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Summer in the West

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Summer in the West is a very extensive itinerary, covering twelve states and countless natural, historical and cultural sights.

  • Reviews 7 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Auto Touring, Camping, Children, Commercial Tours, Culture, Desert, Dining, Family, Guided Tours, Hiking, History, Lodging, Nature & Wildlife Viewing, Photography, Picnicking, Ranger Programs, Stargazing, Swimming
  • Activity Level Challenging
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    2-4
All about the Summer in the West.

Dear adventure seeker.

Summer in the West is a very extensive itinerary, covering twelve states and countless natural, historical and cultural sights. It is intended for students who want to have their last, truly carefree summer before entering the workforce and for freshly retired people who want to reward themselves with an experience of a lifetime. Although it will take you three months to complete this journey, you will only scratch the surface of what western United States have to offer.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

This itinerary starts in San Francisco, CA and covers these states (in alphabetical order):

Major cities along the way are:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Boise, ID
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Portland, OR
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Tucson, AZ

National Parks along the way:

National Monuments along the way:

State Parks along the way:

Other sights:

  1. Day 1 First Day of Summer

    After arriving at the airport and getting through customs, pick up your rental and drive to your hotel/motel. Get some rest. You will need it. You could also make your first trip to the store and stock up on water, food and everything else you will need. This way you won’t waste time with shopping the next day.

    Locations:

    • San Francisco
  2. Day 2 Pacific Coast Highway

    260 miles (415 km) – 7 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: San Francisco, CA

    End: Paso Robles, CA

    Your adventure begins with a drive on the famous Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1). This breath-taking coastal road runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the state of California. You will drive a section between San Francisco and Cambria which includes its most beautiful part, Big Sur.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Big Sur
    • Pigeon Point Lighthouse State Historic Park
    • Wilder Ranch State Park
    • Carmel-by-the-Sea
    • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
    • Limekiln State Park
  3. Day 3 The Biggest Tree

    170 miles (270 km) – 5 hours of driving time

    Start: Paso Robles, CA

    End: Lodgepole Village, CA

    Day number three, national park number one. Try to leave Paso Robles by 8 am as you have a bit of a drive to do before you’ll reach your destination for the next two nights, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
  4. Day 4 Land of Giants

    35 miles (55 km) – 1 hour 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Lodgepole Village, CA

    End: Grant Grove Village, CA

    Start the day by heading (walk if you spent the night in the campground or drive if you spent it at the lodge) to the Lodgepole Campground where you’ll find the trailhead for Tokopah Falls Trail (3.8 mi (6.1 km) round-trip; 2 h 30 min). This quintessential Sierra canyon trail will provide you with an amazing contrast to the trails you hiked so far. This is an easy hike through quite open terrain along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River to the impressive granite cliffs and cascading, 1,200 feet (366 m) high Tokopah Falls of Tokopah Canyon. The trail is very popular and is the easiest way to get a glimpse of the park’s high country. Once you reach the base of the falls you can carefully climb up the cascade or simply return to the Lodgepole Village.

     

    More in the download package.

     

    Locations:

    • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

  5. Day 5 Granite Wonderland

    180 miles (290 km) – 5 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Grant Grove Village, CA

    End: Yosemite Valley, CA

    On day 5 you will continue to explore the Sierra Nevada Mountains, more precisely its most beautiful part, the Yosemite National Park. This magnificent park protects a huge and incredibly beautiful part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains including deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness and striking peaks.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Yosemite National Park
  6. Day 6 Valley of Waterfalls

    0 miles (0 km)

    Start: Yosemite Valley, CA

    End: Yosemite Valley, CA

    You will spend day 6 hiking in Yosemite Valley and won’t need your car at all. The free Yosemite Valley shuttle system will provide you with convenient access all around the valley. Start the day by taking the shuttle to stop #7 at Yosemite Falls Parking/Camp 4. Try to be there by 9 am.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Yosemite National Park
  7. Day 7 Tioga Pass

    85 miles (135 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Yosemite Valley, CA

    End: Lee Vining, CA

    You will spend day 7 in the High Sierra, but you will start the day in the valley with yet another waterfall hike. Bridalveil Fall Trail (0.5 mi (0.8 km) round-trip; 30 minutes) is an easy, paved trail leading to the base of the Bridalveil Fall which plunges 620 feet (189 m) and is often the first waterfall you see when entering the Yosemite Valley.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Yosemite National Park
  8. Day 8 Mountains vs. Deserts

    150 miles (240 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Lee Vining, CA

    End: Bishop, CA

    Your first destination of day 8 will be Bodie State Historic Park which opens at 9 am, so you won’t have to hurry in the morning.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Bodie State Historic Park
    • Mono Lake
    • Devil’s Postpile National Monument
  9. Day 9 Heat of Death Valley

    295 miles (475 km) – 8 hours of driving time

    Start: Bishop, CA

    End: Pahrump, NV

    Day 9 will be hot. Very hot. Your main destination for the day will be the otherworldly Death Valley National Park, but first, you’ll be making a stop at Manzanar National Historic Site.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Manzanar National Historic Site
    • Death Valley National Park
  10. Day 10 Sin City

    90 miles (145 km) – 2 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Pahrump, NV

    End: Las Vegas, NV

    Your first stop of day 10 will be at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Spring Mountain Ranch was the first working ranch in Las Vegas Valley. Here you will see a collection of ranch buildings from 19th and 20th century, with the beautiful backdrop of the Spring Mountains.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
    • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
    • Las Vegas
  11. Day 11 Fire & Water

    140 miles (225 km) – 4 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Las Vegas, NV

    End: Boulder City, NV

    Your first destination of day 11 will be the Valley of Fire State Park. Arguably the most beautiful part of Nevada, Valley of Fire is an incredibly striking area of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops, nestled in tan and grey limestone, eroded into striking formations. It contains ancient petrified sand dunes and trees, narrow canyons, sheer cliffs, strange rock formations and more than 2,000 years old petroglyphs.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Valley of Fire State Park
    • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
    • Hoover Dam
  12. Day 12 Mojave

