A Road Trip from Vancouver to Colorado

Photos and details of a road trip from Vancouver to Colorado, with many stops along the way. This road trip took us through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Oregon. We also stopped at many National Parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Arches, Rocky Mountain and Olympic National Park. In August 2023, my husband…

Girl walking on Cannon Beach

Photos and details of a road trip from Vancouver to Colorado, with many stops along the way. This road trip took us through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Oregon. We also stopped at many National Parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Arches, Rocky Mountain and Olympic National Park.

A road trip from Vancouver to Colorado - Woman walking on Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach, Oregon

In August 2023, my husband and I packed ours bags and drove from Vancouver to Colorado, stopping at several National Parks and cities along the way. Here, I’m sharing the highlights of our trip, along with some of my favorite photos (taken on my Pixel 7 unfortunately as I forgot my camera).

Note that this post is not meant to be used as a travel guide for these areas. I’m not an expert and I’m sure we missed many incredible places. This is just meant for inspiration if you’re planning a similar road trip. I also enjoy documenting our travels for myself. I hope that you’ll enjoy the photos and that it inspires your own travels.

Day 1: Washington

On August 12th, we left early in the morning and drove from Vancouver to Spokane, Washington. We stopped in Leavenworth along the way, a cute Bavarian-styled village. It was incredibly busy when we visited on a beautiful sunny Saturday, but it was worth a quick stop.

That evening, we arrived in Spokane and walked along the water for an hour at sunset. We then made our way to our campground at Liberty Lake, near Spokane.

View of a street in Leavenworth, Washington
View of the Spokane River at sunset
Along the Spokane River

Day 2: Idaho and Montana

On day two, we woke up early and made our way to Coeur d’Alene for a morning walk along the water while enjoying our morning tea/coffee.

After Coeur d’Alene, we drove through Montana and made quick stops in Missoula and Butte. We then drove to our campsite, which was about 45 minutes outside of Bozeman. For most of our trip, we camped in our EV, which was a wonderful experience. It allowed us to use the electricity to cook and boil water for our morning tea/coffee. We simply set up some air mattresses in the back.

View of a lake in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Sunrise in Red Mountain Campground, Montana
White Ioniq 5 car in Montana
Camping near Bozeman, Montana

Day 3 and 4: Yellowstone National Park

The next two days were spent in Yellowstone National Park. We spent our days hiking to different lookout areas. Here are some of the highlights from our stay in Yellowstone:

  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Norris Basin
  • Lower Falls
  • A drive through Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley to see bison
  • Old Faithful Geyser and a walk to Morning Glory Pool, which includes many Geysers and pools along the way
  • A hike to Grand Prismatic Overlook

On both nights, we stayed at Bridge Bay Campground, near the beautiful Yellowstone Lake. We were surrounded by elk and bison.

View of Norris Bassin, Yellowstone National Park
Norris Basin
View of Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park
Lower Falls
Yellowstone Lake at sunset
Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone Lake
Old Faithful Geyser
Old Faithful
Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park
Morning Glory Pool
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park
Grand Prismatic Spring
Bison in the street in Yellowstone National Park
Elk in Yellowstone National Park

Day 5: Grand Teton National Park

On the morning of day five, we woke up in Yellowstone National Park and made our way to Grand Teton National Park where we spent the day hiking and driving from lookout to lookout. Here are some highlights from Grand Teton:

  • Driving a loop along highway 191 and Teton Park Road, stopping at many lookouts
  • A quick walk at Mormon Row
  • A hike to Taggart Lake, plus a quick dip in the water to cool down
  • Jenny Lake
  • A drive to signal Mountain Summit
  • Walking around Jackson Hole and stopping for tea at Persephone Bakery

On our one night in Grand Teton National Park, we camped at Colter Bay Campground.

View of Grand Teton Mountains
View of Grand Teton Mountains in front of water
Taggart Lake in Grand Teton National Park
Taggart Lake
Horses in front of mountains in Grand Teton National Park
View of hills from Signal Mountain Summit in Grand Teton National Park
Signal Mountain Summit
Cup of tea on a table in front of a tree
Tea at Persephone Bakery

Day 6 and 7: Salt Lake City

On day 6, we spent a few extra hours in Grand Teton, stopping at a few extra lookouts before driving to Salt Lake City. We drove for 5 hours and arrived late in the afternoon to our first Airbnb of the road trip. This was a chance to sleep in a bed and get some much needed rest (and a shower) after camping for so long.

The next day was spent exploring the city. We walked around the city with stops at Capitol Hill, Temple Square (which was temporarily closed), lunch at Zest Kitchen and vegan ice cream at MONKEYWRENCH. In the afternoon, we drove Great Salt Lake State Park for a look at the lake. While it was worth it for a quick look, the smell was so awful and I couldn’t stand to be there more than 5 minutes. Just be warned if you’re ever visiting.

