10 Bucket-List Trips Based in the U.S.
COLORADO AND WYOMING, US
When: All year (but not in winter)
Latitude: 40.3771°N Longitude: 105.5255°W (Estes Park, Colorado)
There’s no right route to drive through the Rockies—every way you go gives a new stunning view, another geological curiosity, some more incredible wildlife. The Rocky Mountains stretch for more than 3,000 mi (4,828 km) from western Canada to New Mexico, and the area in Wyoming and Colorado must be at the heart of any great American road trip here.
Highway 34 is a good place to start, right where it enters Estes Park. Known as the Trail Ridge Road, it climbs above the tree line for 11 mi (18 km), through an eerie lunar-esque landscape of alpine tundra. The views are unparalleled from up here—the Rockies sweep before you in all directions.
It’s easy to see why Rocky Mountain National Park is among the most visited national parks in the United States. Don’t miss the 300 mi (483 km) of trails, mountain views, and lakes that wait to be explored.
Grand Teton is only 10 mi (16 km) south of the majestic Yellowstone. Here, you’ll find (or hopefully not) wolves, grizzly bears, and moose, although the park’s hot springs and geysers are the major draw, of course.