    255 miles (405 km) – 6 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Boulder City, NV

    End: Twentynine Palms, CA

    On day 12 you will be exploring the vast, empty and incredible Mojave National Preserve. Although not a national park, it is the third largest site ran by the National Parks Service, encompassing more than 1.5 million acres (6,200 km2) of the Mojave Desert. It features singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, canyons, mountains, mesas and many historic sites.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Mojave National Preserve
  13. Day 13 Rocks & Cacti

    135 miles (215 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Twentynine Palms, CA

    End: Indio, CA

    Joshua Tree National Park is a place where two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Joshua Tree National Park
  14. Day 14 Quintessential Southern Cali

    160 miles (260 km) – 3 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Indio, CA

    End: Santa Monica, CA

    The Coachella Valley Preserve, your first stop of the day, is a home of several spectacular palm oases that are being fed by water seeping out of San Andreas Fault and is truly an unbelievable sight in the middle of the desert. Once you park, walk to the small visitor center and start hiking the McCallum Trail (2 mi (3.2 km) round-trip; 2 h). This easy trail will lead you from one of the largest groves of fan palms in California, Thousands Palms Oasis, through a sandy wash, to a second grove, the McCallum Grove, with a large pond which is fed by underground springs.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Coachella Valley Preserve
    • California Citrus State Historic Park
    • Santa Monica
  15. Day 15 City of Angels

    90 miles (145 km) – 5 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Santa Monica, CA

    End: Huntington Beach, CA

    Los Angeles is a big city but you can explore it quite well in a day. Start the day with a scenic drive on the Mulholland Drive between Cahuenga Pass and Sepulveda Pass. This famous drive, featured in numerous movies, songs and novels, offers plenty of pullouts with beautiful views of Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and eastern Santa Monica Mountains. David Lynch, director of the famous Mulholland Drive film, once said that “one can feel the history of Hollywood” on the drive. At the overlooks you’ll be able to enjoy the views of the Hollywood sign, Hollywood Bowl, Runyon Canyon, downtown Los Angeles, Burbank and so on.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Mulholland Drive
    • Getty Center
    • Sunset Boulevard
    • Hollywood
    • Amoeba Music
    • Griffith Observatory
  16. Day 16 Coastal Drive

    85 miles (140 km) – 3 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Huntington Beach, CA

    End: San Diego, CA

    You’ll be spending most of the day driving towards San Diego, crossing numerous laidback beach towns. Start the day with a picnic breakfast somewhere along the beach before heading south. Drive south on California Route 1 through Newport Beach and make your first major stop at an incredibly photogenic Crystal Cove State Park.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Crystal Cove State Park
    • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
    • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
  17. Day 17 “America’s Finest City”

    20 miles (30 km) – 1 hour of driving time

    Start: San Diego, CA

    End: San Diego, CA

    You will start your second (first full) day in San Diego with a quick visit to the Cabrillo National Monument. The park opens at 9 am, so you won’t have to get up very early, especially if you spent the night in close proximity of the park.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Cabrillo National Monument
    • USS Midway
    • Balboa Park
  18. Day 18 Anza-Borrego

    195 miles (310 km) – 5 hours of driving time

    Start: San Diego, CA

    End: Borrego Springs, CA

    On day 18 you will be exploring Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the biggest state park in California and second biggest in the contiguous US, behind only Adirondack State Park in New York. The park is located within Colorado Desert of southern California, between coastal mountains to the west and Salton Sea to the east and covers almost 600,000 acres (2,400 km2). It got its name from the 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and “borrego”, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  19. Day 19 A Bit of Everything

    375 miles (600 km) – 7 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Borrego Springs, CA

    End: Ajo, AZ

    You will have to start day 19 early, even though you had a late night stargazing the day before, since there’s a full day of driving, hiking and sightseeing ahead. Your first stop of the day will also be the longest. You’ll be hiking, what is probably the best trail in southern California, the Ladder Canyon Loop Trail (5 mi (8 km); 3 h). This jaw-dropping hike will take you on a loop into the heart of Messa Hills through Ladder Canyon and Big Painted Canyon. On this moderately difficult loop, you’ll come across a bit of everything: slot canyons, wide canyons, badlands, ladders, incredible views and general desert landscape.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Messa Hills Wilderness
    • Salton Sea
    • Salvation Mountain
    • East Jesus
    • High Line Hot Well
    • Imperial Sand Dunes
  20. Day 20 Organ Pipe Cactus

    235 miles (375 km) – 6 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Ajo, AZ

    End: Tubac, AZ

    You will spend day 20 exploring the beautiful Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. This 517 square mile (1,338 square kilometer) park was set aside in 1937 to preserve a pristine example of Sonoran Desert Habitat. The Monument preserves the northern-most natural habitat of the Organ Pipe Cactus, as well as amazing examples of desert plants, animals, geology, and human history.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  21. Day 21 From Deserts to Mountains

    200 miles (320 km) – 6 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Tubac, AZ

    End: Tucson, AZ

    Start day 21 with a short drive to Tumacácori National Historic Park. Tumacácori sits at a cultural crossroads in the Santa Cruz River valley. Here O’odham, Yaqui, and Apache people met and mingled with European Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, settlers, and soldiers, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in cooperation.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Tumacácori National Historic Park
    • Kartchner Caverns State Park
    • Mount Lemmon
    • Tucson
  22. Day 22 Cacti & Planes

    50 miles (80 km) – 3 hours of driving time

    Start: Tucson, AZ

    End: Tucson, AZ

    Tucson is home to the nation’s largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Saguaro National Park
    • Pima Air & Space Museum
    • The Boneyard
    • Tucson
  23. Day 23 Sonoran Desert

