I’m sitting exactly where many people dream of being while on a Memorial Day getaway weekend trip, a place with lots of wildlife and extremely beautiful scenery that goes on and on for as far as the eye can see. Presidents come to my area to vacation. Movie stars buy large tracts of land in my area to vacation on. Folks? I’m not an expensive area to go to for your Memorial Day getaway weekend trip.
Where: The area where Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho all meet on your map is some of the most beautiful, wide-open, scenic, and best kept secret vacation country left in the United States. What it offers:
Wyoming is the least populated state in the United States, and most of that population lives on the opposite side of the state from this border. If you like exploring ghost-towns, taking photos of wildlife, camping without anybody in sight, and Oregon Trail history, this area of Wyoming is where you want to be.
Idaho along their eastern bottom border is full of very tiny towns, most built in the late 1800’s. The landscape is very scenic with rivers, lakes, and exploration opportunities everywhere you look. About 100-miles away from Utah’s Salt Lake airport is a notable little tourist town that feels just like the famous Jackson Hole, Wyoming tourist town used to feel before presidents started vacationing there. I will explain it in detail below.
Utah is all of that pretty scenery that you saw on television and the internet during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake City built many wonderful motels and additions for the Olympics which make them a good choice if you enjoy a city environment for your Memorial Day getaway weekend setting; you get both city and nature to go explore.
Salt Lake Airport is located right beside your desired map areas of Wyoming and Idaho that make good Memorial Day weekend getaway locations. The airport is about 5-miles away from the downtown area and freeways connect it to the roads that you would like to be traveling on. Most airports host flights into Salt Lake City because it is a connection airport to other places that they are flying to.
Prices for SaltLake flights are normally reasonable. If you shop for deals, prices can be as low as 150.00 round-trip from most cities in the USA. As you are shopping for rates, explore flying deals into Las Vegas, Nevada with a flight from Vegas into the SLC airport. This is how some get the best air-rates.
Car rental in Salt Lake City is easy to do. For your Memorial Day weekend getaway trip, you will need transportation. Depending upon your desires, you may want to rent an economy car to save on gasoline, a motor-home or camper to play road-warrior with all weekend, or you might want to explore renting a U-Haul type of truck. U-Hauls get good gas mileage, they make great quick tents, they can haul rented 4-wheelers, jet-skis, or bikes and they come with a repair crew ready to come get you if you get lost or stuck.
To find prices for car rentals available at Salt Lake Airport, click here and refresh screen for current rate lists from Expedia. Budget Rental Trucks start at 18.95 per day plus mileage. Click here to view Budget Rentals.
Gas information for this area includes me telling you to never-ever assume that another gas station will show up; keep topping your tank as you see stations go by. Utah’s gas prices are not bad compared to other parts of the country, Idaho is below Utah, Wyoming (in town) is below Idaho. The outskirts in all of these places can vary towards the high end of national gas prices; it is always cheaper to fill up in a larger town.
What to pack for a Memorial Day getaway weekend trip into this area of the country is up to you based upon what you would like to be doing. Backpacking tents and supplies do not take up much luggage room. Utah has grocery stores and a Wal-Mart to buy an ice chest from, there’s no need to pack food until you get here if you plan to camp.
What you will want to have with you in this area of the country are some closed toed good walking shoes or boots, clothing for hot days and very cold nights, and all of your camera gear. If you are bringing film, remember to tell the airports that it can not go through the x-ray machines.
Where to go:
A Nice Fun & unique tourist town is located about 100 miles north (up from) Salt Lake City on your map in the state of Idaho. You are looking for a small town called Lava Hot Springs that is between Soda Springs and Pocatello on the map. The drive up is very pretty, and you may be tempted to take some quick detours along some of the side roads just to see what is back there.
