9 National Parks, 7 States & 14 Days

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.

Toyota Tacoma Adventure Mobile

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):Lavender & Fir road trip map

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.

salt lake city kitty

After checking with the front desk to confirm that she was a stray, we posted this craigslist ad for her:kitty

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.

arches national park
Arches National Parkarches national parkpetroglyphs double arch - arches national parkarches national parkarches national park

Late summer is monsoon season in the southwest, so we had nightly thunder & lightning storms.

arches national park

After two days in Arches we headed for Canyonlands National Park, about 30 minutes away.

Canyonlands national parkCanyonlands National Park

We took Shafer Trail down into the canyon.

Shafer Trail - Canyonlands National ParkCanyonlands National Park

Once in the canyon, we took the Potash Trail into Moab, where we found some awesome thrift stores.

Moab Thrift Shopping

Jordan found these new leather moccasins, a southwest rug and a vintage Yellowstone book!

Canyon Lands

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.

Capitol Reef National ParkFruit School - Capitol Reef National ParkCapitol Reef LizardCapitol Reef FruitCapitol Reef Peaches
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef Trail

 

After two nights in Capitol Reef, we headed to Bryce Canyon.

 

 

AA Bryce Canyon1 - aAA Bryce Canyon2 - aAA Bryce Canyon - aBryce Canyon WildlifeBryce Canyon Pinecones

Mantis

After two nights in Bryce Canyon, we hit the road for Zion.
goat
AA - Zion - a
AA - Zion1 - aAA - Zion2 - a

After Zion, we headed for The Grand Canyon.

We came across some beautiful ancient Indian ruins in Cliff Dwellers, AZ.

Cliff Dwellers Arizona
Cliff Dwellers Arizona

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon 4

Grand Canyon 6

After the Grand Canyon, we drove through Las Vegas on our way to Great Basin, passing by Area 51 at sunset.

Area 51

Great Basin

Great Basin Wild Turkeys

After a few hours in Great Basin, we left for Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.

Old Farmstead

To get there, we traveled America’s Loneliest Highway.

America's Loneliest Highway - Wilson Turner Grave

Occasionally we would pass a grave site just off the road. This one was for Wilson Turner, 3 years old. Died 1864.

Wilson Turner - America's Loneliest Highway

Nevada Roadtrip

On our way home, we passed this Shoe tree in California.

Shoe Tree - 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.

Utah Adventure - Honeyloupe Melons

“Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama

3 Comments on 9 National Parks, 7 States & 14 Days

  1. Adam
    May 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm (4 years ago)

    Super cool pics guys!

    Reply
    • kaijorblaylock
      May 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Adam! Glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply
  2. Jay
    January 31, 2015 at 9:27 am (3 years ago)

    This post is quite old.

    Reply

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