    45 miles (70 km) – 2 hours of driving time

    Start: Tucson, AZ

    End: Tucson, AZ

    Your second day in Tucson will be all about the desert. You will start the day with a visit to the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park to the west of the city, which offers denser cacti, compared to the eastern district, but is also more crowded. This district opens daily at sunrise (around 5:30 am in July), so you should start the day early in order to get some hiking done before the worst summer heat.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Saguaro National Park
    • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    • Tucson
  24. Day 24 Picacho

    170 miles (280 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Tucson, AZ

    End: Phoenix, AZ

    Your first stop of day 24 will be at Picacho Peak State Park. Picacho Peak (Picacho means “Big Peak” in Spanish) is a 3,374-foot (1,028 m) peak standing in the middle of flat, undeveloped land of Sonoran Desert between Tucson and Casa Grande. Though appearing to be the remnant of a volcanic neck, it is now believed to be a tilted and eroded piece of rock overlain by a lava flow.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Picacho Peak State Park
    • Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
    • Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
    • Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
    • Papago park
    • Phoenix
  25. Day 25 Valley of the Sun

    80 miles (130 km) – 2 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Phoenix, AZ

    End: Apache Junction, AZ

    Start day 25 with an extremely beautiful but also very strenuous hike up the Camelback Mountain. Rising more than 1,300 feet (395 m) above the city (at an altitude of 2,706 feet (825 m)), Camelback’s summit offers spectacular views of Phoenix and Scottsdale and can be reached by incredibly steep Echo Canyon Trail (2.4-mile (3.9 km) round-trip; 3 h 30 min).

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Camelback Mountain
    • Musical Instrument Museum
    • Phoenix
  26. Day 26 Indians

    205 miles (330 km) – 7 hours of driving time

    Start: Apache Junction, AZ

    End: Sedona, AZ

    Day 26 will be all about the Native American history of Arizona, enhanced by the incredible natural beauty of the state. You will start the day with an incredible drive on the Apache Trail Historic Road. This historic road covers some of the most rugged terrain in Arizona. The land surrounding the road rises steeply to the north to form the Four Peaks Wilderness Area and to the south to form the Superstition Wilderness Area. Steep-sided canyons, rock outcroppings and magnificent geologic formations are found all along the road. Water played a major role in creating the beauty of the area, and it also provides numerous opportunities for recreation. Fish Creek Canyon is perhaps the most awe-inspiring section. The road hangs on the side of this high-walled canyon and winds its way along tremendous precipices that sink sheer for hundreds of feet below.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Tortilla Flat
    • Theodore Roosevelt Dam
    • Tonto National Monument
    • Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
    • Montezuma Castle National Monument
    • Sedona
  27. Day 27 Sedona's Red Rocks

    80 miles (130 km) – 2 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Sedona, AZ

    End: Williams, AZ

    Since you’re in Sedona, it would be a real shame if you slept in and missed the sunrise. Get up early (sunrise at around 5:20 am in July) and head over to Airport Mesa, which offers unbelievable sunrise (and sunset) views of Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock and Courthouse Butte.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Sedona
    • Slide Rock State Park
    • Oak Creek Canyon
    • Williams
  28. Day 28 The Grand Canyon

    110 miles (175 km) – 3 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Williams, AZ

    End: Grand Canyon Village, AZ

    On day 28 you’ll start exploring one of the natural wonders of the world, the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Located entirely in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles (446 km) of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon, which is up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, and a mile (1.6 km) deep, is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site and it overwhelms our senses through its immense size.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park
  29. Day 29 Into the Canyon

    0 miles (0 km)

    Start: Grand Canyon Village, AZ

    End: Grand Canyon Village, AZ

    On day 29 you will be hiking into Grand Canyon on the classic Bright Angel Trail. The trailhead is located just west of Bright Angel Lodge and offers day hikes that range in distance up to 12 miles (19.5 km) round-trip and end at Plateau Point. This is a well maintained trail with regular drinking water and covered rest-houses and is without a question the safest trail in Grand Canyon National Park. There are also two ranger stations located along the trail, one at the trail’s halfway point at Indian Garden and the other at the bottom of the canyon at Bright Angel campground (you will not hike to the bottom).

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park
  30. Day 30 Craters

    235 miles (375 km) – 5 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Grand Canyon Village, AZ

    End: Holbrook, AZ

    Since this is the day you will depart Grand Canyon, you should get up early and catch the sunrise. The best way to experience sunrise at the South Rim is almost anywhere on the Rim Trail. Simply walk on the trail until you get away from the crowds, sit down, relax and wait for the beautiful show of colors on the canyon walls.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Wupatki National Monument
    • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
    • Walnut Canyon National Monument
    • Meteor Crater Natural Landmark
    • Winslow
  31. Day 31 Petrified Forest

    120 miles (190 km) – 2 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Holbrook, AZ

    End: Gallup, NM

    On day 31 you’ll be discovering the last of Arizona’s three national parks, the Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Forest is a surprising place, offering far more than the world renowned petrified logs. You can see so much just from your car with a few stops at overlooks and some easy hiking. There are fossils, badlands, buttes and mesas, ancient petroglyphs, wildlife and wildflowers, and vast vistas for more than a hundred miles (160 km). Petrified Forest is also the only national park in the country containing a section of Historic Route 66.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Petrified Forest National Park
  32. Day 32 Pueblos

    200 miles (320 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Gallup, NM

    End: Gallup, NM

    On day 32 you’ll be exploring Chaco Culture National Historic Park, for a deeper contact with the canyon that was central to thousands of people between 850 and 1250 AD. Today the massive buildings of the ancestral Pueblo people still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities not seen anywhere else in the American Southwest.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Chaco Culture National Historic Park
  33. Day 33 Volcanoes

    150 miles (245 km) – 3 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Gallup, NM

    End: Grants, NM

    Start day 33 with a drive towards El Morro National Monument. Imagine the comfort and refreshment of finding water after days of dusty travel. A reliable waterhole hidden at the base of a sandstone bluff made El Morro (the headland) a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Here, Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • El Morro National Monument
    • Ice Cave & Bandera Volcano
    • El Malpais National Monument
    • El Malpais National Conservation Area
  34. Day 34 Gila National Forest

    410 miles (660 km) – 9 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Grants, NM

    End: Deming, NM

    You’ll start day 34 with a quick stop at Lava Falls in El Malpais National Monument, since you were a bit short on time yesterday. Lava Falls Loop Trail (1 mi (1.6 km); 1 h) is located on the monument’s youngest lava flow, which makes it a great area to see many lava features including ropy pahoehoe, squeeze-ups, and other geological curiosities.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • El Malpais National Monument
    • Catwalk National Recreation Trail
    • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
    • Light Feather Hot Spring
    • City of Rocks State Park
  35. Day 35 White Sands

    305 miles (490 km) – 6 hours of driving time

    Start: Deming, NM

    End: Carlsbad, NM

    White Sands is famous for two very different things; the White Sands Missile Range, a United States Army military testing area and White Sands National Monument, a field of white gypsum sand dunes.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • White Sands Missile Range Museum
    • White Sands National Monument
  36. Day 36 The Underworld

    65 miles (105 km) – 2 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Carlsbad, NM

    End: Carlsbad, NM

    Located in a close proximity of Carlsbad, Living Desert Zoo & Garden State Park is a native wildlife zoo and gardens, exhibiting more than 40 species of animals (bison, Mexican wolves, elk, mountain lions, javelinas, antelope, snakes, lizards, birds of prey, humming birds and other colorful (bird) species) and hundreds of species of plants native to the Chiuahuan Desert.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park
    • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  37. Day 37 Aliens & Billy the Kid

    345 miles (555 km) – 7 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Carlsbad, NM

    End: Albuquerque, NM

    You will start day 37 with a visit to the oldest state park in New Mexico (1933), Bottomless Lakes State Park, which contains a series of small but unique lakes. The lakes in the park are sinkholes (originally caves), ranging from 17 to 90 feet (5 – 27 m) deep. The greenish-blue color of the water, created by aquatic plants, gives the lakes the illusion of great depth.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Bottomless Lakes State Park
    • Roswell
    • International UFO Museum & Research Center
    • Lincoln Historic Site
    • Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
    • Albuquerque’s Old Town
  38. Day 38 Tent Rocks

    170 miles (270 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Albuquerque, NM

    End: Los Alamos, NM

    Petroglyph National Monument, adjacent to the city of Albuquerque, protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Petroglyph National Monument
    • Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
    • Bandelier National Monument
  39. Day 39 Cliff Dwellings

    315 miles (510 km) – 7 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Los Alamos, NM

    End: Walsenburg, CO

    Start day 39 with a second visit to Bandelier National Monument. Since the trails in the park close at dusk, you ran out of time yesterday to thoroughly explore the beautiful scenery at the area.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Bandelier National Monument
    • Puye Cliff Dwellings
    • Capulin Volcano National Monument
  40. Day 40 Great Sand Dunes

    175 miles (275 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Walsenburg, CO

    End: Walsenburg, CO

    Day 40 will be all about the sand. The tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. You’ll experience this diversity through hiking, sand sledding and splashing in Medano Creek.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
  41. Day 41 The Fourteener

    150 miles (240 km) – 6 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Walsenburg, CO

    End: Woodland Park, CO

    Start day 41 with a drive to Colorado Springs, the largest city by area in Colorado. One of the most popular areas in Colorado Springs is the park on its western edge. Garden of the Gods is an outstanding illustration of the lithologic character of sedimentary rocks, and of the vertical forces that produced the front range of the Rocky Mountains.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Garden of the Gods
    • Pikes Peak
  42. Day 42 Fossils & Lakes

    225 miles (360 km) – 5 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Woodland Park, CO

    End: Montrose, CO

    Start day 42 with a visit to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, where beneath a grassy mountain valley lies one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world. Petrified redwood stumps up to 14 feet (4.25 m) wide and thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants reveal the story of a very different, prehistoric Colorado.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
    • Monarch Pass
    • Curecanti National Recreation Area
  43. Day 43 Black Canyon

    180 miles (295 km) – 5 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Montrose, CO

    End: Montrose, CO

    Day 43 will be all about the marvelous Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  44. Day 44 Million Dollar Highway

    140 miles (220 km) – 5 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Montrose, CO

    End: Mancos, CO

    Day 44 will be all about the magnificent US-550, including the mind-blowing section between Ouray and Silverton, named the Million Dollar Highway.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Ute Indian Museum
    • Ouray
    • Mayflower Gold Mill
    • Historic Downtown Durango
  45. Day 45 Mesa Verde

    70 miles (115 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Mancos, CO

    End: Cortez, CO

    On day 45 you’ll be exploring Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Mesa Verde National Park
  46. Day 46 Canyons of the Ancient

    105 miles (165 km) – 3 hours of driving time

    Start: Cortez, CO

    End: Blanding, UT

    Day 46 will be a continuation of previous day, as you’ll be exploring archaeological sites at Canyons of the Ancient and Hovenweep National Monuments.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Anasazi Heritage Center
    • Canyons of the Ancient National Monument
    • Hovenweep National Monument
  47. Day 47 Gods vs. Monuments

    165 miles (260 km) – 9 hours of driving time

    Start: Blanding, UT

    End: Monument Valley, AZ

    You will start day 47 with a visit to Natural Bridges National Monument. This small park was the first national monument in the state of Utah (1908) and protects three majestic natural bridges named “Kachina”, “Owachomo” and “Sipapu” in honor of the Native Americans that once made this area home. One-way Bridge View Drive loops through the park. This 9-mile (14.5 km) long scenic road will bring you to overlooks of all three bridges and trailheads to several short trails.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Natural Bridges National Monument
    • Muley Point
    • Valley of the Gods
    • Goosenecks State Park
    • Monument Valley
  48. Day 48 Navajo Nation

