36 days in Western US & Badlands National Park Itinerary

36 days in Western US & Badlands National Park Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States tour planner

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Route & dates

36 days in Western US & Badlands National Park Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  5​h
1
Denver
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Cheyenne
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
4
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 30​min
5
Cody
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Yellowstone National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Grand Teton National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
8
Salt Lake City
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
9
Moab
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
10
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
11
Page
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
12
Bryce Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
13
Zion National Park
— 1 night
+4
shuttle + foot + shuttle + foot + shuttle:  2​h 30​min
14
Grand Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
15
Las Vegas
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  7​h 45​min
16
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
17
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  18​h 45​min
End: Melbourne

1
night
Denver

Denver
Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Denver trip itinerary app .

Chicago to Denver is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Chicago in August, Denver is little chillier at night with lows of 17°C. On the 9th (Sun), you're off toRocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Outdoors Parks Tours

2
nights
Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park ©
Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
On the 9th (Sun), get interesting insight from Tours, take in the exciting artwork at Patterson Glassworks Studio & Gallery, then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, and finally appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook. Keep things going the next day: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, admire all the interesting features of Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, then look for gifts at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, and finally explore the activities along Bear Lake.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Rocky Mountain National Park trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2 hours. In August in Rocky Mountain National Park, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Cheyenne.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Outdoors Tours Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Estes Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Off-Road Tours

1
night
Cheyenne

Cheyenne ©
Cheyenne is the capital and most populous city of the US state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, get engrossed in the history at Wyoming State Museum, then examine the collection at Cheyenne Depot Museum, then pause for some photo ops at Cheyenne Big Boots, and finally get lost in a book at Laramie County Public Library.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Cheyenne attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Rocky Mountain National Park to Cheyenne takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in August, plan for little chillier days in Cheyenne, with highs around 32°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can travel to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Cheyenne

Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Cheyenne Depot Museum ©
Cheyenne Depot Museum
Wyoming State Museum
Wyoming State Museum
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum ©

2
nights
Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park ©
Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook, explore the striking landscape of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, and then explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall. On the next day, stroll through Yellow Mounds Overlook, then take a memorable drive along Loop Road, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park.

To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park trip itinerary builder site .

Getting from Cheyenne to Badlands National Park by combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in August, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can travel to Cody.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

2
nights
Cody

Cody ©
A genuine cowboy city, Cody is famous for its nightly rodeos and its proximity to the protected wilderness areas of the world's first national park, now designated as one of the country's World Heritage Sites.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Tecumseh's Old West Miniature Village and Museum and then contemplate the long history of Old Trail Town. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Cowtown Candy Company, then admire the engineering at Buffalo Bill Dam, then examine the collection at Cody Firearms Museum, and finally get engrossed in the history at Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

For ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Cody tour itinerary tool .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Badlands National Park to Cody takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Badlands National Park in August: highs in Cody hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to Yellowstone National Park.

Things to do in Cody

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Buffalo Bill Center of the West ©
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Cody Firearms Museum ©
Cody Firearms Museum
Buffalo Bill Dam ©
Buffalo Bill Dam

2
nights
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park ©
An exceptionally diverse landscape and varied wildlife have made Yellowstone National Park one of America's most popular parks.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sun): witness a stunning natural landmark at Old Faithful, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Artist Point, and then take in breathtaking views at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Lamar Valley and then take in the natural beauty of Grand Prismatic Spring.

To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Yellowstone National Park journey planning tool .

You can drive from Cody to Yellowstone National Park in 2.5 hours. In August, Yellowstone National Park is a bit cooler than Cody - with highs of 24°C and lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Grand Teton National Park.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ©
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Old Faithful ©
Old Faithful
Grand Prismatic Spring ©
Grand Prismatic Spring

2
nights
Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park ©
The peaks of Grand Teton National Park aren't the highest in the world, but they sit atop what might be nature's archetypes for mountains.
On the 18th (Tue), hike along Menor's Ferry Historical Trail, then take a memorable drive along 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive, and then identify plant and animal life at Grand Teton. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a memorable drive along Signal Mountain Summit Road, take a peaceful walk through Bridger Teton National Forest, and then hike along Jenny Lake Trail.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Grand Teton National Park vacation app .

You can drive from Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park in 1.5 hours. When traveling from Yellowstone National Park in August, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Grand Teton National Park: temperatures range from 30°C by day to 7°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Salt Lake City.

Things to do in Grand Teton National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Bridger Teton National Forest
Highlights from your plan
Grand Teton ©
Grand Teton
Jenny Lake Trail ©
Jenny Lake Trail
Signal Mountain Summit Road ©
Signal Mountain Summit Road

2
nights
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City ©
Utah's capital and most populous city, Salt Lake City boasts a small-town feel, big-city amenities, and plenty of nature on its doorstep.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): view the masterpieces at Art at the Main Gallery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Temple Square, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Salt Lake Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, then get a sense of history and politics at Utah State Capitol, and then take in breathtaking views at Big Cottonwood Canyon.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Salt Lake City trip planner .

Getting from Grand Teton National Park to Salt Lake City by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or drive. While traveling from Grand Teton National Park, expect a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Salt Lake City, ranging from highs of 39°C to lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can travel to Moab.

