Yosemite to Yellowstone- Quickest/best Route in RV -newbie


No doubt this will be my first post of many. My family and I are doing a 4 week whirlwind tour of some of Western USA in Sept/October 2010. La-Yosemite-Yellowstone-Grand Tetons (drive though)-Near Salt Lake as a means to get to Arches NP-Monument Valley-North Rim GC-Bryce-Zion-Las Vegas-Disneyland.

Yes I know I could spend a week in each but time is always limited. :( I am from Australia and it's not easy getting time and money to get to somewhere like the US...so got to fit in what we can!!! I think we'll need a holiday to recover from our holiday! ;)

My first query is - What is the best/most direct route to travel with an RV from Yosemite to Yellowstone? This will be our worst leg of the trip and we know it! We want to get it over with with possibly 2 full days driving. My husband and I can take turns and we know we'll have to get up early.

My thoughts at the moment are to drive out of Yosemite at the end of our last day in Yosemite (we are staying a few days in Lower Pines). At the moment I liked the sound of 49er RV Ranch if it was on the way and that would bring us a little closer up towards YS?
Any other suggestions?
From there possibly a leg to Elko or? (Suggestions?) and then if possible straight to YS...or if not a night stop at Idaho Falls?
What are your thoughts???

Thanks for any help.

Cheers, Sonia :)


Senior Member
Re: Yosemite to Yellowstone- Quickest/best Route in RV -newbie

Hi Sonia, and welcome to the best forum on the web. I was hoping one of the Western posters would have replied by now - maybe they will after reading this. I'm a Southern boy and not the sharpest tool in the shed but maybe I can give you a little advice.
I tried Google Maps and it flat refused to give me a route from Yosemite to Yellowstone. Go figure?? So I had to drag out my paper maps. Given your itinerary and the short length of time you will be in the states, I looked mainly at Interstate travel. Here goes:
From Yosemite: US 395 to Reno NV. I 80 to Salt Lake City UT. I 15 to Idaho Falls ID. Then either US 20 into western Yellowstone or US 26 to US 89 into southern Yellowstone.
My calibrated eyeball says you are looking at around 900 miles from Yosemite to Yellowstone. That's a pretty far stretch, even for two drivers. Plus, you might get snowed on in the upper elevations at that time of year. Keep us posted on how your trip turns out. :) :)
Re: Yosemite to Yellowstone- Quickest/best Route in RV -newbie

Thanks Jim for your comment. Yes...it will be 2 yukky days driving. I have replanned our trip and have given us an extra day in Yosemite and Yellowstone...and giving a little more time to get there.

I don't know if the Tioga Pass exit is an option? We'll have to wait and see I guess. Would this save a bit of time?

I plan to drive out of Yosemite about 2 hours towards Yellowstone. If exiting the West maybe stay somewhere like 49er RV Ranch...or if exiting East we might stay somewhere like BridgePort Then one big day drive to say Elko...and the next to maybe Idaho Fall area, where we can stock up on things and then enter Yellowstone.

I thought I would have a lot more responses...but I thank you kindly for your help!!! :)
Re: Yosemite to Yellowstone- Quickest/best Route in RV -newbie

I just read your post and the directions that were given are pretty accurate. Watch the weather because the east ext road out of Yosemite to the 395 is closed in the winter and you are travelling pretty close to the closure period. If it is closed you can get to Yosemite from LA by heading north on the I-5 to the I-99. Then you could take the I-5 north from there and follow the signs to Reno, NV. From there follow the other directions. I hope this helps and honestly if you hit Yosemite first the road closure should not be a problem unless we get a lot of early snow.