    170 miles (275 km) – 4 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Monument Valley, AZ

    End: Page, AZ

    Yesterday, as you crossed the San Juan River south of Mexican Hat, you entered Navajo Nation, and today will be all about the biggest Indian reservation in United States. You already explored Monument Valley, the reservations most famous landmark but you still have a lot of incredible things to see.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Navajo National Monument
    • Antelope Canyons
    • Lake Powell National Recreation Area
  49. Day 49 Back to the Canyon

    185 miles (300 km) – 6 hours of driving time

    Start: Page, AZ

    End: North Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ

    On day 49 you’ll be returning to the Grand Canyon, more precisely, its northern rim. On your way there, you’ll be making a few quick but spectacular stops. The first and probably the best one is located very close to Page, so you should get up early and be there before sunrise (around 6 am in mid-July).

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Horseshoe Bend
    • Navajo Bridge
    • Lee’s Ferry
    • Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
    • North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park
  50. Day 50 Zion

    145 miles (230 km) – 4 hours of driving time

    Start: North Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ

    End: Springdale, UT

    Being at the Grand Canyon, you should wake up early and catch the sunrise (around 5:30 am in late July). Head out to Bright Angel Point and wait for the sun to illuminate the canyon. Be sure to bring long trousers and a light jacket, even if you are visiting in summer. You should also bring a flashlight as you will be walking in the dark and although the Bright Angel Point Trail is paved, it is narrow with a few unguarded drop-offs.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park
    • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
    • Zion National Park
  51. Day 51 Canyons & Views

    5 miles (10 km) – 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Springdale, UT

    End: Springdale, UT

    Your second day in Zion will start with another of its classic hikes, Observation Point via East Rim Trail (8 mi (12.9 km) round-trip; 8 h). This hike connects the Weeping Rock Trailhead to Observation Point and offers an iconic image of Zion National Park at its end.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Zion National Park
  52. Day 52 Sand Hollow

    50 miles (80 km) – 1 hour 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Springdale, UT

    End: St. George, UT

    After two strenuous days of hiking, day 52 will offer a bit of respite. You will start the day with a visit to Grafton Ghost Town, located just south of Zion National Park. It is said that Grafton is the most photographed ghost town in the West and was featured in many films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Grafton Ghost Town
    • Sand Hollow State Park
  53. Day 53 Snow Canyon & Red Cliffs

    60 miles (100 km) – 2 hours of driving time

    Start: St. George, UT

    End: St. George, UT

    After a day of relaxation, day 53 takes you back to the trails. You will start by exploring the trails and dunes of the beautiful Snow Canyon State Park, surrounded by ancient lava flows and red Navajo sandstone.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Snow Canyon State Park
    • Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
  54. Day 54 Canyons & Waterfalls

    140 miles (235 km) – 4 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: St. George, UT

    End: Bryce, UT

    Start day 54 by hiking the awe-inspiring, red rock slot canyon named Kanarra Creek Canyon (also known as “Kanarra Slot Canyon”, “Kanarra Falls”, and “Kanarraville Falls”), featuring one of the most photographed waterfall scenes in Southern Utah.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Kanarra Creek Canyon
    • Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park
    • Cedar Breaks National Monument
  55. Day 55 Bryce Canyon

    30 miles (45 km) – 1 hour 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Bryce, UT

    End: Bryce, UT

    You’ll be spending the whole day in Bryce Canyon National Park, starting with sunrise and ending with sunset. Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is not a canyon. It is actually a collection of smaller ravines and giant amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The distinctive feature of Bryce Canyon are its geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. You will witness spectacular views of the parks red, orange, pink and white colored rocks.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Bryce Canyon National Park
  56. Day 56 Spooky & Peek-a-Boo

    150 miles (240 km) – 6 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Bryce, UT

    End: Escalante, UT

    Sunrise at Bryce is at approximately 6:30 am in late July. However, you can usually see about an hour before sunrise. Make sure to take a flashlight on your hike to Mossy Cave. The trail is not exposed and doesn’t feature any drop offs, so it is safe even in the dark. If you don’t like hiking in the dark, skip Mossy Cave and start your day at Kodachrome Basin State Park. Be there as soon as they open at 6:00 am.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Bryce Canyon National Park
    • Kodachrome Basin State Park
    • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
    • Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch
  57. Day 57 Highway 12

    70 miles (115 km) – 3 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Escalante, UT

    End: Torrey, UT

    Just like the day before, day 57 will be spent exploring the areas along Highway 12. You will start the day with a quick visit to Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. You’ll be hiking the Petrified Forest Trail (1 mi (1.6 km) loop; 45 min), which winds through lava flows and thousands of pieces of petrified wood. You will also see an entire 50 foot (15 m) long petrified tree, which was brought to the park in 2014.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
    • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  58. Day 58 The Reef

    70 miles (115 km) – 3 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Torrey, UT

    End: Hanksville, UT

    Day 58 will be all about the Capitol Reef National Park. Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geological monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles (160 km). The park name comes from the resemblance of the many whitish Navajo sandstone domes to the US Capitol building. The “Reef” refers to the high uplifted ridge running north-south along the fold. Capitol Reef National Park is the second largest in the state of Utah, yet is much less visited than others, more famous parks of southern Utah. This is partly because of its rather remote location and because there is no obvious central attraction.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Capitol Reef National Park
  59. Day 59 Goblins & Arches

    165 miles (265 km) – 4 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Hanksville, UT

    End: Moab, UT

    You will start day 59 at the Goblin Valley State Park. This strange and colorful valley, which is unlike any other in Utah, features a landscape covered with sandstone goblins and formations and is often compared to Mars. Once at the park, drive to the Observation Point at the end of the road and start hiking. The Valley of Goblins, park’s most well-known attraction, spans nearly three square miles (7.8 km2) and is a free-roaming area that can be explored at your leisure. Maps of Goblin Valley State Park, including the one found in the park’s brochure, often divide the Valley of Goblins into three separate areas. You will have time to explore two of them.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Goblin Valley State Park
    • Arches National Park
  60. Day 60 Devil's Fire

    65 miles (105 km) – 2 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Moab, UT

    End: Moab, UT

    You will start day 60 with a second visit to the Arches National Park. There are two very special places in the park you have yet to explore. The Fiery Furnace is a small maze of colorful sandstone fins and narrow slot canyons. The name comes from the deep red and orange glow of the sandstone fins that, when lit by the setting sun, resemble a “fiery furnace”.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Arches National Park
    • Corona Arch
  61. Day 61 Canyon Country

    120 miles (190 km) – 3 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Moab, UT

    End: Moab, UT

    Countless canyons surround Moab and on your third day here, you’ll be exploring some of them. Canyonlands National Park, the largest national park in Utah, protects more than 337,000 acres (1,365 km2) of canyon country. The park is divided into three distinct districts, which are not connected. On day 31 you’ll be visiting the Island in the Sky District, which offers the easiest way to see the stunning beauty of the park. The Island in the Sky sits atop a massive 1500-foot (457 m) mesa and is quite literally an Island in the Sky. From its viewpoints visitors can often see over 100 miles (160 km) in any given direction, resulting in panoramas containing thousands of square miles of canyon country.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park
    • Dead Horse Point State Park
  62. Day 62 Needles

    265 miles (425 km) – 7 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Moab, UT

    End: Fruita, CO

    You will start your last day in the Moab area with a visit to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The Needles forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. This district features several long hiking trails but you will focus on the scenic drive and the shorter trails.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park
    • Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument
    • Fisher Towers
  63. Day 63 Monoliths

    60 miles (95 km) – 4 hours of driving time

    Start: Fruita, CO

    End: Fruita, CO

    You will start day 63 by exploring Colorado National Monument. This park preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West and features towering monoliths within a vast plateau and canyon panorama.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Colorado National Monument
    • Highline Lake State Park
  64. Day 64 Dinosaurs

    315 miles (510 km) – 9 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Fruita, CO

    End: Craig, CO

    You will spend day 64 at Dinosaur National Monument, the area where Dinosaurs once roamed. Their fantastic remains are still visible embedded in the rocks. Today, the mountains, desert and untamed rivers flowing in deep canyons, support an array of life. Petroglyphs hint at earlier cultures. Later, homesteaders and outlaws found refuge here. Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Dinosaur National Monument
  65. Day 65 Rocky Mountain

    205 miles (330 km) – 6 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Craig, CO

    End: Estes Park, CO

    On day 65 you’ll be exploring Rocky Mountain National Park which encompasses and protects spectacular mountain environments. The park covers 415 square miles (1,075 square km) and features over 300 miles (480 km) of hiking trails, however, you’ll only scratch its surface.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Rocky Mountain National Park
  66. Day 66 The Cornhusker State

    395 miles (635 km) – 9 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Estes Park, CO

    End: Hot Springs, SD

    On day 66 you’ll enter states number seven, eight and nine, since you’ll be passing through southeastern corner of Wyoming, exploring the western part of Nebraska and ending the day in South Dakota. Once you reach Nebraska, you’ll be making your first stop of the day at Chimney Rock National Historic Site.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Chimney Rock National Historic Site
    • Scotts Bluff National Monument
    • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
    • Toadstool Geologic Park
  67. Day 67 Mammoths, Caves & Bison

    105 miles (170 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Hot Springs, SD

    End: Custer, SD

    You’ll be spending the next two days exploring the magnificent Black Hills, a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Mammoth Site
    • Wind Cave National Park
    • Jewel Cave National Monument
    • Custer State Park
  68. Day 68 Mountain Monuments

    160 miles (265 km) – 5 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Custer, SD

    End: Quinn, SD

    You will start your second day at Black Hills with a visit to Crazy Horse Memorial, a mountain monument still under construction. Once completed, the monument will depict the Oglala Lakota Warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. Crazy Horse was the leader of Oglala Lakota who led the fight against the U.S. Federal government’s invasion of the territories and the way of life of the Lakota People. He ranks amongst the most notable and iconic of Native American tribal members. The monument was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Ziolkowski out of Thunderhead Mountain, on land considered sacred by some Oglala Lakota. It has been in progress since 1948 and is far from completion.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Crazy Horse Memorial
    • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
    • Custer State Park
  69. Day 69 Badlands

    160 miles (255 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Quinn, SD

    End: Deadwood, SD

    Day 69 will be all about the otherworldly Badlands National Park. The rugged beauty of the Badlands draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat once roamed here. The park also protects an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Badlands National Park
  70. Day 70 Devil's Tower

    225 miles (365 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Deadwood, SD

    End: Buffalo, WY

    On day 70 you’ll once again be exploring the Black Hills, with your main destination of the day being the outstanding Devil’s Tower National Monument. However, you won’t be taking the direct route to get there. You’ll be making a short detour and drive through the spectacular Spearfish Canyon, located in the northern Black Hills.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Spearfish Canyon
    • Devil’s Tower National Monument
  71. Day 71 Oldest National Park

    275 miles (445 km) – 7 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Buffalo, WY

    End: Canyon Village, WY

    You’ll spend the next three days exploring the first national park in the world, the incredible Yellowstone National Park. There you’ll marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes, watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. Discover the history that led to the conservation of national treasures “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Cloud Peak
    • Buffalo Bill State Park
    • Yellowstone National Park
  72. Day 72 Wildlife & Hot Springs

    130 miles (210 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Canyon Village, WY

    End: West Yellowstone, MT

    Start your second day in Yellowstone with a bit of wildlife watching in Lamar Valley, often called America’s Serengeti, for its large populations of big animals. Best times for wildlife watching are early morning hours and late afternoons as animals tend to feed at these times and are usually more visible because they are up and moving around. Even though driving at night in Yellowstone is not advised, get up early and carefully drive to Lamar Valley before sunrise (around 6:30 am).

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Yellowstone National Park
  73. Day 73 Geysers

    110 miles (180 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: West Yellowstone, MT

    End: Jackson Lake Lodge, WY

    Start your last day in Yellowstone National Park with a hike along Monument Geyser Basin Trail (2.4 mi (3.9 km) round-trip; 1 h 30 min). This small, nearly dormant basin lies at the top of a very steep trail and most visitors don’t get to see it. There are no boardwalks restricting where you are allowed to walk, meaning that you will be able to freely explore steam vents and pools.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Yellowstone National Park
    • Grand Teton National Park
  74. Day 74 Grand Teton

    150 miles (240 km) – 5 hours of driving time

    Start: Jackson Lake Lodge, WY

    End: Idaho Falls, ID

    Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination, mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Grand Teton National Park
  75. Day 75 Craters of the Moon

    185 miles (295 km) – 4 hours of driving time

    Start: Idaho Falls, ID

    End: Twin Falls, ID

    You will spend day 75 at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, a geologic wonderland, featuring the Great Rift, a 52-mile (84 km) long crack in the Earth’s crust. Craters of the Moon is a remarkably preserved volcanic landscape with an array of exceptional features. Exposed fissures, lava fields, lava tubes, craters and cinder cones form a strangely beautiful volcanic sea on central Idaho’s Snake River Plain.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
  76. Day 76 Thousand Springs

    220 miles (355 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Twin Falls, ID

    End: Ontario, OR

    After five days of hiking, day 76 will serve as bit of a respite, even though you’ll be covering quit a few miles and even taking a hike. Start the day on the northern outskirts of the city, with a visit to Shoshone Falls Park. Here a short walk will offer you beautiful views of the 212 feet (65 m) high and 1,000 feet (305 m) wide Shoshone Falls. Sometimes called the “Niagara of the West”, the beautiful falls on the Snake River are best viewed in the spring, as diversion of the river can often significantly diminish the water levels in the late summer. Even though, the falls are definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Shoshone Falls Park
    • Thousand Springs State Prk
    • Bruneau Dunes State Park
  77. Day 77 John Day

    345 miles (555 km) – 8 hours of driving time

    Start: Ontario, OR

    End: Madras, OR

    You will spend day 77 exploring the three units of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, where colorful rock formations preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years.  Exhibits and a working lab at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center as well as scenic drives and hikes at all three units will allow you to explore the prehistoric past of Oregon and see science in action.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  78. Day 78 Newberry Volcanic

    265 miles (430 km) – 7 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Madras, OR

    End: Chemult, OR

    Start day 78 with a beautiful drive along Lower Crooked River Scenic Byway, the only state highway in Oregon that is still partially unpaved. The byway is 45 miles (72 km) long, about 17 miles (27 km) are graded dirt usually suitable for 2WD vehicles, and meanders past scenic bluffs, juniper trees and the blue-green waters of the Lower Crooked River. Canyon walls along the byway extend vertically in several places, adding to the scenic diversity of the area. Suddenly the byway crosses into the hilly sections of Oregon’s high sagebrush desert, traversing rugged landscape that is nearly as untouched as it was a century ago, the Lower Crooked River Scenic Byway is a visual treat to all.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Lower Crooked River
    • Newberry Volcanic National Monument
    • Fort Rock State Natural Area
  79. Day 79 Crater Lake

    155 miles (250 km) – 5 hours of driving time

    Start: Chemult, OR

    End: Medford, OR

    Day 79 will be all about the awe-inspiring Crater Lake National Park. With a depth of 1,943 feet (592 m), Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth. The water’s intense blue color is an indication of its great depth and purity. Surrounded by cliffs, the lake is fed entirely by rain and snow. Scientists consider Crater Lake to be the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world. The lake rests in the belly of a dormant volcano. The volcano once stood 12,000 feet (3,650 m) tall, but it collapsed after a major eruption 7,700 years ago. Later eruptions formed Wizard Island, a cinder cone that rises from the water. The park has an abundance of fascinating volcanic features, including a second rocky island, the Phantom Ship. Crater Lake itself occupies less than 10% of the park. Beyond the lake, old-growth forests blanket the landscape. Established in 1902, the park protects 15 species of conifers, from towering ponderosa pines to ancient whitebark pines. These trees shelter a wide array of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, elk, and spotted owls.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Crater Lake National Park
  80. Day 80 Back to Cali

    160 miles (255 km) – 5 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Medford, OR

    End: Crescent City, CA

    Deep within the Siskiyou Mountains are dark, twisting passages that await your discovery.  Eons of acidic water seeping into marble rock created and decorated the wondrous “Marble Halls of Oregon.” You will start day 80 with one last stop in Oregon, at the Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
    • Smith River National Recreation Area
    • Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
  81. Day 81 Mysterious Redwoods

    105 miles (165 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Crescent City, CA

    End: Arcata, CA

    You’ll be spending a vast majority of day 81 on the trails, starting with a long and strenuous hike on the James Irvine-Miner’s Ridge Loop Trail (12.5 mi (20 km); 8 h) in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This park is the most developed unit of the Redwood National and State Parks and features incredibly varied scenery from narrow canyons to meadows and sandy beaches. Here you’ll find magnificent ancient redwoods, a meadow with a population of Roosevelt Elk and Fern Canyon which was used as a backdrop for Jurassic Park.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
    • Redwood National Park
  82. Day 82 Avenue of the Giants

    355 miles (575 km) – 9 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: Arcata, CA

