Kelsey is a freelance writer based in Southern Virginia. She enjoys traveling with her family to destinations from national parks to amusement parks and loves sharing tips and stories from along the way.
Are you looking for an adventure that will take you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States?
Look no further than a 2-week national park road trip!
With so many incredible parks to choose from, this trip is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
During our road trip, we’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the country’s most iconic national parks, including the geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone, the cliffs of Yosemite, and the almighty Grand Canyon.
We’ll also have the chance to hike, bike, and kayak through some of the most stunning scenery in the world, making this trip a true adventure from start to finish.
Sounds epic? Let’s get started with an itinerary and a route for your ultimate 2-week national park road trip!
Our recommended itinerary for a 2-week national park road trip includes stops at some of the most iconic national parks in the US.
Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the trip:
Start your trip in San Francisco and drive to Yosemite National Park.
Spend two days exploring Yosemite Valley and hiking some of the park’s most famous trails.
Distance: Approximately 195 miles (314 km) | Travel Time: Around 4 hours.
Head south to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Spend a day exploring the giant sequoia trees and another day hiking in the backcountry.
Distance: Approximately 180 miles (290 km) | Travel Time: Around 3.5 hours.
Drive to Death Valley National Park and spend two days exploring the park’s unique landscapes, including Badwater Basin and Artist’s Palette.
Distance: Approximately 300 miles (483 km) | Travel Time: Around 5.5 hours.
Head east to Zion National Park in Utah.
Spend two days hiking the park’s famous trails, including Angels Landing and The Narrows.
Distance: Approximately 160 miles (257 km) | Travel Time: Around 3 hours.
Visit Bryce Canyon National Park and hike the hoodoos. Spend a night stargazing in the park.
Distance: Approximately 72 miles (116 km) | Travel Time: Around 1.5 hours.
Drive to Grand Canyon National Park and spend two days exploring the South Rim.
Hike the Bright Angel Trail or take a scenic helicopter tour.
Distance: Approximately 280 miles (451 km) | Travel Time: Around 5 hours.
Head back to Las Vegas and spend a day exploring the city before flying home.
Distance: Approximately 280 miles (451 km) | Travel Time: Around 4.5 hours.
Our recommended route for a 2-week national park road trip is a loop that starts and ends in San Francisco.
From there, you’ll head south to Yosemite National Park, then southeast to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
From there, you’ll head east to Death Valley National Park before heading north to Zion National Park in Utah.
After visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll head west to Grand Canyon National Park before returning to Las Vegas.
When planning your 2-week national park road trip, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, be aware of park closures. Some parks, like Yellowstone National Park, have limited access in the winter months.
Second, consider the time of year you’ll be traveling. Summer can be crowded and hot, while fall offers cooler temperatures and fewer crowds.
Finally, make sure to book any necessary reservations in advance, especially if you plan to camp in the parks.
To make planning your trip easier, consider using a road trip planner like My Maps or Tripadvisor. And don’t forget to purchase an America the Beautiful Pass, which will give you access to all the national parks on your trip.
With this itinerary, route, and planning tips, you’re ready to embark on the ultimate 2-week national park road trip.
Stop 1: Yosemite National Park
During your stay in Yosemite National Park, you can embark on thrilling hikes through iconic landmarks like Yosemite Valley.
Take on the challenge of Half Dome or Mist Trail and be rewarded with awe-inspiring views.
Accommodation options within the park include lodges, campsites, and cabins, offering you a range of choices to suit your preferences.
Stop 2: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
In Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, you’ll have the opportunity to explore groves of giant sequoia trees, including the famous General Sherman Tree.
Immerse yourself in the scenic backcountry with stunning vistas and remote wilderness.
Choose from a variety of accommodations within the parks, such as campgrounds, lodges, and cabins, to enhance your natural experience.
Stop 3: Death Valley National Park
As you venture into Death Valley National Park, you’ll be amazed by the diverse and striking desert landscape.
Explore mesmerizing spots like Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, and witness the vibrant colors of Artist’s Palette.
Accommodation options range from hotels and motels near the park’s entrances to campgrounds within the park, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the desert at your own pace.
Stop 4: Zion National Park
In Zion National Park, you can embark on thrilling hikes amidst towering red cliffs and deep canyons.
Feel the rush of adrenaline as you tackle Angels Landing or experience the awe-inspiring beauty of The Narrows, where you wade through the river within narrow canyon walls.
Choose from a variety of accommodation options, including campgrounds, lodges, and hotels, for a comfortable stay amidst the natural wonders.
Stop 5: Bryce Canyon National Park
During your visit to Bryce Canyon National Park, prepare to be mesmerized by the unique geological formations.
Embark on hikes and marvel at the majestic hoodoos. As night falls, take the opportunity to stargaze in the park.
Accommodations are available to suit your needs, ranging from campgrounds to lodges, ensuring a memorable stay in the park.
Stop 6: Grand Canyon National Park
During your two-day exploration of the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park, be prepared to be awestruck by the magnificent natural wonder.
Hike the famous Bright Angel Trail and witness the breathtaking panoramic views of the canyon. For a unique perspective, consider taking a scenic helicopter tour over the vast expanse.
Accommodation options near the park include lodges and hotels, providing convenient access to the park’s wonders.
Final Stop: Las Vegas:
After your national park adventures, spend a day in Las Vegas, where entertainment and excitement abound.
Explore the iconic Las Vegas Strip, with its dazzling lights, world-class resorts, and famous casinos. Indulge in fine dining, catch a spectacular live show, or try your luck at the gaming tables.
Accommodation options in Las Vegas cater to all budgets, ranging from luxurious hotels on the Strip to more affordable options off the main thoroughfare.