Postcards from an American Road Trip | Western States

Let’s Drive From Colorado to Oregon

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

The best way to experience the wide-open spaces of America is behind the wheel of a car. Take a road trip. It’s a big country. With many points of view and millions of viewpoints. I’m talking vistas, not politics right now. Call it escapism. Call it soul-searching. Call it what you will. There is freedom on the road. And beauty to behold. So much beauty. I’m feeling the call of the church of nature lately. Nothing fills my soul like a walk in natural wonder.

The Western United States has plenty of wonder on offer. I’d like to share a few of my postcards from the road. This was a road trip a few years back from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Oregon. We had planned stops and room for impulsivity. This is the recipe of a darn good road trip. Follow along with me.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

B | MOAB, UTAH
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

Our first stop on our road trip from Denver home to Oregon was in one of my favorite U.S. National Parks. Situated just outside charming Moab, Utah – Arches National Park was like nothing I had ever seen before my first visit. We have now been several times and I highly recommend it. Great for all ages and levels of physical fitness there is something to impress everyone here.

Red rocks like the landscape of mars dominate the discoveries. Start at the Welcome Center just outside Moab. If children are along, sign up for the Junior Ranger program – a small booklet to engage in learning about the geology and biology of the area.

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
START HERE:

The park is open year round and the visitor center is open every day except December 25. Hours of operation change with the seasons. Current Visitor Center Hours: 9 am – 4 pm. Check website for current information before your visit.

TOP TIP:

The park is busiest March – October. Take care in summer months as temperatures can soar to 100°F (37°C) and shade is limited. Bring lots of water with you – limited facilities past the main visitor center. And remember sunscreen and wear sturdy shoes for hiking to get peeks at some of the park’s icons.

DON’T MISS:

Balancing Rock, Sand Dune Arch and Windows Arches. If yours are up for a walk – Landscape Arch is the longest natural arch in the park and the 5th longest in the world. There are thoughts that it won’t last much longer. Or plan for the 3.2 mile roundtrip (sections over slick rock with a 480m ascent) to see Delicate Arch with everyone else at sunset. So magical, the State of Utah put it on their license plates.

STAY:

Camping around Arches National Park
Unfortunately, the main campground inside the park at Devil’s Garden is closed for construction from March – November 2017. There are other campgrounds outside the main gates – you can find them listed here.

Moab KOA
3225 South Highway 191 | Moab, UT 84532

With littles along, the rustic charm of the Moab outpost of Kampers of America (KOA) is a welcome respite. We rent a “Kamper Kabin,” that sleeps 6 in 4 bunks and a double bed. Bring your own sleeping bags or bedding. But the value here lies with a swimming pool to cool off after hiking through the red dust as well as a mini-golf course for late evening fun with the family.

EAT:

Jailhouse Cafe
101 N Main St | Moab, UT 84532

Best brunch in town. Check for opening hours and plan accordingly. Outdoor seating during warmer months. Delicious.


C | BRYCE, UTAH
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

The State of Utah has five National Parks within its borders. (The third most per state behind much larger Alaska and California.) Bryce Canyon is a little off the beaten path, but offers a vista like none of the others. Hoodoos – strange rock formations created by the unique geology here dominate the landscape. Quirky towers, striated with whites, oranges, and reds sit below you in the valley. When viewed from the canyon rim, it is not difficult to be impressed with this vista. But I recommend that you hike down in and see them up close and personal.

 BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
START HERE:

The visitor center here is excellent and offers talks and presentations as well as information on the local geology. In summer months – May to September – opening hours are extended from 8 am – 8 pm. During shoulder months April and October – open 8 am – 6 pm. Center closes at 4:30 pm in winter, November – March.

TOP TIP:

All Bryce Canyon hikes start at the canyon rim and head down to the valley floor. Be prepared with water and sunscreen and save energy for the hike back up. Horseback trail rides down into the canyon available as well.

DON’T MISS:

Thors Hammer and Wall Street on the Navajo Loop Trail. Or check out the Astrology Nights held at the Visitors Center affording views through the telescopes at the galaxy beyond. Because Bryce Canyon is isolated from population centers, it avoids light pollution and one has the potential to see the Milky Way and 7500 of the closest stars. Check website for details.

STAY:

Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park
North Campground and Sunset Campground both offer tent and RV sites. Only North campground is open year-round and on a limited basis.

Bryce Canyon Lodge and Cabins
Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, UT 84764
Reservations 1-877-386-4383

Historic lodge with 114 rooms available from April through mid-November. Rustic cabins, a general store, dining room and other amenities available.

For lodging outside the park – check here.


D | ORDERVILLE, UTAH
ROCKS & GEMS SHOPPING

No American road trip is complete without curious and authentic places to stop and experience real Americana. Orderville, Utah is a beaut of a stop for anyone interested in rocks and minerals. And even if you aren’t a self-proclaimed rock hound, you might be after stopping at one of the iconic shops here on Route 89 between Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, where we’re headed next. I mean where else can you grab a geode, onyx, petrified trees, crystals AND fossilized dinosaur teeth.

DON’T MISS:

The Rock Stop

Fisher’s Rock Shop & Jewelry
400 W State St, Orderville, UT 84758


E | SPRINGDALE, UTAH
ZION NATIONAL PARK

People come to Zion to commune with angels. Heaven on earth. But no matter what your religion, this park will move you. Currently, it sits firmly in my top three U.S. National Parks for purveying epic and awe-inspiring landscapes. Of the five National Parks in Utah, Zion is the granddaddy. Greener than the barren martian landscape of Arches N.P., Zion sits along a slot canyon formed by the Virgin River. It is also one of the most popular parks in the Western States and sees an average 4 million visitors annually. Plan your visit here early summer or early fall to experience all of Zion’s majesty.

Nearby Springdale, Utah – like Moab – has become an adorable outpost for park visitors, hikers, adrenaline junkies as well as families. The Virgin River continues its course out of Zion and right down along Springdale. Great options for accommodations, restaurants and cafes here as well as many stops for the free shuttles that take you right into the park.

Zion NATIONAL PARK
START HERE:

Start at the Visitor Center to pick up a current park map and guide with up to date listings on trail conditions and shuttle stops. Excellent bathroom facilities, gift shop for sunscreen you forgot and places to fill up your water bottle with Zion spring water.

TOP TIP:

If you want to drive into the park – come EARLY. Parking is greatly limited inside Zion, and Visitor Center lots will fill by mid-morning. OR skip parking hassles and park in Springdale and grab free shuttles which run from March to November.

DON’T MISS:

Weeping Rock and Riverside Walk along the Virgin River. Then in warmer months – a hike up the Narrows in and out of the river is a must, but will be crowded. Check with Visitor’s Center for less popular trails with equally amazing viewpoints.

STAY:

Camping at Zion National Park
Zion has two campgrounds in the canyon. These are South and Watchman Campgrounds. Reservations can be made at Watchman online. Otherwise, plan to come early to try for a spot as most fill by noon from April – October. I told you it was popular here.

Zion National Park Lodge
Only in-park lodging with dining facilities available year round.

Desert Pearl Inn
707 Zion–Mount Carmel Hwy | Springdale, UT 84767

If you have one place to splurge on your road trip, save your pennies for a night at the Desert Pearl. After camping in Bryce it was a perfect respite. Ask for a family room on the Virgin River side and your spacious accommodation will open up onto a grassy area right along the shaded river with beautiful red rocks looming in the distance. The river is narrow and shallow here – a perfect place for kids to swing and float down the water a bit, then clamber back up the bank to do it again. Catch frogs. Swing from the rope right over the river. Too much nature for the day? Take a dip in the pool with views of the red rocks and watch the moon rise.

EAT:

Bit and Spur Restaurant and Saloon
1212 Zion Park Blvd | Springdale, UT 84767

Tex-mex with attitude. Fun decor and outdoor patio. Great margaritas and guacamole. Perfect after all that hiking!

Larsen’s Frostop Drive-In
858 St George Blvd | St George, UT 84770

Classic American road trip pit stop. Burgers, fries, milkshakes of every ilk. Make mine a vanilla malt please. A must stop leaving Zion on your way to Vegas. Yes. I said Vegas, baby.


F | LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
LAS VEGAS STRIP

Now a good American road trip is chock full of yin AND some yang. For all that nature, we have to create balance. One night in Vegas is usually enough to do it. And yes. I do believe you can take your children to Vegas. For a night. All that neon is fascinating to everyone.