Things to do in Salt Lake City

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan
Temple Square ©
Temple Square
Big Cottonwood Canyon ©
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Room Escape Games

2
nights
Moab

The gateway to Utah's popular canyon country, Moab sits engulfed in the middle of desert wilderness.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Turret Arch, then stop by Gearheads Outdoor Store, then explore the landscape on two wheels at Bike Fiend, and finally see Off-Road Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape at Double Arch and then take in the awesome beauty at Arches National Park.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, use the Moab tour site .

You can do a combination of flight and car from Salt Lake City to Moab in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and car. In August in Moab, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 20°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Moab

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Arches National Park
Highlights from your plan
Off-Road Tours
Arches National Park ©
Arches National Park
Double Arch ©
Double Arch

2
nights
Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park ©
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): hike along Nordenskiold #16 Trail, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and then explore the ancient world of Cliff Palace. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Petroglyph Point Hike, then explore the ancient world of Long House, and then explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Mesa Verde National Park online trip builder .

Traveling by car from Moab to Mesa Verde National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. In August, Mesa Verde National Park is little chillier than Moab - with highs of 35°C and lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to drive to Page.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Trails Parks
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Balcony House ©
Balcony House

2
nights
Page

Originally little more than a simple camp constructed to house workers who built a nearby dam on the Colorado River, Page is now a popular stop for travelers preparing a trip to Arizona's canyon country.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Wed): explore the activities along Lake Powell, then take in breathtaking views at Antelope Canyon, and then get lost in a book at Page Public Library. On the 27th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, explore the striking landscape at Horseshoe Bend, and then have fun at Gunfighter Canyon.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Page trip planner .

Traveling by car from Mesa Verde National Park to Page takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in August; daily highs in Page reach 39°C and lows reach 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to drive to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Page

Tours Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Horseshoe Bend ©
Horseshoe Bend
Antelope Canyon ©
Antelope Canyon

2
nights
Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park ©
You can find hoodoos--rock pillars formed by erosion--all around the world, but those of Bryce Canyon National Park remain the standard bearers thanks to their bright red color, tall stature, and arrangement in large amphitheaters.
On the 28th (Fri), hike along Navajo/Queens Garden Loop, then take some stellar pictures from Sunrise Point, then get great views at Fairyland Point, and finally take in panoramic vistas at Bryce Point. Here are some ideas for day two: take some stellar pictures from Inspiration Point, then trek along Navajo Loop Trail, then explore the stunning scenery at Sunset Point, and finally stop by Ruby's Inn Canyon Rock Shop.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Bryce Canyon National Park trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Page to Bryce Canyon National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car. Traveling from Page in August, you will find days in Bryce Canyon National Park are slightly colder (29°C), and nights are cooler (9°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) so you can go by car to Zion National Park.

Things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Navajo/Queens Garden Loop ©
Navajo/Queens Garden Loop
Inspiration Point ©
Inspiration Point
Navajo Loop Trail ©
Navajo Loop Trail

1
night
Zion National Park

Zion National Park ©
Towering cliffs of red, white, and pink Navajo sandstone, stream-carved slot canyons, and big blue sky all characterize Zion National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): explore the striking landscape of The Narrows and then trek along Angel's Landing.

To find reviews, maps, and tourist information, use the Zion National Park online visit planner .

You can drive from Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park in 3 hours. Traveling from Bryce Canyon National Park in August, expect Zion National Park to be a bit warmer, temps between 38°C and 14°C. On the 31st (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Zion National Park

Outdoors Trails Parks
Highlights from your plan
The Narrows ©
The Narrows
Angel's Landing ©
Angel's Landing
Zion Shuttle ©
Zion Shuttle

2
nights
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park ©
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
On the 31st (Mon), hike along South Kaibab Trail and then take some stellar pictures from Pipe Creek Vista. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Tue): take in breathtaking views at Grand Canyon South Rim and then stroll through Bright Angel Trail.

Find out how to plan Grand Canyon National Park trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Zion National Park to Grand Canyon National Park. Traveling from Zion National Park in August, expect nights in Grand Canyon National Park to be about the same, around 11°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 31°C. On the 2nd (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Las Vegas.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon South Rim ©
Grand Canyon South Rim
Bright Angel Trail ©
Bright Angel Trail
South Kaibab Trail ©
South Kaibab Trail

2
nights
Las Vegas

Las Vegas ©
Nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert in the southern section of Nevada.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): examine the collection at The Mob Museum.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Las Vegas trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Grand Canyon National Park in September, plan for a bit warmer days in Las Vegas, with highs around 39°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Parks Nature Museums
Highlights from your plan
Fountains of Bellagio ©
Fountains of Bellagio
The Mob Museum ©
The Mob Museum

3
nights
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park ©
Massive granite mountains, towering waterfalls, groves of Giant Sequoia trees, and wilderness as far as the eye can see distinguish the landscape of Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite National Park is known for nature, trails, scenic drive, wildlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, don't miss a visit to Washburn Point, trek along Mariposa Grove, and take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Yosemite National Park online holiday builder .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Las Vegas in September: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 27°C, while lows dip to 3°C. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Mon) before leaving for San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Vernal Fall ©
Vernal Fall

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for nature, museums, nightlife, parks, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden, take some stellar pictures from Twin Peaks, and make a trip to Book Passage.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, plan for a bit warmer nights in San Francisco, with lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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