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Where to go on our summer 2021 US road trip?

Hello! Heading out this summer on road trip going cross country with family( 3 kids 19,15,13). Any suggestions on places to stop I would love to hear them. We will be in RV so any cool camping areas too would be great! Thanks!

49 Replies

Welcome to Tucson! Been here since 1996, when I came to UA to get a graduate degree. Awesome spot from which to explore!

been here full-time 10 years and still exploring...leaving shortly for Flagstaff with our pup - have been there before but never on a "pup"-cation...looking forward to seeing it thru the pup's eyes this time...



I did a nice Oregon trip from Seattle to Portland to Smith Rock State Park (awesome trails), then down to Bend, the Newberry Volcanic Crater, Crater Lake National Park, across the state through Grant's Pass to Bandon (super cute seaside town), Cape Arago (sea lions), then up along the coast along Hwy 101 all the way to Olympic National Park where the coast is just amazing. There are campgrounds along the entire route, mostly in state parks. The Oregon State Parks website is a great source for specific locations.

Hope you enjoy your trip, wherever you end up 🙂

We like to go through college towns along the way. But 4 yrs ago did Rocky Mountain NP, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier. Two years ago we stopped at Grand Canyon NP and Moab UT...Arches and Canyonlands.....great trips....when you go turn your cell to Airplane mode or your battery will die and cell service in the wilderness. 

Your plan sounds great!  Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana have a LOT to offer.  You may want to throw Arizona in there, too.  Grand Canyon for starters (you'll want to reserve a camping spot well in advance), Painted Desert, Red Rocks of Sedona, too.

If you’re passing through the panhandle of Texas, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a great place to spend a few days.  Just south of Amarillo it’s the second largest behind the GC. 


The Yellowstone/Grand Teton Mational Park combo is amazing! Gros Ventre campground in GTNP is a great place to stay, you can have moose and/or bear outside your evening in the morning and you are close to everything outdoors.

Consider visiting sites off the beaten path.There is a huge library detailing such destinations on your home computer that are only a few keystrokes away. Our country has amazing uncrowded little state parks, monuments, etc that are rich in history and well suited to the independent explorer. Covid restrictions should be less onerous than those of the major NPs. 

Get won't regret it.

We are heading out in June from San Francisco to Washington DC and have found much more availability near the "lesser known" (meaning less crowded but just as amazing) parks and monuments and smaller towns.  Also, drive along some national or state designated scenic byways and highways.  They lead to great destinations and sights that just don't get visited "off the interstate."  Utah routes 12 and 24 are great examples.  Happy travels!

We did a road trip to NoAZ for this year's Spring Break and had a great time. 

Highlights: We checked out Horseshoe Bend from the scenic overlook in Page, then a few days later we kayaked through it with help from outfitter KayaktheColorado, who will rent you the boats and then backhaul you up all the way from Lee's Ferry to the Glen Canyon Dam if you want. I think you can just do a day trip if you want (we did 2 days and camped) -- the rock formations and colors are amazing, and there's a cool petroglyph site just past the bend. At the border in SoUT we did a great slot canyon hike called Wire Pass, and from there you can turn and go down Buckskin Gulch. It was awesome and easy, and I'm guessing you don't have much in the way of red-rock slot canyons in PA. (Just be sure there is zero precipitation in the forecast.) There's a nearby campsite called State Line just south of the Wire Pass trailhead that looked nice as we drove past it. That same dirt road takes you South along the Vermillion Cliffs area where you can stop at the Condor Viewing Site and spot the reintroduced California Condors way up on the cliffs and/or circling overhead and maybe chat with the researchers or volunteers who are monitoring them. Historic Navajo Bridge is cool and the condors hang out on it so you get to see them up close. Lee's Ferry is cool and historic, and such fascinating terrain, and you might spot some wild horses, and/or see one of the big Grand Canyon rafting trips launching from there. 

Book Rec: The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko -- true story with great history of rivers and dams and the environmental movement in the West, etc, interwoven, about the Glen Canyon Dam and rafting the Colorado in a dory and setting the speed record for paddling a dory through the canyon at a dramatic time when there were serious concerns about the dam being breached by snowmelt. Great, interesting, educational and fun read.