Tips for planning your own national park road trip:
Many people have asked for the exact itinerary in an effort to help them plan their own trip. If it's helpful, here's a rough outline of the mileage and stops. Note: These estimates do not take into account stops along the way, driving through customs, or driving aimlessly around the massive, gorgeous parks.
It's also important to note that we made our campsite reservations 5-6 months in advance of the trip. They fill up fast, so you definitely don't want to wait too long if you want a spot!
Day 1: Dallas, TX to Pueblo, CO (10 hrs; 671 miles)
Day 2: Pueblo, CO to Cheyenne, WY (4.5 hrs; 213 miles)
Day 3: Cheyenne, WY to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons NP (7 hrs; 450 miles)
Day 4: Stayed in Yellowstone/Grand Tetons NP
Day 5: Stayed in Yellowstone/Grand Tetons NP
Day 6: Yellowstone to Glacier NP (7.5 hrs; 371 miles)
Day 7: Stayed in Glacier NP
Day 8: Stayed in Glacier NP
Day 9: Glacier NP to Banff NP in Alberta, Canada (5 hrs+border crossing; 258 miles)
Day 10: Stayed in Banff NP
Day 11: Stayed in Banff NP
Day 12: Banff NP to Billings, MT (10 hrs+border crossing; 613 miles)
Day 13: Billings, MT to Cheyenne, WY (6 hrs; 455 miles)
Day 14: Stayed in Cheyenne, WY
Day 15: Cheyenne, WY to Palo Duro Canyon (8 hrs; 558 miles)
Day 16: Palo Duro Canyon to Dallas, TX (6 hrs; 367 miles)
When considering planning your own trip, we would recommend planning at least two full days in each park. Last summer, we only planned one full day which included a 4-7 hour hike, so we didn't have a lot of time for much else. We also came to the realization that we don't feel like we've really been to the national parks until we take a high altitude, long drive around the park. It is through these leisurely drives that we can fully experience the beauty and wonder each park has to offer. While you're in the little mountain towns, consider supporting local outdoor shops and chat with the local employees. We love asking people their ideas about must-do's in the parks.
- Nikon D700 (24-70mm lens and 50mm lens)
- GoPro Hero 4
- iPhone 7