Student groups, families, and solo travelers alike can all highly benefit from an extended journey through America's national parks, these excursions bringing you closer to nature and closer to America itself.
Utilizing local campsites and carpooling/motor coach riding saves you tons of money in the travel world, not causing you to break the bank to see our country's natural wonders.
These 5 National Park Road Trip options are must-takes this year, the routes convenient, fun, and budget-friendly, not to mention absolutely stunning. Pack up your car, grab your group, and let's hit the road!
Northern California and Oregon - West Coast Wonders
See all the best nature has to offer from San Francisco to Klamath Falls. This is an 18-hour road trip one way, so we suggest stopping for camp 2-3 nights to fully enjoy your time.
Point Reyes National Seashore - Protected coastline leads to pine forests surrounded by the majestic peaks of Mount Wittenberg.
Redwood Regional Park - Old-growth forests, scenic beaches, and diverse grasslands make up this famous Cali Coastal spot.
Muir Woods National Park - One of the most astounding collections of trees in the area, even namesake John Muir can't argue with that.
Lassen Volcanic National Park - Hydrothermal features and 'mud pots' dot this unique landscape. Lava rock is scattered around the peak of Lassen Volcano as well.
Lava Beds National Monument - The northeastern portion of Medicine Lake Volcano, the largest total area covered by a volcano in the Cascade Range.
Crater Lake National Park - The famous Crater Lake will astound you with its vibrant blues and unobstructed waterside views.
Zion to Redcliffs - The Grand Circle
This is by far one of the biggest 'must-sees' of the year, this circle tour of Utah and Arizona's finest national parks allowing you to see all the canyons, spires, and arches you can muster! Right at 17 hours, this is another suggested 2-3 night trip.
Zion National Park - See Kolob, the world's largest natural arch at a span of 310 feet.
Bryce Canyon National Park - See plenty of 'hoodoos', which are tall, thin spires of rock.
Capitol Reef National Park - The famous Waterpocket Fold earth bump will greet you here.
Arches National Park - All the natural arches and scenic views you can handle, from Delicate Arch to the 18-mile Scenic Drive.
Canyonlands National Park - Spires, buttes, arches, rivers, and canyons...what more could you ask for?
Grand Canyon National Park - The big kahuna itself, the spectacular Grand Canyon.
Red Cliffs National Conservation Area - History, beauty, and paleontology on the edge of the Mojave Desert.
The Smokies and East Coast - Appalachian Bliss
Some of the absolute best scenic mountain views await you with this excellent road trip option, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the foothills of the Blue Ridge range. This trip sits right around 20.5 hours, so to get the most of the views in each spot we suggest a 3-night camping plan, maybe even 4.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Ancient mountains and diverse wildlife inhabit this grand park, the entire experience reminiscent of southern Appalachian Mountain culture.
Shenandoah National Park - Enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you camp near the Shenandoah River deep in the valley.
Blue Ridge Parkway - "America's Favorite Drive' is one of the most visited parkways in the country, a long range shot of the Appalachian vistas.
Assateague Island National Seashore - This barrier island holds plenty of sea, sand, and salt, not to mention the added bonus of wild horses roaming the land.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Over 70 miles of protected land on North Carolina's Outer Bank.
Yellowstone and Rockies - America the Beautiful
This may be one of the most essentially American road trips you can take, with everything from amber waves of grain to purple mountain majesties. Seriously, this is a gorgeous trip you won't want to miss out on. At 21 hours total one way we highly suggest a 3-4 night camping plan.
Yellowstone National Park - Perhaps the most popular national park in the U.S, Yellowstone holds over 10,000 hot springs and geysers, a particularly well-known one being Old Faithful.
Grand Teton National Park - Mountain peaks reaching 14,000 feet in elevation and diverse local wildlife like elk and moose will greet you at the Tetons.
Badlands - Popular red rock formations abound, this park is one of the most uniquely beautiful in the area.
Custer State Park - South Dakota's first and largest piece of protected land, with a bounty of diverse wildlife and spectacular Black Hills views.
Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes) - All the mountainside bliss you could possibly desire.
Cave of the Winds - One of the world's longest and most complex cave systems surrounded by gorgeous prairies and pine forests.
Yosemite to Joshua Tree - Southern Cali Delight
There is no getting around it: when it comes to beautiful giants in the national park world you have to spend some quality time in Southern California. Immense mountains, trees, and canyons await. This almost 16-hour road trip calls for only 2-3 nights of camping depending on how long you'd like to stay in each park.
Death Valley National Park - Colorful rocks and impressive salt flats meet pine trees and canyons, this highly variant spot also holding North America's lowest elevational point.
Yosemite National Park - All the finest the Sierra Nevada area has to offer, from the highest mountains to the lowest valleys.
Sequoia National Park - Canyons, mountains, and the world's absolute largest living things: Sequoias.
King's Canyon National Park - With an elevational range of 1,500 feet to 14,500 feet, this is a spot where you can see some of the most diverse wildlife and habitats.
Joshua Tree National Park - Rugged rock dotted desert landscape holds cacti within the Mojave and Colorado deserts and of course, the namesake bristled Joshua Trees.