START HERE:

The classic welcome to Las Vegas sign. You may have to wait your turn to get your pic, but come on. It’s an instant classic. Lucky for you the sign now sits in the middle of a median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South. Parking spots available and paved paths lead to the sign.

TOP TIP:

If traveling with children, be aware that Sin City can live up to its name. Keeping exploration to daytime and early evening hours and specific sites will minimize concern. Many of the big hotels on the Strip have amazing pools that are a big splash with families, especially after the camping and hiking of previous days.

DON’T MISS:

The water show in front of the Bellagio, the Big Apple roller coaster atop New York-New York, shopping under Caeser’s Palace and the light show at the Fremont Experience.

STAY:

There are a million places to stay and something for every budget. If you prefer your lodging without the ding-ding-ding of a casino floor, check out these lists for non-gaming hotels. Here and here.

The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
129 Fremont Street Experience | Las Vegas, NV 89101

When in Vegas, baby. We went old school for our Vegas family experience and choose to stay at the iconic recommend the Golden Nugget for two reasons. It has a pool with water-slide through a shark tank. I’m not kidding. Hours of entertainment. And, second, it is part of the Fremont Street Experience – a huge LED canopy that connects several Vegas casino legends with a shopping mall and restaurants. Nightly light shows on the huge canopy begin at dusk.


G | HAWTHORNE, NEVADA
MINERAL COUNTY MUSEUM

Leaving Las Vegas – you could opt to continue your road trip west to Los Angeles. But we’re from Oregon – so we’re headed north. With a couple of the deepest alpine lakes on the map to round out our journey. Nevada is not a small state and transversing it takes determination. When Lake Tahoe is your target, believe me, its worth it.

But before we get to those gorgeous blue waters, we’ll cross through some wild, wild west. Tumbleweeds and sage brush and teepees and cactus. LOTS of cacti. And then out of nowhere is the peculiar town of Hawthorne, Nevada. It’s worthy of a stop. Home to around 3000 inhabitants, the local economy here is mostly providing for the local Army depot. A stop at the free Mineral County Museum gives a glimpse through time at what life was like in this part of America.

Don’t Miss:

Mineral County Museum
400 10th Street | Hawthorne NV, 89415


H | LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA/CALIFORNIA BORDER

Ahhhh. You made it. It was long and at times desolate. But Tahoe calls. Can you hear it? Whispers through the tall pines that line the surrounding mountains. Come to the lake.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States and straddles the border of Nevada and California. Today, we’re staying on the Cali side, but both sides have merits. We drove far today and will set up camp and stay. For two nights.

TOP TIP:

Summer is beautiful here, but Lake Tahoe also has world-class ski resorts for those interested in winter action. Check out Heavenly, Diamond Peak, Squaw Valley and Mount Rose.

DON’T MISS:

South Lake Tahoe and beautiful Emerald Bay. On the Nevada side, take the lift up to the top of Heavenly for amazing views over the lake and a great restaurant at the top. Want to get out on the water? Take a turn on a sternwheeler that leaves from Zephyr Cove.

STAY:

Camping around Lake Tahoe
There are tons of places to camp around Lake Tahoe. For crowd-sourced reviews of specific campgrounds – check out The Dyrt.

William Kent Campground

We enjoyed the rustic campsites across the street from the Lake at William Kent Campground near Tahoe City on the California side. Easy access to Tahoe City for provisions or good restaurants, William Kent sites are wooded and semi-private. Bear lockers available and recommended for safe keeping of all your food stuffs. Yes. Bear lockers. Use them people. They’re there for a reason.

EAT:

S’mores around a campfire. Three simple ingredients. Pure American summer perfection. Marshmallows. I recommend Jet-Puffed mallows. Don’t believe that there is a difference between American marshmallows and other marshmallows? I am here to tell you there is. Believe it or not, but I think American marshmallows are less sweet than those I’ve found here in Denmark. Toast your marshmallow to a golden brown perfection where the middle is just perfectly melted and about to slide off your stick. Set it gently atop a square of Honey-Maid graham crackers and carefully insert one brick of Hershey’s chocolate. Squish together with a second square of graham and let sit a minute to ensure time for the chocolate to melt. Now taste. Ahhh. Smile. You’ll want some more if you did it correctly.


