My girlfriend and I enjoy being in the car and also camping so we decided to spend a lot of time in the car and see some pretty incredible places. We drove 3,645 miles and saw eight national parks over nine days. No, we did not do any of these parks justice, but we brought our dog (George) so our ability to move around the park was limited to roads (per national park rules).
Things to bring:
- a car
- camping gear
- cooking gear (sticks are fine if you don’t mind eating hot dogs and marshmallows for days)
- some clothes
- some extra clothes in case you fall in a lake
- a map
- someone who knows how to read a map (feel free to pick me up)
Things you don’t need but are fun:
- a camera
- a slackline
- a dog
Things we left on our stairs in LA:
- all the toiletries
- all the dog’s belongings
Day 1 : Los Angeles, California -> Wells, Nevada
After about 13 hours we arrived at a small campground near Wells and it was beautiful. Apparently there was a big storm and I was rained on but I slept through it.
Day 2 : Wells, Nevada -> Ketchum, Idaho (where I spent many summers and winters as a kid)
We rented a yurt at Galena Lodge outside of town.
Day 3 : Ketchum, Idaho -> Glacier National Park (Montana)
We hit the road early to trek up to Glacier National Park — the drive was pretty incredible.
We got there just in time to set up our tent before night.
Day 4 : Glacier National Park (the only day we didn’t drive to a different campsite)
We woke up early to explore the park.
Day 5 : Glacier National Park (Montana) -> Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
We headed south to Yellowstone on a beautiful drive through fields.
Day 6 : Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) -> Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
In the morning we continued exploring Yellowstone.
And then headed down the road to Grand Teton.
We took a break from exploring…
…and watched the sunset on the lake.
Day 7 : Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming) -> Moab, Utah
Our plan was to drive the 6.5 hours to Provo, Utah and then push down to the Bryce Canyon area in the morning but we arrived by 2pm and it was 100 degrees and the campground was scary so we made a call to instead drive out of the way to Moab to see a few more parks because why not.
We got there just in time to see Arches National Park at sunset.
Day 8 : Moab, Utah -> Cannonville, Utah
We woke up at sunrise and headed to Canyonlands National Park, which was absolutely incredible.
And then hit the road.
We went to Capitol Reef National Park (which I didn’t know existed) and it was unbelievable and I highly recommend it.
The route from Capitol Reef to Cannonville takes you on one of the most scenic drives I’ve ever experienced.
And ended the day at Bryce Canyon.
Then we headed to our campsite at the Kodachrome Basin State Park, which, yes, I did pick because it’s named after a type of film, but it also turned out to be the best campground I’ve ever stayed in.
Day 9 : Cannonville, Utah -> Los Angeles, California
We drove through Zion on our way out. Unfortunately, we could only see a little of it this trip because most of it requires riding the shuttle (and hiking) during peak season.
We found a small park outside of the National Park for George to run around before heading home…
…and with that, we were LA bound.