A photographic tour across America to inspire your very own Great American Road Trip!
I recently read an article by a doctor who had plotted the most optimal route for a road trip to visit all of the USA’s lower 48 National Parks. I thought it was an intriguing proposition. I’ve done quite a few road trips around the US trying to visit them all, but I’ve only managed to see half.
The route creator claims you could do this US road trip in 2 months if you put your foot down, but I’m not sure you would enjoy them at that speed. However, as a visitor to the USA on the visa waiver programme you are entitled to 90 days, so I think this route could be an awesome adventure if you’re up for a 3 month trip across America!
The perfect US road trip
There are many adventures to be had in the US, so even though it might not fall into my category of off the beaten path destinations, it still deserves a place on this blog. In the National Parks there are a ton of hikes to enjoy and plenty of amazing photography locations to revel in. So, in this post I’m reminiscing with a photo journey around some of the USA’s best National Parks.
If we were being nostalgic it would be great to start this trip at Yellowstone, as this was the first National Park to be created in the USA, the world even. It’s also the home of Yogi Bear 🙂 However, given the geographical location, it wouldn’t be the most practical place to start a trip as a visitor. Since LAX is a big airport with flights to most places, I’d suggest LA is the most logical place to start a USA road trip itinerary.
For reference, here is a list of all 47 National Parks that you could potentially visit on this American road trip, in the order provided by the route planner. The ones I’ve visited are highlighted in blue. Note that these are National Parks only so doesn’t include State Parks, National Monuments or Tribal Lands. To visit the full article, complete with interactive maps, click here.
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
- Saguaro National Park, Arizona
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
- Big Bend National Park, Texas
- Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
- Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
- Everglades National Park, Florida
- Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
- Biscayne National Park, Florida
- Congaree National Park, South Carolina
- Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
- Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
- Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota
- Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
- Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
- Canyonlands National Park, Utah
- Arches National Park, Utah
- Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Zion National Park, Utah
- Great Basin National Park, Nevada
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- North Cascades National Park, Washington
- Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
- Olympic National Park, Washington
- Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
- Redwood National and State Parks, California
- Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
- Yosemite National Park, California
- Kings Canyon National Park, California
- Sequoia National Park, California
- Pinnacles National Park, California
- Channel Islands National Park, California
- Joshua Tree National Park, California
- Death Valley National Park, California
The Great American Road Trip – A tour of US National Parks
I hope you enjoyed this photo journey across America’s National Parks. Which parks would you most like to visit? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Looking for more inspiration? Read about the time I drove from Alaska to Panama in an old American School Bus!
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