Building in Salt Lake City, surrounded by trees
vegan ice cream in bowls
Vegan ice cream at MONKEYWRENCH
View of Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake

Day 8: Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

Our plans for this day were ambitious, so an early start was necessary. We woke up early in Salt Lake City and drove 4 hours to Canyonlands National Park. Here are some highlights from Canyonlands:

  • Shafer Canyon Overlook
  • A short hike to Mesa Arch
  • Green River Overlook
  • Buck Canyon Overlook
  • Grand View Point Overlook

We then did the short drive to Arches National Park (our favorite of the two). Here are some highlights:

  • A quick look at balanced Rock
  • Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint (The temperatures were near 40°C and we had more hiking planned, so we decided to skip the hike to Delicate Arch).
  • A quick hike to Sand Dune Arch
  • Hiking part of Devil’s Garden, up to Landscape Arch and back

We then drove to our campground in Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction.

Mesa Arch
Mesa Arch
View of canyons from Shafer Trail Viewpoint
Shafer Trail Viewpoint
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
View of Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock
View of Sand Dune Arch
Sand Dune Arch

Day 9 to 11: Colorado

On day nine, we woke up in Grand Junction and drove all the way to Estes Park, where we stayed for three nights with family. Our first day was spent driving through the mountains with a quick stop in Aspen and Vail.

During our stay in Estes Park, we spent one afternoon driving through Rocky National Park (up to the summit of Trail Ridge Road). Another day was spent in Denver where we ate lunch at City O’ City and The Cake Bar (that second one was incredible). We also stopped at Tattered Cover Book Store in the afternoon.

View of a canyon in Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument
Street in Aspen Colorado
Aspen, Colorado
Building with flowers in Vail, Colorado
Vail, Colorado
hand holding a cake in a cup
Vegan cake cup from The Cake Bar, Denver
Mountain views in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Mountain views in Roacky Mountain National Park
Woman standing next to an elevation sign with mountain views

Day 12 and 13: Salt Lake City and Boise

After our stay in Colorado, we started making our way back home, but not before making a few more stops. The next two days were mostly spent driving with one night in Salt Lake City and one night in Boise. We didn’t spend a lot of time visiting and spent most of our time in the car, do I don’t have any photos worth sharing.

Day 14 and 15: Oregon

From Boise, we drove all the way to Portland, making a few quick stops along the Columbia River to see waterfalls. We didn’t spend a lot of time visiting as we’ve visited before, but we did stop for a good hour at Powell’s City of Books (a must every visit). We then slept at our second and last Airbnb of the trip and made our way to the Oregon coast the next morning.

On the coast, we spent a few hours walking and relaxing on Cannon Beach. We then stopped at Ecola State Park and walked on Crescent Beach and Indian Beach.

That night, we drove north to Washington and camped near Montesano.

waterfall surrounded by trees
Latourell Falls, Oregon
hand holding a matcha latte
Matcha at Sea Level Bakery + Coffee, Cannon Beach
Rock in Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach
View of the ocean in Ecola State Park
Ecola Point Viewpoint
View of rocks in the ocean
Indian Beach

Day 16 and 17: Washington

The last two days of our road trip were spent exploring the Olympic Peninsula. On day one, we drove to Port Angeles, where we spent an hour walking near the waterfront and visiting bookstores. After this, we made our way to Olympic National Park. Here are some highlights from the park:

  • Madison, Marymere and Sol Duc Falls
  • Viewpoints along Crescent Lake
  • An hour or two in Sol Duc Springs Resort
  • Camping in Sol Duc Campground
  • A hike to Second Beach outside of La Push
  • Walking from Rialto Beach to Hole-in-the-Wall
  • Ruby Beach
  • Tree of Life
  • Hoh Rain Forest

We did the last five on this list on day two, plus explored Forks for an hour. We then left after dinner and arrived late in Vancouver after a five hour drive.

view of the outside of a book store in Port Angeles
View of a waterfall surrounded by moss
Madison Falls, Olympic National Park
View of a forest covered in moss and ferns
a log cabin covered in moss in a forest
view of a river in a forest covered in moss
View of the Forks welcome sign
red trucks in front of a building
6 pelicans on the water
Large rocks on the beach
Rialto Beach
Large rocks and driftwood on Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach
Tree of life surrounded by driftwood
Tree of Life
Waves crashing on rocks with pelicans flying

And that’s it! I hope that this will give your some ideas for your own travels or that you enjoyed a look at our road trip and my life outside of work. If you get a chance to visit these areas, I highly recommend it!

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