We've spent the past summer partnering with Holiday Inn to find the most epic road trip. To decide on the final route, we had travelers show us their favorite places to visit.
The Rocky Mountains provide some of the most magnificent landscapes in the entire world. From towering mountain peaks and ancient canyon cultures, to secret swimming holes and alpine valleys, there's a whole other world awaiting west of the Mississippi. According to travelers, these are the coolest road trip stops in the west!
Start your Western road trip in Montana, at Glacier National Park. The pure natural beauty of America's Alps is not to be missed! Drive Going-To-The-Sun Road; boat or swim in the cold, clear water of Lake McDonald; hike out to Grinnell Lake and bask in its electric-blue beauty; pick and eat some fresh huckleberries; and make the most of your time in this special place.
3 Going-to-the-Sun Rd, MT, US
38 1st Avenue East, Kalispell, MT, US
7800 U.S. 2, Columbia Falls, MT, US
9549 Us Highway 2 East, Hungry Horse, MT, US
Columbia Falls, Columbia Falls, MT, US
2141 US Hwy 2 E, Evergreen, MT, US
34754 White Coyote Rd, Arlee, MT, US
45 E. Mercury St, Butte, MT, US
2339 Placer Street, Butte, MT, US
80 Bozeman Hill rd, Bozeman, MT, US
208 Yellowstone Avenue, Cody, WY, US
Grand Loop Rd, Mammoth, WY, US
Of course, no road trip through the West is complete without a stop at the country's first (and most iconic) National Park: Yellowstone. Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Boiling River, Lamar Valley, and the Old Faithful Inn are all absolute gems that everyone should see once in their lives.
North Fork Highway, 183, Cody, WY, US
Moose, WY, US
Grand Teton National Park borders Yellowstone, so it's easy to experience both parks... and they're both equally worth visiting. Grand Teton is only 484 square miles (compared to Yellowstone's 3.5 thousand square miles), but those mountains pack a serious punch. Historic buildings, lush lakes, scenic drives, and more can be found here. Definitely check out the Triangle X Dude Ranch, and explore the nearby town of Jackson for Wild West vibes.
3079 Sinks Canyon Rd., Lander, WY, US
Sinks Canyon State Park is about as wild and rugged as it gets! The rushing river, craggy canyon, and giant boulders make the hiking, fishing, camping, and climbing here incredible. Check out the visitor center for some great info about the geology and wildlife of the region!
1000 US Highway 36, Estes Park, CO, US
Rocky Mountain National Park is an outdoorsperson's wonderland! Hundreds of miles of trails traverse the fields and mountains of the park, and there are some pretty epic peaks that the experienced can conquer. You'll also find scenic drives aplenty, as well as tons of fun attractions in Estes Park. For a quick but memorable experience, take the Estes Park Aerial Tramway!
2414 Regent Dr, Boulder, CO, US
18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO, US
Just outside Denver, you'll find Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, which is, hands down, the coolest music venue in the country. Mother Nature was the architect here: The stage is set up between tree massive sandstone slabs. Artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Rush, and the Grateful Dead all reportedly listed the venue among their favorites, and it still pulls in the biggest acts from across the country. Plus, when shows aren't going on, you can hike here, or pop in for a yoga lesson!
The landscapes of the West, from the geothermal weirdness of Yellowstone to the mountain beauty of the Rockies, to the sandstone carvings of Arches, are varied, but all equally stunning. It's an incredible place, filled with beauty, history, and plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered!