United States

The Ultimate National Park Road Trip list

Nothing makes us more excited than a long road trip, with the wind blowing through open car windows and highways flanked by breathtaking sceneries.  Fortunately, this is an easy reality in the United States due to a plethora of incredible national parks. So, a national park road trip sounds great!

In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about planning a trip to the national parks! Continue reading to learn how to choose a national park, prepare your itinerary, find a place to stay, plan walks, pack your belongings, and much more!

Moreover, this blog will tell you ten exciting and unique reasons for taking a national park road trip with a map for your itinerary.

How to Plan a National Park Road Trip?

Preparation and planning are essential for a successful national park road trip. Check this for planning. Begin by deciding which parks you’d like to visit. Find the best dates for your national park road trip, add campsites, hiking, wildlife viewing, whitewater rafting, star gazing, bird watching, and any other activities you want to do.

A one-way trip would necessitate the booking of a return flight. United, Delta, American, and Frontier all fly into Jackson Hole Airport (JAC), just a few minutes from Grand Teton National Park. You’ll be just 120 miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport if you finish your journey at North Cascades National Park.

Another suggestion? To save money on entry fees, purchase a national park card. The National Park Service sells an annual pass for $80 that is valid for a year and can be used at any National Park. Current US military members are eligible for a free yearly pass, while seniors 62 and older will pay $20 for an annual pass or $80 for a lifetime pass.

You see, the USA is a prominent place. Yosemite, Sequoia, and General Grant national parks were established in the United States in 1890. 

There are presently 63 national parks in America, 51 in the lower 48 states, 8 in Alaska, 2 in Hawaii, and 2 in American Samoa. 

Why is a national park road trip a better option than others? 

On a national park road trip, you’ll hopefully find yourself less inclined to reach for your phone or check your emails every five minutes. Instead, you will be taking the time to focus on your surroundings and breathe. 

Ten significant reasons to love national parks road trip are as follows:

  • Affordability
  • Convenient
  • Versatility
  • Discovery of natural wonders
  • View and visibility
  • Discover new hobby 
  • Nature and health
  • Learning opportunities 
  • Sunrise, sunset, and natural light
  • Conservation  

What are the best national parks in the US for a road trip?

Here’s a summary of the US national parks you would love to visit:

Grand Teton National Park

The Grand Teton National Park is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery and abundant wildlife.

From mid-May to late September, the best time to visit Grand Teton National Park is when all visitor centers, hiking trails, and other park activities, such as kayaking and fishing, are free and available.

Winter arrives in the park in October, closing down most of the park’s services and highways.

Are you looking for the best Grand Teton National Park day hikes? There is a lot to choose from, but none of them will let you down! Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, String Lake, Leigh Lake, and Swan and Heron Pond are the most common short hikes.

Kenai Fjords National Park

The dramatic glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park are the park’s most prominent feature. About 40 of them cascade down from the Harding Icefield, many of them meeting the Pacific Ocean in a breathtaking show of beauty.

The wildlife in this area of Alaska is also well-known. The abundance of seals, bears, whales, birds and other animal species is part of what makes Kenai Fjords National Park so unique.

Hiking, boat cruises, kayaking, fishing, scenic flights, and more are just a few of the fantastic things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park and along the Kenai Peninsula.

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

The Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina is home to some of the East Coast’s tallest mountains, as well as grassy balds (treeless summits covered only by native grasses and shrubs), which provide hikers with uninterrupted views and an “alpine” feel that is uncommon in climates like this.

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

The Hyatt Place Asheville Downtown ($198 or 12,00 World of Hyatt points per night) and The Omni Grove Park Inn (from $239) are located in the nearby mountain town Asheville. Visit the 12 Bones Smokehouse in town for some traditional North Carolina barbecue.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Wrangell-St. Elias is a massive national park that stretches from the sea to 18,008 feet in elevation. The park is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined at 13.2 million acres.

Wilderness backpacking, lake fishing, car camping, river running, cross-country skiing, and mountain climbing are all popular regions. The Wrangell’s Dall sheep populations are the world’s finest in terms of size and numbers.

Denali National Park, Alaska

This National Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Alaska. Denali, the most beautiful mountain in the park, stands tall in the middle, surrounded by six million acres of wilderness.

The Denali Park Road (or simply “the park road”), which is 92 miles long and runs east to west, is Denali’s only road and only road entry.

It’s a scenic dirt road with a lot of gravel. It begins in a low, forested area, but it rises and falls through mountain passes (and along some precipitous mountainsides) as it travels west.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone’s loop roads take visitors past steaming terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs, the exploding Old Faithful geyser, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone’s waterfall.

Grand Teton National Park is 31 miles south of Yellowstone’s southern exit on the John D. Rockefeller Parkway. Take a break along Teton Park Road to admire the saw-toothed Tetons, then carry on to Jackson Lake Lodge to see the Tetons reflected in the glassy surface of the nearby lake.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve before leaving the park. Eight miles of easy to moderate trails pass through wildlife-rich forests, with the possibility of seeing a moose for those who are lucky.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful locations on the planet! Wildflower meadows, old-growth woodland, stunning waterfalls and rivers, and breathtaking mountain views. Mount Rainier is truly a nature lover’s Paradise.

Depending on the entrance you use, Mount Rainier National Park is located 2-3 hours southeast of downtown Seattle. Many tourists come from neighboring Oregon, as Paradise is just about a three-hour drive from Portland.

A great option for a road trip: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park attracts visitors from all over the world, including climbers, travelers, and enthusiasts.

Tunnel View is without a doubt Yosemite National Park’s most famous sight. Yosemite is seen in all of its glory as you drive through the valley and exit the Wawona Tunnel. You’ll undoubtedly want to find a parking space and get out of your vehicle to take in the beauty.

The National Park Service has been protecting and restoring biodiversity in the parks for over a century. They work to preserve and recover over 1,000 endangered species populations.

You can feel good as a parent, knowing that your child will learn about these conservation efforts and why they’re essential. 

So, that’s a wrap!

National park trips are a huge source of adventure, entertainment, and learning. Similarly, nature has a significant impact on our health. 

Staying away from technology in a peaceful environment boosts your immune system and relieves your stress. As a result, it would rather be best if you took a road trip through a national park.

For more information in how to prepare your road trip to Northern California check here. To Plan your visit to Yosemite check here for more information.

If you want to learn more about national park road trips, please visit this link. Moreover, you can also check out this blog.  

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