In 2017 i traveled to every solitary US national park v my husband. Throughout the planning step we very quickly realized over there wasn’t lot online to help us plan our itinerary. Of food there to be blog posts listing every the national parks and plenty of world saying exactly how they would certainly hypothetically road trip to all of them… yet we couldn’t find any kind of maps or itineraries native someone that had firsthand taken a unified States nationwide park road pilgrimage to ALL of them in one continuous trip.

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Keep analysis to discover out how we come up through our itinerary, even if it is or no the trip was a success, and also if in retrospect we would certainly make any kind of changes. I will additionally do my ideal to share every the insiders secrets on just how you deserve to seeevery US nationwide parkin one life-changing road trip!

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There are right now 63 national parks in America, 51 in the reduced 48 states, 8 in Alaska, 2 in Hawaii, and also 2 in American territories (US Virgin Islands, American Samoa). In this blog post, I will certainly share an itinerary come visit EVERY national park, not just those in the 48 contiguous states.

Note: In 2017 there to be 59 national parks and 4 an ext have been added since our road trip. Therefore I have gone ahead and included them in this US national parks road pilgrimage itinerary in the order we would have actually visited them. *besides brand-new River Gorge national Park in West Virginia.

I put together a checklist of all the nationwide parks, so you have the right to mark each off as you visit them! In addition, it’s cost-free to download via mine travel source library! Click the image below.


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Outside of grand Teton national Park, Wyoming

I commonly get request what the ultimate national park road pilgrimage would be. Ns don’t have actually all the answers, but I do understand a lot about our own itinerary to view all the nationwide parks and looking back I think that was nearly perfect!


So just how did us decide on ours optimal US national parks roadway trip? let me tell you, it was A the majority of work come logistically map out such comprehensive trip. Us spent many hours (who am ns kidding… we spent DAYS) researching, plotting directions into Google Maps, and also making spreadsheets. Our goal to be to view every US national park with minimal backtracking and also to come in each parkduring perfect season.

Our cross country national park road trip started top top April 1st and perfect on October 31st, extending 7 month total. That had traveling to every the national parks in the contiguous unified States, to add the various other 12.

We finished up driving over 25,000 miles, acquisition 26 flights, and visiting 39 states + 2 us territories. Us skipped out on winter problems in most parks and also visited numerous of the tropic parks before peak summer temperature hit. Ns think we time it perfectly to visit countless of the most beautiful parks throughout the height of long season.


READ: How To setup the Perfect nationwide Parks Visit
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Driving into the Yosemite Valley, California
Would we carry out it differently?

Overall us were happy through the itinerary we developed to see the US nationwide parks on one roadway trip. Us wouldn’t make any significant changes yet these space some points we may have actually adjusted in hindsight:

If it had of been an choice to start previously in the year then we may have chosen to visit the Florida parks and USVI during winter.Rocky mountain National Park is finest experienced during summer, so we may have opted to encompass that before or after grand Teton national Park if we had actually the time for extra driving.

I perform want to point out that it looks prefer we went much out the the method to visit Great container National Park. Fine that’s due to the fact that we walk 😂, it really is in the middle of nowhere! We could have technically visited in between our Zion and also Bryce Canyon stop (adding about 5 hrs of driving), however visiting during April wasn’t an option for us. We knew the park deserve to get an extremely snowy in winter and spring and some sections are closed come visitors. Rather we went to in early on October and the fall problems were beautiful!

Keep in mind that the best national park road pilgrimage route for your family members may look various to ours. You can technically hop ~ above the path at whatever point to be closest to your own… you’ll view what I average when you view the map below!


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Here is ours exact itinerary to check out all the US national parks, plus the consists of the 3 newly added parks.If you’re city hall on desktop and want to check out this US national parks map in an ext detail climate click below for a full page version.

This interactive map of our nationwide parks road expedition shows the bespeak we checked out each park, our “as the crow flies” route, add to links to in-depth guides because that each national park. Ns will also link to this guides more down the blog post.

*best regarded on desktop


You have the right to zoom in and see the route closer or if you’re on desktop computer I recommend clicking below for a full page version.


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Exploring Capitol Reef nationwide Park, Utah

I briefly mentioned earlier that our national parks expedition took us 7 month (April – November). In speak that, i don’t desire you come think the this is the only time framework to view all the US national parks. In fact, acquisition 10-12 months would be even much better if you had actually the time and finances.

You additionally need to consider that us didn’t visit White Sands, Gateway Arch, brand-new River Gorge, and Indiana Dunes during that 7 month pilgrimage (because they weren’t designated nationwide parks at the time).I would also say these 3 parks would certainly have included on around 1.5 weeks to our nationwide parks road trip itinerary.


We never felt overly rushed during our 7 month nationwide park road trip, yet we go have many long steering days. Because that instance, ours itinerary frequently included 1-2 work in the smaller parks. 3-4 days in the larger and much more popular parks, and additionally a main or much more in several of the super far Alaskan parks.

For example, we spent 1 day experimenting Carlsbad Caverns, 2 days experimenting Joshua Tree, 3 days experimenting Grand Canyon, 4 days exploring an excellent Smoky Mountain, 5days trying out Yosemite, and also 9 days experimenting Gates of the Arctic. Parks that we planned to broadly hike or backpack in were allotted much more days contrasted to parks the are well-known for your drive-up lookouts and easy to access views.

Planning a nationwide parks road expedition itinerary will additionally be different because that everyone. Us met some travelers who were ~ above a mission come visit every nationwide park but were dispersing the journey the end over lot of years. Us have also heard of human being doing the same format trip yet in just a couple of months.

You have the right to make your national park road trip as carefree or as adventurous as you like. Us personally opted because that somewhere in the middle – slow enough to obtain a great feel of the parks. Yet fast enough to complete our trip prior to winter started. Whether you plan to hike or backpack in the national parks will certainly also help decide what length and also style of pilgrimage you plan.


READ: 15 least Crowded US national Parks
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Cruising with Joshua Tree nationwide Park, California
What space the ideal national parks?

Did you know I have a blog article that functions every national park ranked from finest to worst? mine husband and also I offered a rating system that factored in beauty, trails, accessibility, transport, crowds, facilities, and overall how photogenic castle were.

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Here’s a summary of the parks we uncovered to it is in the best and also worst!


These were the 10 ideal US nationwide parks based on our ranking system:

Wrangell-St. Elias national Park, Alaska Denali national Park, AlaskaGlacier Bay nationwide Park, AlaskaGlacier nationwide Park, Montana

These were the 10 worst US nationwide parks based upon our ranking system. However keep in mind that all the parks are amazing and also I am not saying this aren’t precious visiting. They simply don’t have actually the exact same “wow” factor. Additionally keep in mind the the 4 new national parks were not considered when making this perform (Gateway Arch, new River Gorge, White Sands, Indiana Dunes):

Congaree national Park, southern CarolinaBiscayne nationwide Park, FloridaPinnacles national Park, CaliforniaChannel Islands national Park, CaliforniaKobuk Valley nationwide Park, AlaskaCuyahoga Valley nationwide Park, OhioWind cavern National Park, southern DakotaVoyageurs national Park, MinnesotaDry Tortugas national Park, FloridaGuadalupe mountains National Park, TexasBlack Canyon the the Gunnison national Park, Colorado
READ: 15 many Underrated US national Parks
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Side pilgrimage to the Alabama Hills of California
Planning your nationwide parks trip

I have whole blog post about how to best plan your national park visits. The goes into detail on as soon as to begin planning, how to write out an itinerary, how to produce your very own map, what come pack, just how to purchase a national park pass, and also more! Check it the end here.