trip):

Steamboat Springs, CO

  • we explored all over this town and surrounding areas for about a week. You can find tons of things to do on the city website.
  • Fish Creek falls – great hike for young kids
  • Sarvis Creek – drove until the road ended and then hiked (really rough, single lane road)
  • Pearl Lake
  • Steamboat State Park
  • Botanical Gardens – kids loved this
  • Dumont Lake – closed access (but we found a way in 😉 )
  • Hiked to the top of the ski slope – drove up as far as we could, then hiked
  • Alpine Slide – my kids loved this
  • Horseback riding – my son and I made a date of this, he soaked it up

Wyman Museum– Craig, CO

Dinosaur National Park (CO, Utah) – we missed this because we got there too late, but it looks cool to explore

Flaming Gorge– Utah

Grand Tetons – it was really cold and snowing while we were here, so we didn’t do as much hiking and exploring as we would have liked

  • Colter Bay – we stayed in a handicap accessible spot in the campground that are a first come-first serve basis if not used. This spot was more spacious than the RV park spots. We really liked Colter Bay.
  • Jackson Hole
  • Jenny Lake
  • South Yellowstone Entrance/Old Faithful area (accessed this part of the park from where we stayed in the Grand Tetons)
  • West Yellowstone (the town) – great taco bus, Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

Shoshone National Forest

Glacier National Park

  • Avalanche Lake hike – 4 miles, but so worth it
  • Running Eagle Falls – super short walk to the falls
  • Lake McDonald
  • Polebridge
  • Bowman Lake – wish we could have spent more time here (bring bug spray, lots of mosquito), the road is bumpy gravel and single lane (4 wheel drive would be nice)
  • Glacier Campground RV park – this park allows for reservations, so we booked it instead of searching for one in the park. Free laundry service and showers – we really liked this one.
  • Whitefish – we got to visit The Red Caboose – so good!

West Montana

  • Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Bozeman, Montana

  • Palisade Falls
  • Museum of the Rockies
  • Sola Cafe – we just tried the tea & lemonade bar before heading out of town…everything looked yummy though
  • Granny’s Gourmet Donuts – FireCracker got to make her own donut, totally worth it just for that. The donuts were yummy too.

Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming

Mount Rushmore (take the trail that leads up closer to the monument)

And some of my favorite phone pictures from the trip.


Chris uses the Trip Advisor app tons too….and Google Maps 🙂

I’ll post more details about living in the trailer and hiking with kids. If you have any questions about our itinerary, you can ask them below. I’ll be in Africa when you read this, but Chris or I will try to answer your questions at some point.


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