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Favorite American Road Trips to National Parks

Updated: Jun 24

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  • Best of Colorado Road Trip Featuring 6 National Park Sites: Drive past spectacular 14,000-footpeaks, soothing hot springs and fantastic historical towns like this Colorado loop. Start In Denver to Boulder and nearby Eldorado Canyon State Park, next to Rocky Mountain National Park, then Grand Lake before heading west to Glenwood Springs, to the red-rock landscapes of the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction, and onto the alpine scenery through Delta, Montrose and Ouray.

  • San Francisco to Yosemite Road Trip: Start in San Francisco and onto the open road to the Tri-Valley area and vineyards, then east to Tuolumne County where lakeside resorts and historic Gold Rush towns, onto Yosemite, after take the Arch Rock Entrance to Mariposa and onto Modesto.

  • Denver, Colorado to the Grand Canyon Road Trip: This trip takes you to the base of 14,000-foot peaks, the heart of red-rock canyons, the front door of ancient ruins, the rim of the Grand Canyon and the rejuvenating waters of Colorado’s hot springs. From Denver, head west to Glenwood Springs, and farther west and south explore ancient ruins and artifacts in the Mesa Verde National Park area. Cross into Arizona, stopping at Flagstaff, then the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. On your way back, visit Farmington, N.M., before heading to Durango, or the scenic towns of Silverton. Take a dip in Pagosa’s hot springs and explore Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

  • Utah Parks and Grand Canyon Loop Road Trip: Seek outdoor adventures, six national parks and ancient ruins. Start in Salt Lake City, framed by the Great Salt Lake and Wasatch mountains, then head south to Moab, home to Canyonlands and Arches national parks. From there stop in the Four Corners area towns of Blanding, Bluff and Monticello, then toward Grand Canyon National Park where you can choose to visit the popular South Rim and/or the less-visited North Rim. Stop into Page, Arizona by exploring Lake Powell activities or historic town of Kanab. It’s an easy drive to nearby Bryce, Zion and Capitol Reef spectacular national parks

  • Olympic Peninsula Loop Road Trip: Circle the national park on this tour of the Olympic Peninsula. After taking the ferry, visit Washington’s northern port towns, then make a side trip across the water to Canada’s Victoria. Head back to the U.S. and into Olympic National Park to visit a triple waterfall, Cape Flattery (the northwest-most point in the United States) and the famous beaches of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Chicago to Nashville and Great Smoky Mountains Road Trip: Enjoy this 670-mile road trip that begins in Chicago and leads you to the nation’s most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stop In Louisville, Kentucky. long known for its legendary Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, then heads to Nashville, the country western capital, and a stop in Knoxville, Tennessee, puts you just a short distance from a cabin retreat on the quiet edge of the most popular national park.

  • Chicago to Dakota’s Black Hills to Yellowstone Road Trip: This 2,800-plus mile route starts In the great city of Chicago, then head west to the iconic Wall Drug in South Dakota and Badlands National Park. Beyond lies Mount Rushmore in Keystone, S.D., hot springs in well, Hot Springs, S.D., and wildlife viewing at nearby Custer State Park. Then head to the Crazy Horse Memorial, the largest monument carving in the world, and onto Deadwood to see Wild West reenactments. In Wyoming, Gillette makes a great base to explore Devils Tower National Monument, and sfter exploring Yellowstone National Park, head to Billings, Montana and Medora, N.D., en route to Chicago.

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