The Rocky Mountains

California to Minnesota through the Rockies

by Cameron McNair

2 people, 4,000 miles, 14 days

Because flying wasn’t an option, my girlfriend and I decided to make a road trip out to visit her family in Minneapolis — before the winter weather arrived. We designed a trip that would allow us to work remotely while taking our time to see some places we’ve always wanted to see, like the Tetons and Yellowstone.

We picked up a Jeep Grand Cherokee in San Francisco and went east towards Lake Tahoe. The Grand Cherokee turned out to be the perfect choice — it was comfortable, had four-wheel drive in case of snow, and had plenty of space for our mountain of clothes, groceries, and random items like bear spray.

After hiking, hanging out by the lake, and just lounging at our cabin (we also saw a couple of bear cubs — didn’t see mama bear, but you know she was nearby!), we drove all the way from Tahoe to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The 13-hour drive was somewhat dull until we were greeted by the golden grain fields and powerful mountains of Wyoming.

Jackson Hole was a ton of fun, with plenty of restaurants for takeout and outdoor dining in an incredible mountain setting. We hiked in the Grand Tetons, then visited Yellowstone and hiked to several epic geysers and mineral pools (the highlight was Imperial Geyser).

After Jackson and Yellowstone, we headed to Boulder, Colorado (home of my alma mater) to break up the drive to Minneapolis and spend some time exploring the town. Then it was 14 hours through flat land to Minneapolis, and my girlfriend was reunited with her parents! By then it had begun to snow, which was an October surprise for us as Californians.

On our drive back west we routed through Bozeman, Montana, and the road there was gorgeous but conditions became harrowing with the sun going down. A treacherous mixture of ice and snow on the road meant we took it slow and steady, and we made it to Bozeman unscathed and treated ourselves to an Italian feast for dinner. We visited Yellowstone from the north side, enabling us to visit the fantastic Mammoth Springs, which had recently frozen over for a very unique look.

Our final leg from Bozeman to SF was a 16-hour drive, but there’s no better feeling than getting home and falling asleep in your own bed. It was an incredible journey and we were so grateful to see parts of the country we might not otherwise see!

Book a car and organize your own remote-work road trip to the places you’ve always wanted to go!