Our original plans were to fly into Denver and head to Colorado Springs and tour Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods then head to Estes Park and do Trail Ridge Drive thru the Rocky Mts. NP. We were then going to head to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. We had gotten reservations at the Old Faithful Inn many months ago and were excited to stay in the park for the first time.
We arrived in Denver to rainy and stormy weather. After doing a quick check of the road conditions we learned that Hwy 24 to Pikes Peak was closed due to flooding and that Hwy 34 to Estes Park was also closed due to flooding. To make matters worse we learned that the major interstate north (I 25) was closed too. We decided to cancel our original reservations in Colorado Springs and Estes Park and do a reworking or our plans.
Since I 25 was still closed we headed east out of Denver and followed many of the large trucks up Colorado Hwy 71. This was a much longer route than going up the interstate but we decided it was our best way to go north into Wyoming. We made our way thru the edge of Nebraska at Kimball and hit I 80 west. We spent the night in Laramie and encountered another stormy night.
The next morning the weather was still stormy but decided to drive thru the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Snowy Range Scenic Highway. The visibility was not good but it was a nice drive. We made our way to Rawlins and headed to Lander for the night. US Hwy 287 had a lot of road construction and with all the rain it was a terrible mess. We stopped by Independence Rock but with all the heavy rain the roads were a mess and visibility was poor. We finally arrived in Lander. Lander was a great little western town. We really enjoyed our stay there and the hamburgers at the Gannett Grill were some of the best we had ever had.
The next part of our trip was spent touring Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons.
After three days in Jackson Hole we headed to Yellowstone National Park for two days.
We left Yellowstone and headed thru Jackson Hole, Pindedale and on to spend the night in Rock Springs. We had never driven this route before and parts of the drive were very scenic.
The next day we drove I 80/I 25 from Rock Springs back to the Denver airport. We were very glad to see the interstate was open. Many of the roads just off I 25 were still closed from all the flooding. We stayed at our favorite Denver airport hotel- The Country Inn and Suites. We packed all our souvenirs in preparation for our flight home the next morning.
If we could predict the weather and had known that we would not be able to do the CO part of our trip we would have changed our flight and flown into Salt Lake City.
We had a great trip. We saw beautiful scenery, had some good food, took loads of pictures and drove almost 2,000 miles.