Each year we take a summer road trip. Our destination is usually one U.S. national park we haven’t been to yet. This year we decided to visit 9 national parks across 7 states in 14 days. Here is our journey.
Our adventure mobile, a 2011 Toyota Tacoma.
Retro-fitted with a removable bed in the back and full length storage drawers for all of our camping/fishing supplies.
Our route is high-lighted in yellow (Pink routes are past trips):
Starting from Olympia, WA, we went east once we got to Vancouver and headed to Boise, then on to Salt Lake City.
We found this adorable stray kitty hanging around our hotel in SLC.
After checking with the front desk to confirm that she was a stray, we posted this craigslist ad for her:
But unfortunately got no takers. She still needs a home!
After a night in SLC, we headed for our first real destination, Arches National Park.
Late summer is monsoon season in the southwest, so we had nightly thunder & lightning storms.
After two days in Arches we headed for Canyonlands National Park, about 30 minutes away.
We took Shafer Trail down into the canyon.
Once in the canyon, we took the Potash Trail into Moab, where we found some awesome thrift stores.
Jordan found these new leather moccasins, a southwest rug and a vintage Yellowstone book!
After two nights in Canyonlands we made the three hour drive to Capitol Reef National Park, an old Mormon settlement with fruit orchards, old farmsteads and towering red rock on either side.
After two nights in Capitol Reef, we headed to Bryce Canyon.
After two nights in Bryce Canyon, we hit the road for Zion.
After Zion, we headed for The Grand Canyon.
We came across some beautiful ancient Indian ruins in Cliff Dwellers, AZ.
After the Grand Canyon, we drove through Las Vegas on our way to Great Basin, passing by Area 51 at sunset.
After a few hours in Great Basin, we left for Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.
To get there, we traveled America’s Loneliest Highway.
Occasionally we would pass a grave site just off the road. This one was for Wilson Turner, 3 years old. Died 1864.
On our way home, we passed this Shoe tree in California.
Our trip lasted 14 days and 4,367 miles. We ate juicy melons in Utah, picked peaches in Capitol Reef, tasted prickly pears in Arizona, and experienced miles of adventure – both on the road and on hiking trails. The memories of this trip will definitely last us forever. I already miss the melons.
“Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama