I’m starting my next 30 years on the 8th of May. To celebrate, Jeff and I are taking a driving trip to some National Parks I have never visited. We leave in a couple of days and though I have planned the whole route and where we are staying along the way, I wonder about points of interest that exist on our route that would make this even more fun? Here’s my route. Please feel free to comment with some of your favorites.
Portland to Kalispell
We are starting in Portland and going directly to Kalispell for just one night. Here is our route. I doubt we will be stopping much along the way except for a meal and a few breaks.
Kalispell to Glacier
The next day will be driving to East Glacier. Ideally, I would like to have taken Going-to-the-sun-road from Kalispell all the way to St Mary. However, according to the Glacier National Park road status site the road is closed at Avalanche Creek coming form the south, and closed at Jackson Glacier Outlook coming from St Mary on the east side. I suspect we will go from Kalispell to Avalanche Creek, then turn around and follow this may up to St Mary and all the way to Jackson Glacier Outlook. Our first day will be mostly driving and taking pictures. The next two days we will do some hikes and try to not get eaten by bears. If you have recommendations for easy hikes I’m interested.
East Glacier to Theodore Roosevelt National Park
After two+ days in Glacier we are meandering to Billings, about a third of the way to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, for a quick overnight. From there we will continue to meander to Dickinson, ND with easy access to Roosevelt where we will hang out for a couple of days. Again, any sights along the way or at Roosevelt would be greatly appreciated.
Badlands National Park, Wind Caves National Park, Mt Rushmore
You will have to zoom in a little on this map to see these three locations (click on More options to open a bigger map). Jeff knew I was thinking about this trip at Christmas so I was happy to find this great book by National Geographic about the National Parks under the tree on Christmas morning. Reading about the Badlands and Wind Caves was inspirational. Mt Rushmore–I just want to see that for myself.
Yellowstone National Park
The last three full days will be spent in and around Yellowstone. We will be staying at an Airbnb on the East side of Yellowstone. Based on what I’ve read and heard Yellowstone should keep us very busy for those three days. While we are there we will also do a day trip to Grand Tetons National Park.
Back to Portland
We will head back to Portland, stoping for a night in Boise, ID just to break up the long drive. Clearly we are driving a LOT. But I figure now is a good time for this great American driving trip. Gas is on the lower side and it’s the 100th anniversary of the National Parks. We will be hiking, eating, mixing with the locals, going to every odd and interesting thing we discover, and taking a HUGE number of pictures, which I will post here as we go.