How to Make the Most of a Road trip to Idaho’s National Parks

We believe that some of the best vacations require some time in the car, and that rings true in the Gem State. Our bounty of natural beauty is here waiting for you to explore it! Keep reading to discover how to make the most of a road trip to Idaho’s national parks! 

For more ways to make the most of your time in our lakeside paradise, be sure to request access to our complimentary Redfish Vacation Guide! 

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Plan the Ideal Road trip to Idaho’s National Parks 

Olympic and Yellowstone Road Trip 


Seattle is one of the best starting points for a road trip to Idaho’s national parks. You can begin your drive by looping up to the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park. This incredible and remote area is home to one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States. Between hiking through forests with ancient towering trees, gazing out at the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Hurricane Ridge, or watching the Pacific crash against the sea stacks along the coast, there are tons of incredible things to see here. 

Take a ferry from Port Townsend to Fort Casey and continue your trip up through North Cascades National Park, where jagged snowy peaks and waterfalls provide eye-popping scenery.  


You’ll cross through the thin northern handle of Idaho before arriving at Glacier National Park. With over one million acres of protected forests, meadows, and lakes, it is home to hundreds of species of birds and mammals. This is also a hider’s paradise. As you continue your road trip to Idaho’s national parks, you can choose to stop at Grand Teton and Yellowstone or head straight to the Gem State. 


Idaho is home to many national forests, including our very own Sawtooth National Forest. The Redfish Lake Lodge provides a fantastic stopping point to take a long break and enjoy at least a few days in one of the most serene locations in the West. You can take long hikes to hidden alpine lakes, go for a relaxing boat ride, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. 

We also recommend taking a day trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument, where you can explore dormant lava fields and get a feel a moon-like landscape.  

Yellowstone and Arches Road Trip 


Salt Lake City is a great starting point for a road trip to Idaho’s national parks. Begin your journey by heading south to Canyonlands National Park. This gorgeous area filled with towering red rock arches, buttes, and spires is home to three distinct areas: Island in the Sky, the Maze District, and the Needles. Rivers wind through other-worldly rock formations as an array of canyons weave and wind through one of the oddest and most beautiful national treasures in the country. 

Your next stop in Utah is Arches National Park. This expansive area is home to a collection of iconic sights, including the Delicate Arch, the Skyline Arch, and the Landscape Arch. Drive through in your car and stop at a few of these fantastic sights before heading to your final Utah stop. 

Take a time machine over a million years into the past at Dinosaur National MonumentKids and adults will love exploring the fascinating fossils embedded in rock while learning about the different techniques used to unearth them. This park extends into Colorado, and you will drive through the state for a short time on the way to your next stop. 


The wild and wonderful state of Wyoming is home to two of the most famous national parks in the country: Yellowstone and Grand Teton. These parks are about an hour to two hours away from each other, depending on which direction you are coming from, but they both warrant a visit along your trek. 

The hallmarks of Grand Teton National Park are the towering snow-capped mountains and burgeoning wildlife. There’s a good chance that you will spot elk, moose, and bison, and if you’re lucky, you may spot a Bald Eagle. 

Yellowstone is home to an array of geological wonders and hiking trails in addition to tons of fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, and wildlife viewing. Whether you want to watch Old Faithful fire its geyser of water into the sky or gape in wonder at Mystic Falls, this park is home to some of the most incredible natural wonders in the country. 


As you ride up through the Gem State, be sure to stop at Craters of the Moon for an other-worldly experience before capping off your adventure at our lodge. The gorgeous shores of our alpine lake are the perfect place to kick back and relax after days of driving on your road trip to Idaho’s national parks. Of course, you can also get out and explore even more in the vast stretches of Sawtooth National Forest. The choice is yours! 

Plan Your Road Trip Stop at Redfish Lake Lake view

A vacation at Redfish Lake Lodge is like no other. Our beautiful lakeside property features an array of lodging options, from cabins to guest rooms. We offer an incredible selection of fun and exciting family activities and things to do on the property that include fishing, hiking, biking, boating, and more! 

Start planning the ultimate mountain adventure by booking one of our accommodations today! We look forward to welcoming you to the Redfish family.