Idaho Falls to Yellowstone
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Idaho Falls to Yellowstone Road Trip – 9 Must See Stops

Are you thinking about planning a road trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone? 

Awesome! There are some great stops along the way that you will love! 

In this post, we are going to best things to do as you travel from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone.  This route will take you to the West Yellowstone entrance.  

Let’s plan the perfect Idaho Falls to Yellowstone road trip! 

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1. Idaho FallsIdaho Falls

Let’s begin in Idaho Falls.  There are some fun things to do near Idaho Falls you might want to include on your road trip.

What is the Distance From Idaho Falls to Yellowstone? 

Idaho Falls to Yellowstone is about a two-hour drive if you drive straight with no stops.  In this post, we are going to highlight some of the stops you can make on your road trip.  Ultimately, this plan will take you from Idaho Falls to the West Yellowstone entrance. 

If you want to spend some time in Idaho Falls before you hit the road, this city has a few places you should check out. 

2. Reeds Dairy

Reeds Dairy in Idaho Falls

Reed’s Dairy is your one-stop shop for homemade ice cream, milk, and cheese.  Reed’s Dairy also has baby cows that you can see.  It is a perfect stop!  

There are four locations in Idaho. Idaho Falls is the original.  I love stopping and trying local food.  

Hours

8:00 am – 9:00 pm

3. Potato Museum 

Baked Potato

I don’t know about you but I am a big believer in “when in Rome,….” Idaho is known for its potatoes and so one of the best stops near Idaho Falls is the Potato Museum! 

The Potato Museum is actually a little bit south of Idaho Falls in Blackfoot, ID but worth a short visit if you have the time.  

This isn’t some small novelty store on the side of the road or a sampler from the “world’s largest” menu.  This truly is a museum.

Admission 

Adult $6

Child $3

Hours

September – May:
9:30 am – 5:00 pm  M-Sa

June, July, August:
9:30 am – 7:00 pm  M-Sun

Closed:
Sundays, Thanksgiving & Christmas thru New Year’s

One thing that is really cool about the Potato Museum is that there is a potato lab where you can sample chocolate-dipped potato chips.  If you plan ahead you can also order a fresh-baked Idaho potato.

4. Rexburg Idaho to Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bear World

Rexburg is the next stop on this road trip. It is the home of BYU Idaho, a university associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Distance from Rexburg to Idaho Falls

Rexburg is 30 minutes north of Idaho Falls.  Rexburg is a small town on the path to Yellowstone.  One thing that Rexburg has going for it is Bear World. 

5. Bear World

Bear World is a drive-thru wildlife park.  There are over 60 black and brown bears.  There are so many things to do at Bear World such as petting zoo, museum, gift shop, and rides.  

Admission

Adults: $25

Children: $13 

Toddlers are free 

Yellowstone Bear World operates seasonally.  It is open from April 17th – to October 17th.

Hours of Operations

2022 Season Dates:

April 16-17th, 23-24th, May 1
Open Weekends Only 9 am – 5 pm

May 7th – May 27th
Open 7 days/week 9am – 5pm

May 28th – September 5th
Open 7 days/week 9 am – 6 pm

September 6th – October 16th
Open 7 days/week 9am – 5pm

October 16th 
Last Day of the Season

Our Experience

Yellowstone Bear World

When we went to Yellowstone we did not see as much wildlife as we wanted.  Yellowstone Bear World allowed us to get an up-close experience that was fun and exciting for our kids.  I highly recommend stopping in and checking it out on your way from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone.  

And while you can either drive through the main bear area or take a bus and feed them, there is quite a bit more to do, such as an amusement area with rides for the kiddos.



6. Mesa Falls Scenic BywayIdaho Falls to Yellowstone Mesa Falls

Mesa Falls is the best-kept secret in Idaho.  This beautiful detour on the way from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone is a special treat.  It is located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Not including driving time, I would allow at least an hour to explore.  If you plan on hiking, you may want to give yourself a few hours.

If you have a national park pass the entry fee of $5 is included.  

Mesa Falls

Mesa Falls view point

There are upper falls and lower falls. Upper Mesa Falls is 114 feet high and about 200 ft wide. It is the most impressive side.  There is a boardwalk with a few viewpoints of the waterfall.  

The lower falls in about a .5 mile drive down the road and has a separate parking lot. The lower falls are about 85ft feet high.  It is still very impressive and I recommend checking out both. 

Hiking Trail

hiking trail at mesa falls

Miles: 2.2

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain: Out and Back

Starting at the upper falls parking lot is the Mesa Falls Nature trail.  If you follow it, it will lead you to some great views of the lower falls. It is a 2.2-mile round trip hike.

When is the Best Time to Go to Mesa Falls

Road trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone Mesa Falls

Mesa Falls has a constant flow all year round. Spring, Summer, and Fall are the most popular times to go mainly because the road to the falls is closed in winter.  However, the site is still open throughout winter, and access to the falls can be gained by snowmobiling and skiing.