    End: Dorris, CA

    You’ll spend day 82 on the beautiful roads of Northern California, starting with what is surely one of the best roads in the state, the Avenue of the Giants. The 31-mile (50 km) long, world famous scenic byway winds along the scenic Eel River and traverses an area of incredible Coast Redwoods, overshadowing the road. Many natural and man-made attractions are hiding in the shadows of the giants.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Avenue of the Giants
    • Humboldt Redwoods State Park
    • Shrine Drive Thru Tree
    • Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
    • Hedge Creek Falls
    • Mount Shasta
  83. Day 83 Lava Beds

    145 miles (230 km) – 4 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Dorris, CA

    End: Fall River Mills, CA

    Lava Beds National Monument is a land of turmoil, both geological and historical. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. More than 700 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields and a high desert wilderness experience await you on day 83.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Lava Beds National Monument
  84. Day 84 Lassen Volcanic

    160 miles (270 km) – 4 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Fall River Mills, CA

    End: Quincy, CA

    Start day 84 with a visit to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, the second oldest state park in California. Burney Falls Loop Trail (1 mi (1.6 km); 45 min) leads to the main attraction in the park, the 129-foot (39 m) Burney Falls along Burney Creek which originates from the underground springs. This nature trail starts at an overlook before descending into the valley towards the foot of the falls. On the rest of the trail, the falls are hidden from view and you can focus on interpretive signs along the way.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
    • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  85. Day 85 Lake Tahoe

    240 miles (385 km) – 7 hours of driving time

    Start: Quincy, CA

    End: Auburn, CA

    You’ll be spending day 85 along the shores of the cobalt blue Lake Tahoe. The largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe lies at 6,225 feet (1,897 m) and straddles the state line between California and Nevada. With the depth of 1,645 feet (507 m) it is also the second deepest lake in United States, trailing only behind Crater Lake. The lake is world famous for its crystal clear waters and the panorama of surrounding mountains.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Lake Tahoe
    • Sand Harbor State Park
    • Cave Rock State Park
    • Emerald Bay State Park
    • Donner Memorial State Park
  86. Day 86 City of Trees

    110 miles (175 km) – 2 hours 15 minutes of driving time

    Start: Auburn, CA

    End: Novato, CA

    You’ll be spending day 86 at the California capital, Sacramento. Located at the confluence of Sacramento and American Rivers, the city of Sacramento grew up in the mid-nineteenth century as a development from Sutter’s Fort. You’ll be taking a sort of a walking tour of Sacramento, learning about its capital status, its history and modern day importance.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
    • Cathedral of the Blessed Sacramento
    • California State Capitol
    • Old Sacramento State Historic Park
    • California State Railroad Museum
  87. Day 87 Point Reyes

    105 miles (170 km) – 3 hours 45 minutes of driving time

    Start: Novato, CA

    End: San Rafael, CA

    On day 87 you’ll be exploring Point Reyes National Seashore. From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers over 1,500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Point Reyes National Seashore
  88. Day 88 Golden Gate

    50 miles (80 km) – 2 hours 30 minutes of driving time

    Start: San Rafael, CA

    End: San Francisco, CA

    You’ll be starting your last day outside of San Francisco at Muir Woods National Monument. You’ll walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    • Muir Woods National Monument
    • Fort Point National Historic Site
  89. Day 89 The City by the Bay

    0 miles (0 km)  

    Start: San Francisco, CA

    End: San Francisco, CA

    For your last full day of the journey get up early and use cable cars (and/or other means of transport, depending on the location of your overnight accommodation) to get to Fisherman’s Wharf district. Your first destination is Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing from where you will embark on a tour of the infamous Alcatraz prison. Cable cars don’t stop at Pier 33 so you will have to either walk (6 or 11 blocks) or transfer to a historic street car which does provide direct access to Pier 33.

    More in the download package.

    Locations:

    • Alcatraz
    • Fisherman’s Wharf
    • Aquarium of the Bay
    • San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
    • Coit Tower
    • San Francisco Chinatown
Day 1: First Day of Summer

Sunset over San Francisco by chripell (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Day 5: Granite Wonderland

View from Glacier Point by Max Goldberg (CC BY 2.0)

Day 9: Heat of Death Valley

Badwater Basin at Sunset by John Fowler (CC BY 2.0)

Day 20: Organ Pipe Cactus

Scenery along Ajo Mountain Drive by Mambo NumberFive (CC BY 2.0)

Day 25: Valley of the Sun

View from Camelback Mountain by bobistraveling (CC BY2.0)

Day 28: The Grand Canyon

View from Grandview Point

Day 38: Tent Rocks

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks by Bob Wick, BLM (CC BY 2.0)

Day 40: Great Sand Dunes

View from the High Dune

Day 61: Canyon Country

Mesa Arch by Eddie Yip (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Day 56: Spooky & Peek-a-Boo

Kodachrome Basin by Murray Foubister (CC BY 2.0)

Day 49: Back to the Canyon

Horseshoe Bend by Todd Petrie (CC BY 2.0)

Day 73: Geysers

Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser

Day 88: Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall’s Beach by Nicki Dugan Pogue (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Comfort or Freedom

Do you prefer comfort or freedom? Whatever your preferences are, you will have almost unlimited choices. Countless hotels, motels, guesthouses, B&B’s, condos, resorts and campgrounds are scattered throughout the States.

Overall Rating
5/5
Martien
Reviewed On 24/10/2018
5/5

This looks very good. I think it will be a bit too hard for my wife and me, as we are in our 60s, but we will definitely try.

Chris W.
Reviewed On 23/10/2018
5/5

I just downloaded this itinerary and all I can say is... OMG!!! This is incredible. Sooooo much information. Can't wait for for the next summer so I can go on a portion of this trip!!!

Jordy
Reviewed On 23/10/2018
5/5

How I envy people who can afford to take such long trips...

Bruno Vogel
Reviewed On 22/10/2018
5/5

Fingers crossed I pass all my exams in June...

_mtz4_
Reviewed On 21/10/2018
5/5

OMG. This is the best. I can't wait for the end of the school year so me and my friends can go on this adventure!!!

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