Our U.S. national parks road trip itinerary

by Kim on January 16, 2012 · 82 comments

We are four months (!!) away from leaving on our trip around the world.

In May we’re setting out on an epic three-month road trip of the United States.  After visiting family and friends in the mid-west we’ll head back west to embark on a long-awaited tour of the U.S. National Parks.  Our itinerary looks a little something like this (subject to change, of course):

U.S. National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

Portland, Oregon –> Cincinnati, Ohio –> New York, New York –> Cincinnati, Ohio –> Athens, Ohio –> Cincinnati, Ohio –> Cleveland, Ohio –> Morgantown, West Virginia –> Asheville, North Carolina –> Savannah, Georgia –> St. Louis, Missouri –> Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming –> Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming –> Arches National Park, Utah –> Canyonlands National Park, Utah –> Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah –> Zion National Park, Utah –> Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona –> Las Vegas, Nevada –> Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, California –> Yosemite National Park, California –> Bend, Oregon –> Portland, Oregon

Whew!  It’s a lot of driving, an estimated 10,000 miles, and we’re doing it all in our little beat-up 1995 Nissan Altima.  Let’s hope she makes it, but if she doesn’t, it will just be part of the adventure.

We’ll be embarking on multi-day backpacking trips in the Grand Tetons NP, Grand Canyon NP and Canyonlands NP and camping and hiking in all the others.  We’re also partaking in a five-day New York holiday and spending our anniversary in Las Vegas, NV (so not us, but it will be fun).

Canyonlands National Park, photo by NPCA Photos

Grand Teton National Park, photo by brianholsclaw

Sequoia National Park, photo by koiart71

Our goals for the summer include reconnecting with family and old friends, sleeping under the stars, swimming in cold lakes, reading books (Walden Pond and The Monkey Wrench Gang are on my list), listening to Spanish language podcasts, not getting eaten by grizzlies and learning to adjust to a slower pace of life.

We are so ridiculously excited.

We’d love to hear your U.S. National Parks tips.  Favorite hikes?  Best camping spots?  Secret swimming holes?  Please let us know!

(Update 2/13. We totally did this and it was awesome! Read all about our U.S. National Parks Road Trip here.)