National Park to Park Highway Route

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This summer 2016 we’re taking a seven week road trip to tour the National Park to Park Highway. We’ve planned our route and wanted to share it with all of you.

Original National Park to Park Highway
Back in 1920, the National Park to Park Highway Tour began in Denver. This inaugural tour followed the roads and trails mapped out earlier that summer by AL Westgard, a AAA pathfinder and contributor to the Official Automobile Blue Book (referred to as the Blue Bible), the leading producer of road guides at the time. The group visited these parks in a counter clockwise direction:

  1. Rocky Mountain National Park
  2. Yellowstone National Park
  3. Glacier National Park
  4. Mount Rainier National Park
  5. Crater Lake National Park
  6. Lassen Volcanic National Park (1920 tour could not drive inside the park because of the lack of developed roads)
  7. Yosemite National Park
  8. General Grant National Park (later named Kings Canyon National Park)
  9. Sequoia National Park
  10. Zion National Park (bypassed by the 1920 tour because of bad roads)
  11. Grand Canyon National Park
  12. Mesa Verde National Park

Our National Park to Park Highway Tour
We’ll visit all of the original twelve parks, even the ones the 1920 tour missed, but we couldn’t limit ourselves just to those. There are so many more National Treasures in the west, at least twenty Parks and Monuments were added to the area since then. We’re adding these National Parks to our trip:

  1. Bryce Canyon National Park
  2. Grand Teton National Park 
  3. Great Sand Dunes National Park 
  4. Olympic National Park 

Plus we had to include these National Monuments as well:

  1. Cedar Breaks National Monument
  2. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
  3. Hovenweep National Monument
  4. Devils Postpile National Monument
We’ll be breaking our trip into two parts. A “dry run” camping trip to test out our ultimate camping vehicle (coming soon) followed by the full National Park to Park Highway Tour a month later. 
We need your help! We’ve never visited many of these places and want to know what the best family hikes and bike rides are in these areas. What trails/campgrounds/things to do would you suggest? Why? Comment and let us know!

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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