Off the Road Again: America's Top 4x4 Destinations

Wyoming: Tetons and Yellowstone

Nestled beside the Snake River in the shadows of the Grand Tetons and just south of Yellowstone National Park, Jackson, Wyoming is a great starting point for off-road exploration. Old logging roads and backcountry byways provide ample opportunities to experience the area's rugged alpine scenery. One of the best routes is Reclamation Road—an unpaved, scenic byway that accesses both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. From there it emerges just south of Yellowstone National Park and links up with U.S. 89/191/287 near Jackson. Travel the road in autumn when the grasslands, marshes, and pine forests are ablaze with color. For information contact Targhee National Forest (Ashton, ID (208.652.7442).

Off-road driving is not allowed within the national parks themselves, but you'll find 2,000 miles of unpaved, logging roads in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, which encircles Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks. Rugged 35-mile Union Pass Road, off U.S. 26/287 out of Dubois, Wyoming, takes you to high, remote, forests dotted with alpine meadows and lakes. The route offers vistas of the rugged Wind River Range to the east and the distant Grand Tetons.

The side roads off Union Pass Road are also worth exploring. Try the 187-mile, day-trip loop to Union Pass Road from Jackson, or take a multi-day trip and camp at the excellent Green River Lakes campground Flagstaff and Spread Creek Roads— 45 miles north of Jackson off U.S. 287— lead to great spots for fishing, hunting, and mountain biking. Camping, with reservations, is allowed along both roads. Information, is available through the Buffalo District Ranger Office ( Moran, WY 307.543.2386).

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 27 Aug 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »