The United States is home to so many amazing national parks. The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite – they’re all filled with natural wonders that are worth checking out. Getting around to seeing all of these can be difficult though. When you can only take a week or two off at a time, you want to make the most of every opportunity. Fortunately, by going on a national parks road trip, you can explore more than a few of America’s best sights without having to miss out.
Why a road trip?
There’s so much to see in the United States, a lot of which we’ll never have time for in our lives. If we could spend our free time traveling instead of working or studying, then we gladly would. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t get very far on vacation without money to fund everything.
By going on a road trip, you’re allowing yourself a chance to see more of the world without taking too much time away from your life at home. While you don’t always get to spend as long as you’d probably like to at each location, it’s still enough to see the wonders that each place has to offer. Plus, exploring America’s national parks on a road trip is much more exciting than simply flying out to visit somewhere. You’re likely to have a more memorable experience being out on the road with friends or family, and come away with a greater sense of accomplishment too.
Where exactly should you go on a road trip, though?
The Grand Circle
This road trip will take you through the states of Arizona, Nevada and Utah, focusing primarily on the latter as you explore national parks like Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. Across the space of two weeks, you’ll drive through much of Utah, with stops in Arizona for the all-important visit to the Grand Canyon. If you’re able to, you can stretch the road trip across a longer timeframe so that you can enjoy all that these places have to offer. Likewise, you can also shorten it to just one week, giving yourself enough time to see the national parks mentioned here, as well as Zion Canyon and Kaibab.
It’s recommended that you start somewhere like Las Vegas, although you could also begin in Salt Lake City or Phoenix. By opting for the former, you’ll also give yourself a chance to enjoy a day or two in Nevada’s famed Sin City.
Yellowstone & Arches
If you want a bit of variety with your road trip, why not give the Yellowstone & Arches road trip a try? You’ll explore a good number of states, including Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho, as you move from the Arches National Park to the Dinosaur National Monument. The biggest attraction on this route is Yellowstone National Park, home to the United States’ largest supervolcano. The presence of the Yellowstone Caldera has resulted in many attractive geothermal features, such as the Old Faithful geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring that many visitors love to see.
Yosemite & Big Sur
For an experience around California, this is the road trip to try out. It’ll take you to Yosemite National Park, home to a landscape sculpted by ancient glaciers where every corner is perfect for a photo. Yosemite Valley, Nevada Falls and the Cathedral Range are all places of interest here, so you’ll want to stick around long enough to get a good look at the national park. There are plenty more places to see on this road trip, though, including Sequoia Canyon, Point Reyes and Big Sur. If you want to spend a day relaxing by the coast during your travels, the latter will give you somewhere to chill out.
Everyone needs to go on vacation at some point, especially when things at home are stressing you out. Road trips might not offer you the chance to completely shut off from the world, but they’ll give you an experience you won’t soon forget.