An epic road trip out west is the perfect summer trip! We drove 3,000 miles through multiple states, which allowed us to explore the beautiful views and vast environments each state has to offer. This is a trip we won’t forget!
Our first road trip out west was at the end of August through early September. We went from Friday night to Saturday afternoon for a week filled with many adventures! We packed all of our food, toiletries, and hiking clothes, deciding to live out of the truck for eight days.
Our first stop was in the Badlands National Park. Here we hiked into the dramatic landscape for some crazy views. We even ate lunch with the prairie dogs! From here, we made a quick pit-stop at Wall Drug.
Mount Rushmore located in Keystone, South Dakota was next on our list. We visited both Wall Drug and Mount Rushmore in the same day, with enough time to find dispersed camping in the Black Hills before nightfall. The next morning we woke up early and made it into Deadwood, South Dakota for a delicious breakfast at Hickok House Hotel Restaurant. Highly recommend!
We took the northeast entrance to get into Yellowstone National Park, traveling from South Dakota through Montana to enter into Wyoming. We drove the Beartooth Highway, a scenic drive that is described as one of the most beautiful roads in America. You have to check this out!
An entire day was spent in Yellowstone National Park – it is larger than we thought. It rained the entire time we were there, so we drove straight through. Luckily, we saw three grizzly bears, one black bear, elk, and lots of buffalo!
From Yellowstone National Park, we made our way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to check out the Grand Tetons. We hiked the Cascade Canyon trail, a 9-mile hike with 1,100 foot elevation. It was stunningly beautiful – we even saw two moose!
We spent one night at Snow King Resort and had breakfast at Hayden’s Post located within the resort. Their breakfast was delicious.
From Jackson Hole, Wyoming we traveled to Steamboat, Colorado where we hiked the Mount Zirkel Loop Trail, a 10.3 mile hike consisting of beautiful mountain views. The next day we left to head back home, stopping at the Red Rock Amphitheater before driving straight through to get back home. Yes, we drove through the entire night. 😅
This trip was on a tight budget. With that being said, we packed most of our meals and planned on going out to eat five times or less for the entire week. Surprisingly, we stuck to the plan!
Our kitchen equipment consisted of a camping grill, pot and pan, utensils, cutting board, cooler, tupperware, bowls, plates, water jug filled with water, coffee pot, and washcloths.
Lunches consisted of sandwiches and wraps – quick and easy to make, plus easy to eat on the road. We served them with an abundant amount of fruit and veggies and even had Fresh & Easy Guacamole and chips for the first few days.
When it was time for dinner, we always made sure to find a great lookout area to enjoy the view while we prepared our meals. With that being said, the meals we cooked were a bit more extravagant. We made chicken stir fry, brats with veggies, turkey tacos + guacamole, spaghetti with a side salad, and kebobs – how fancy is that?!
Let’s not forget the snacking! We snacked on a homemade trail mix, apples and peanut butter, beef jerky and cheese, and hummus and veggies.
For this trip to remain budget friendly, we stayed within the back of our truck six out of the eight nights. We converted our truck into a sleeping quarter, shelves on each side, a mattress in the middle, and a truck topper overhead – the bed was honestly comfier than the one we have at home. 😂
During our road trip out west, a cold front blew through Wyoming. Instead of freezing in the truck, we decided to rent a hotel for the night to warm up. We stayed at Snow King Resort, which is located walking distance from downtown.
We also stayed with one of our friends in Steamboat, Colorado for a night. This helped us stay on our tight budget, and shower after a long day of hiking.
Have you been on a road trip before? If so, comment below where and what your experience was like, or any tips you may have!