I | KLAMATH FALLS, OREGON
CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

Lake Tahoe is second only to Crater Lake, which sits a little further north in southern Oregon as the deepest freshwater lake in the United States. The crystal clear blue water sits inside a volcanic caldera created after the eruption of the former Mount Mazama approximately 8000 years ago. When we arrived mid to late June, summer had not yet hit Crater Lake, snow still closing down some roads and trails. Overcast skies did not afford the best blues the lake has to offer, but the park still impresses.

From Crater Lake, we made it home to Portland. There is much to explore in Oregon that I will share in further posts. But for now, with nearly 2000 miles (3200 km) under our belt in a week’s time, we need our own beds. Our own shower. And rest for our weary feet.

But our experiences from the road will leave watermarks of wonder. For a long time after. Get out there. Buy the ticket. Take the ride. Feel the freedom of the open road.

Suitcases and Sandcastles

95 thoughts on “Postcards from an American Road Trip | Western States

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Glad to hear that I could offer some new tips! Didn’t you love Arches and Bryce? I need to get to the other 2 Utah National Parks – Canyonlands and Capital Reef – it’s so gorgeous down there! Cheers from Copenhagen where the topography is only just slightly different! 😉

      1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

        We are lucky to call Copenhagen home – nearly 2.5 years now! And you should definitely visit – it’s crazy cool.

  1. Pingback: Faraway Files #19 - oregon girl around the world

  2. Fantastic road trip! There were so many times we did a road trip from Montana to San Diego, but never stopped to see or do anything 🙁 My parents were also pushers to get somewhere on time. Which was strange because they love traveling as much as I do! #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I’ve been on those kinds of road trips too! Not quite as fun. As a kid I moved across the country twice – from Washington State to South Carolina and then back across to Oregon. I remember viscerally the long stretches of open road pushing to get places. Usually my grandparents house in Nebraska! Have you been to any of the Utah National Parks? GAH. I’m in love. It’s so beautiful down there! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

      1. Sadly we’ve only ever driven though the Utah parks 🙁 Usually because we too were moving. We moved from San Diego to Montana, back to SD, back to Montana haha I’d certainly love to visit them though!

      2. oregongirlaroundtheworld

        So different San Diego and Montana! Beautiful part of the country to drive through though!

  3. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    Wow, this is some road trip – just what everyone imagines it should be. I love all the unusual rock formations so this would definitely appeal, and some fun in Vegas as a complete contrast.
    #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Go big or go home right? Yes – we definitely tried for balance… camp a few nights, hotel a few nights… nature and kitsch. All good. Cheers!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Have you been to this part of the USA? It’s so gorgeous – I highly recommend a visit! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      America has diverse everything! I do love this part of the country though – truly stunning landscape. Cheers from Copenhagen for now! Erin

  4. Oh how I’d love to do a road trip like this, it’s the stuff of my dreams. You’ve put together so many useful tips, I’m definitely pinning this for future reference. And….s’mores! Just give me some now! #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I know – we have definitely missed s’mores… can’t find graham crackers here and biscuits just aren’t a correct substitute! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      It’s all about balance Sally! I love a good road trip too. Tunes on, map out, open road. Vistas at every turn. Or something like that! Cheers, Erin

  5. As a kid I hated road trips. We drove from Seattle to Utah every summer- 14 hours only stopping for gas and the rare bathroom breaks (we had to use the restroom every time we stopped for gas to limit the amount of “unnecessary” stops). Now that I plan my own trips, we take our time on road trips. We make it more about the journey and not just arriving at our destination. I’ve found that I actually enjoy them most of the time. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – I’ve definitely been on those road trips too. Many trips up and down I-5 between Seattle or Portland and Bay Area or LA. Straight up and down – no stops – purely transportation. Definitely not as fun! Do you have a favorite outdoor place in Utah? Such a beautiful state in a different way than Washington.

