It’s hard to believe, but in just a week and a half, we’ll be embarking on our yearly summer road trip. This one is marking a major milestone for us as we will be visiting the final five national parks we have yet to visit in the continental United States. After checking off Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Pinnacles and Great Basin in the next few weeks, our total will stand at 51 of 59 (I’m not yet ready to acknowledge Gateway Arch as a National Park). We’ll also be stopping by Cedar Breaks and Timpanogos Cave National Monuments in Utah and too much scenery to mention. We’re still sorting through hiking options, but we’ve planned for plenty of time in each park to hit some of the best trails, and we always make some of those decisions on the fly anyway.
Our route begins with a flight to San Francisco, where we’ll spend a weekend (my birthday weekend, woohoo!). Then we pick up a rental car and drive in a spiral pattern through central California over the course of two weeks before slingshotting back east via Nevada, Utah, (possibly Wyoming) and Colorado. We’ll ditch the car in Denver, spend a couple days with friends and then board the eastbound California Zephyr back home to Chicago.
In all, we’ll spend 7 nights in our trusty tent, 3 “pseudo-camping” in Yosemite’s Half Dome Village, 7 in motels, 2 in an Airbnb and 1 in a cabin. Time to inventory the camping supplies!