Four Ultimate National Park Road Trips

Whether you’re looking for wildlife, mountains, deserts, ancient ruins, historical monuments or adventure, America’s national parks invite you to explore both the outdoors and the story of our nation. With more than 400 parks and dozens of National Park Service programs, you’re bound to find one that interests you.

What better way to experience our amazing national parks than on a summer road trip?

Follow the suggested national park road trips below or create your own. Either way, get out and explore these protected lands and sites.

The Iconic Pacific Coast Highway

Kick off a multi-day Pacific Coast Highway road trip with a loop through the rain forest and rocky beaches of Olympic National Park. Drive south along the Oregon coast, veer inland to Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, then ogle the giant trees of Redwood National and State Parks. Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Pinnacles National Park and César Chávez National Monument are other California parks you don’t want to miss.

See How the West was Preserved

If mountains are your thing, this could be your route. This western road trip includes California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Death Valley National Park. Cross into Arizona to see the wondrous Grand Canyon National Park before heading up into Colorado to rugged Rocky Mountain National Park. Finish the West with Wyoming’s Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

Check out the Natural Beauty of the East Coast

Learn U.S. history while driving to some of the first states’ historical parks, landmarks, sites and monuments. Start with the rocky coast of Maine’s Acadia National Park before heading south to Massachusetts’s Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Minute Man National Historic Park and John F. Kennedy National Historic Site.  View early Americans’ artwork at Connecticut’s Weir Farm National Historic Site before a science lesson at New Jersey’s Thomas Edison National Historic Park Finish the history lesson with New York’s Stonewall Inn National Historic Landmark, African Burial Ground National Monument, Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, and Fire Island National Seashore.

Absorb the Culture of the South

Enjoy food and culture in the South. With even more history, start in Virginia’s Richmond National Battlefield Park, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, and Booker T. Washington National Monument before exploring the rolling green Appalachian mountains in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn about the Civil Rights movement at Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Mississippi’s Natchez National Historical Park is a great stop before heading to Louisiana’s Cane River Creole National Historic Park and New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Finish the drive in Texas at the Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

Be sure to share your memories at and on social media with #FindYourPark.