Lava Hot Springs, Idaho is what Jackson Hole, Wyoming (where the presidents go) used to be like. It is a tourist town that spans some blocks, with a river, Olympic sized pool and slides for the kids, water tubing, horseback or cart rides, interesting local stores, friendly people, and natural hot springs for the adults. (Click here to learn more about Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.)
Things to see around Lava Hot Springs includes interesting things to go see in Soda Springs, Bancroft, Grace, and other towns in that area of your map. The large reservoir that you pass on the road by Soda Springs is an old stop-over place for Oregon Trail wagons with the original town of “Beer Springs” flooded under it. The wagons tried to camp there on the 4th of July because the spring flooded under the reservoir supposedly tasted like beer. You can find out more about this area by looking up Steamboat Springs and Soda Springs on the internet.
You can get to the tiny town of Bancroft, Idaho from a scenic back road just outside of the town of Lava Hot Springs. There is a drugstore at the end of the Main Street that you have to see to believe; order some ice cream, you won’t be sorry.
Just across from the drugstore in Bancroft, across the train tracks and back toward Lava Hot Springs by about a mile on the highway is the old town dump. Remember that Federal Law won’t let you pick up any item over 50-years old anywhere any more. It is still interesting to see.
Many rocks around Incom (above Lava Hot Springs on the map) have Indian art on them, and Lava Hot Springs was once a part of the Bannock Indian reservation. The whole area around Lava Hot Springs is riddled with early American Indian history. All roads lead to something fun to look at in this area.
Park City, Utah is where the big film festival that you hear about on television during the winter is held every year. This is a mountainous area tourist town about 40-minutes away from SLC that thrives during ski season. They have many off-season deals, events, and interesting places to see in this area. Click here to find out more about Park City, Utah as your Memorial Day getaway weekend destination and to order your free summer vacation planner from this town.
Camping in Idaho is done in either the Blackfoot area near Lava Hot Springs, or at the Utah/Idaho border near BearLake for your Memorial Day weekend getaway plans. Click hereto find out more about the Blackfoot area camping options. Click here to find out more about Bear Lake camping options. The Bear Lake area is a tourist town setting with motels, camping, boat, jet-ski, and water sport rentals available.
Camping in Wyoming is literally just about everywhere. Wyoming has over 18-billion acres of BLM land. As you are driving along the freeway after leaving Utah, start dreaming about what is at the end of those tiny dirt roads leading into pinion topped hills. They were all made for a reason; oil exploration off into the wilderness, an old town that isn’t there any more, or to get to the “good” part of a favorite stream or hunting spot.
The quickest way to find fun places to camp for your Memorial Day getaway weekend in Wyoming is to call small town Chambers of Commerce offices to ask a real person where they go camping and instructions on how to get there. They are very friendly to people who want to know a little more about their area. Ask about ghost-towns and history for the local area with each office that you call if you are interested in seeing this type of fun.
Here is an example of what you can find in Wyoming by checking areas around the little towns listed on the maps:
Kemmerer, Wyoming area has the very first tiny JC Penney store, Fossil Butte National Monument 14-miles away, Oregon Trail site access about 15-miles away; including all Oregon Trail activity between famed Nancy Hill Grave and Names Hill. You are never far from a river and normally see moose, eagles, deer, elk, beaver and other photogenic occupants. The forest area is wild, Memorial Day weekend often brings up mushrooms.
Chamber of Commerce: 888-300-3413.
Click here to see: Fossil Butte National Monument, Nancy Hill Grave, Names Hill,Sublette Ghost Town, Other Attractions.
You can see all 3 states, (Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming) on your Memorial Day getaway weekend if you would like; just don’t stop too long in any one place. From Salt Lake City you can go up to Lava Hot Springs for an evening. Next, find highway 30 near Soda Springs and take it into Kemmerer, Wyoming area about 2-hours away. From the Kemmerer, Wyoming area, you can get to Park City, Utah and Salt Lake City, Utah with just a few pretty hours of driving to finish your Memorial Day weekend getaway trip.