Mesa Falls is just as impressive as some of the sites you will see within Yellowstone.  It is worth a stop!

7. Island ParkIsland Park, Idaho

As you continue on the scenic byway from Mesa Falls you will come to Island Park.  Island Park is a great place to pick Huckleberries.  They are wild and free for the picking.  You can grab a bucket and enjoy an afternoon of berry picking. 

You can make jams and pies with huckleberries.  If you haven’t tried a huckleberry pie, you are missing out my friend.

8. Big Springs

Big Spring is your next stop on your Idaho Falls to Yellowstone road trip.  This is at the headwaters of the Snake River.  It is located in Island Park as well.  Big Springs is known for its enormous trout.  You can feed the fish (the like canned corn).  The water is crystal clear so you can see the fish clearly.  

9. Sawtell Peak

If you want an off-road adventure, Sawtell peak is a perfect spot. It is located just beyond Island Park.  If you rent an ATV this is a great spot to go for a ride.



Idaho Falls to Yellowstone West EntranceYellowstone National Park

If your road trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone National Park hasn’t been fun enough with all these awesome stops just wait until you get to Yellowstone! 

Yellowstone is out of this world amazing! You will arrive at the west entrance of Yellowstone. There is so much to see and I highly recommend spending a few days exploring all of the amazing natural wonders in the park.  

Things to Do in West Yellowstone

  • Old Faithful
  • Paint Pots
  • Water Falls
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Lamar Valley
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

As you enter Yellowstone National Park from the West entrance you have two choices. Head north to Mammoth Falls or south to Old Faithful.   

I suggest heading toward Old Faithful. This is probably the most exciting site if you are in Yellowstone with kidsKids or no kids, Old Faithful is incredible for all ages to see. 

There is also a visiting center there to explore, as well as some hikes.

Helpful Tips – Accommodations on your Idaho Falls to Yellowstone Road Trip

If you are planning on staying the night on your way to Yellowstone the best places are in Idaho Falls or Rexburg.  Marriott and Hilton have some nice options.  They are safe areas.

At the West Yellowstone entrance, there are some great places to stay.  You can camp or book a hotel room. You could even rent an RVVRBO is also a great option. No matter what you choose book early because this place feels up fast.

Are you Ready for a Road Trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone?Idaho falls to Yellowstone National Park - Idaho

I love taking road trips and exploring along the way! Hopefully, you will be able to do some of the fun things in Idaho on your way to Yellowstone! 

Let us know in the comments how many US National Parks you have been to and if the West Coast National Parks or the East Coast National Parks are your favorite. You know I am partial to the Utah National Parks.  We love exploring nature!  

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59 Comments

  1. Pingback: Best Things to Do In Yellowstone National Park with Kids – Planning Away
  2. This road trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone looks pretty epic! So many beautiful areas and things to do and see. Can’t wait to explore this area of the country!

  3. Oh wow! You saw a bear that close?! I hope it was safe to observe him. Kinda gives me goosebumps when I think about wildlife wandering around:).

  4. I had to laugh at the Potato Museum! Sounds like the EXACT kinda place my family would want to visit! We love quirky, unique spots to visit when we go someplace new! Your road trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone looks incredible though!

  5. Wow, what a cool road trip!! Looks like there is plenty to do on the way to Yellowstone!

  6. I am known for creating elaborate itineraries while traveling. I don’t believe in just driving from point A to point B when there is so much to explore along the way. I will definitely add your recommendations to the trip when we make it up that way.

  7. I haven’t been to Yellowstone in 10 years. You have made me want to go back again since it is so beautiful there.

  8. This is a fabulous adventure. I so enjoyed reading about it and the pictures were awesome. This is a trip I know my husband would enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I want to see Yellowstone so badly. And I have friends in Idaho, so I’d for sure drive through to get there! Thanks for the itinerary!

  10. I plan on going to Yellowstone as soon as it’s safe to travel across the country with kids. This gives me some really cool ideas about planning stops along the way.

  11. I haven’t been out that way yet, but I do love a good road trip! This sounds perfect especially with stops like the Potato Museum!

  12. What a beautiful road trip from Idaho Falls to Yellowstone! I definitely need to schedule a road trip to Yellowstone soon!

  13. Road trips are the best way to see the country. I didn’t know there was a potato museum. I’m not surprised.

  14. Awesome post! There is so much to do before you even get to Yellowstone. I would love to go to those Mesa Falls!

  15. I would be so all over the Potato Museum! How fun! And for the record, chocolate covered potato chips are AMAZING!

  16. I was surprised by the Potato Museum, but I guess if you’re going to have one, it should be in Idaho!

  17. Pingback: Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg, Idaho – Planning Away

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