      1. Provo Canyon is my favorite outdoor place. It’s a campground and a picnic place about an hour south of Salt Lake. Sadly, I’ve never been to the national parks since we only went to southern Utah once- to St George to visit my aunt. The rest of the time we stayed in Provo and Salt Lake. We didn’t do much traveling when I was a kid- only to visit family- so I’m discovering how much I love traveling as an adult. Thankfully, my husband loves to travel too so we have the opportunity to travel more. Thank goodness because we have a budding travel enthusiast in my daughter 🙂

  6. I love roadtripping! A trip out west is definitely in the cards when we (eventually) move back to America. I’d eventually like to see all the US national parks and really enjoyed reading about your visits there!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      That’s a hefty bucket list – but apparently there was a photographer who just visited every single one in a calendar year – including Alaska, Hawaii and US Virgin Islands! Wow. Do you have a favorite National Park off the top of your head?

      1. That’s a really tough call, I think my favorite of the ones I’ve visited has to be Yellowstone, nothing quite compares to it. I’d like to visit Alaska though, the parks there look amazing.

      2. oregongirlaroundtheworld

        Yes Yellowstone is a classic – weirdly I went several times as a child and have yet to take my own children there!

      3. I’m sure they’ll love it! My sister lives right outside it, so I’ve got multiple reasons to visit! I’d really like to go to Glacier though. Which park is your favorite?

      4. oregongirlaroundtheworld

        Zion and Arches for sure. Arches is so different from Oregon (and Denmark!) – those red rocks and the dry heat are amazing and Moab is adorable. And Zion is just epic. I would love to do Glacier as well. And Alaska! NINE up there! Ok – wanderlusting big time!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – if I’m exploring a new country, I definitely like to do a little of both – concentrated city time then rent a car and see the country – it’s totally different when you can say – YES – let’s go down THAT road! Cheers, Erin

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      That is one of the reasons I was so taken originally with the landscape of Southern Utah – so different from the Pacific Northwest that I grew up in!

  7. What a fantastic trip – I’ve done one proper US road trip and a few which involved some driving through the countryside and it is an amazing way to see the country. There is so much, the national parks are incredible. #farawayfiles

  8. Wherejogoes

    WOW you did an awesome amount in a week! What a fantastic trip and I am sure one that will live long in the memories of your very lucky children. I agree with you a combination of some planned activities and the option for some spontaneity is a good recipe for a holiday! So many great ideas on here thanks so much for sharing and hosting. #citytripping

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      One night in Moab (since we’d been to Arches before), late into Bryce, two nights there, then one night at hotel in Springdale for Zion, then late out for one night in Vegas, then two nights in Tahoe – Crater Lake on way home! It was nice to have two nights in a few places to not make it feel like we were racing along. It can be done! Cheers, Erin

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      So much to see – I’m sure it can feel overwhelming what to prioritize and where to start. Picking a big city to start in is a good place. I’m a West Coaster, but there is plenty to see all over the States. Happy to offer help when you sit down to it!

  9. mymeenalife

    I haven’t been to a single place on your list but I want to go to all of them! This road trip looks like a dream and absolutely a great way to see some of the States.

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – I haven’t been to your Florida places either and now want to! I highly recommend southern Utah – it is stunning. Cheers!

  10. I’m taking a little road trip this weekend and you post has me totally stoked for it! It’s just down the California coast but I am hoping to get out to Arches and Bryce Canyon this summer!
    #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      “Just down the California coast…” lucky you! People dream about doing that you know – have a great time. I highly recommend Southern Utah – so much to explore. I need to check off Canyonlands and Capital Reef National Parks and complete by Utah five. Kind of hard from Denmark, so save that one for later! Cheers, Erin

  11. If you recall my posts on Petra, the landscape of Arches National Park of the red rugged terrain, gorges and canyons are too similar to Petra 🙂 Road trips are fun especially if planned well i.e. car is working tip-top, breaks, snacks and water in the car, games, etc – if I have more time on my hands, I would love to go on a road trip. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes! That is exactly what I thought when I read your Petra posts! Save for the amazing architecture in Jordan, the Wadi Rum landscape has a similar Martian feel to it. Yes – definitely need a car in good working order to have a successful road trip – nothing worse than having to worry about where you’ll get stuck if there are issues! Cheers and happy Friday!

  12. Oh wow! I love road trips but have never done one longer than 500 miles. I think it is time to plan a big one. Just today, I was reading about road tripping around Utah and Northern Arizona. So great you are keeping me focused on this goal! #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Well – you know you could walk 500 miles, but to go further – you need a car. 😉 Just kidding. Utah is amazing! Five U.S. National Parks there! I don’t know as much about Arizona besides the Grand Canyon. Can’t wait to see where you pick Ruth – cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

  13. It was exciting to see you travel to so many places that I’ve been throughout the years and lived in! I’m from southern Utah and lived in Denver for several years. I’ve also traveled to Oregon numerous times. Seeing your photos and reading your story let me relive some of that great nostalgia!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Awesome! Happy to trigger some memories! Want to share a favorite place in Southern Utah that we may have missed? I want to get back and do Capital Reef and Canyonlands National Parks for sure!

      1. Those are both great options. I also like Snow Canyon State Park in St. George, but it gets very hot so bring lots of water and wear sunscreen if you visit in the summer. Dixie National Forest has a couple of hikes I haven’t tried yet and the hike for Kanaraville Falls is popular too. I currently work at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Southern Utah Museum of Art in Cedar City. We have lots of shows in addition to Shakespeare and the greenshow is free (plus the tarts are a favorite past time). Looking forward to seeing other places you might explore in southern Utah! There are plenty and I haven’t seen them all. 😉

  14. Oh I’ve wanted to visit Utah’s national parks for like ever… Had no idea those funny shaped towers in Bryce Canyon are called hoodoos – funky name! Yep, an American road trip remains firmly on the bucket list! x
    #FarawayFiles

  15. tracystravels10

    I would love to do this road trip! I really want to go to Utah’s national parks – every time i see photographs they go higher up on my bucket list!! Definitely something we hope to do one day! #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Jaw-droppingly stunning. It is so soul-filling to be in the presence of a place that is so epic and large and impressive and literally awe some. You get it all the time I’m sure living in Switzerland! Denmark has other opportunities for soul-filling, but not as many geographical wonders. Some, but not like this. Cheers!

      1. Definitely a canyon trip, which will possibly include: Grand, Antelope Valley, Monument, and Bryce, but maybe Zion and a stop in Las Vegas. However, Europe is calling…. it’s so hard to decide!

  16. We did part of this trip – Vegas to Tahoe – when I was a teenager. I spent the whole time on my walkman listening to the Pixies whilst glaring out the window. I loved the landscapes and was repulsed by Vegas. I’d love to explore Utah – looks incredible Erin. #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      There is much to be repulsed about Vegas, but it was a good break from all the nature and my kids were taken with the neon and you can’t really go wrong when you have a water slide that passes through a shark tank. I mean. Cool.

  17. YES! I’m DYING to go to Utah after reading this. We might be in the U.S. next year for some work stuff/a wedding so might have to make a trip up to Utah and do some national park hopping. I never knew how many parks there were in this beautiful state until recently and now feel like they are a must-do for my hiking feet. Thank you for sharing this awesome roadtrip! #farawayfiles

  18. Sounds like a wonderful road trip, with all the stops at the beautiful national parks. I am yet to visit any in mainland US and would love to start with the Grand Canyon someday.

  19. Addie

    All I’ve been thinking about recently is a road trip through Utah’s National Parks, and this just makes me want to go even more! I’ll definitely be saving this post for when I do get to go – thanks for all the helpful tips! #FarawayFiles

  20. WOW Erin! I would LOVE to do this trip one day. The Junior Ranger program sounds like it would really help kids get to know more about those amazing rock formations. And I loved you advice about taking kids to Vegas. #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Haha – it’s a balance. I wouldn’t stay there for long – too much exposure to mature underbelly – but for a quick overnight – no harm, no foul. And that pool was pretty epic! Cheers, Erin

  21. Such a gorgeous part of the world. I have visited most of these places on road trips and youth projects 15-25 years ago and have been trying to convince Mrs Daisy the bus that a grand family trip stateside would be a good idea. In fact, I think I’ll just show her this wonderful post right now… #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I’ve got more inspo coming! Mostly western states oriented though – cuz you know… I’m an Oregon Girl! Cheers!

  22. Hey! Looks like we will be doing a similar trip this July! Of course my source of inspiration is this blog post! Wondering if there is anything else I need to know… I’ll be with people ranging from 9 to 75, so extreme hiking is definitely out for this bunch…

Leave a Reply