I’ll be honest, I was long overdue for a driving trip as I’m more of Jet Setter then a Road Warrior. There seemed to be no better time than now so my parents, my younger niece, and I set out to see a few National Parks with the iconic sights along the way.
We were on our way with all the necessities: snacks, maps, trip itinerary, and car games. The majority of the drive was easy and moved along quickly and scenic drives were perfectly placed to break up the interstate time.
We really have impressive sights beyond within our borders! It’s easy to see how the world’s first National Park is Yellowstone. At 2.2 million acres be sure to have a well-planned itinerary for your visit. We spent much of our time at Old Faithful, the multi jewel colored Prismatic springs, the scenic drives, and on the lookout for wildlife. The highlight was a rare viewing just off the road of a large grizzly protecting his prize elk. Not rare, but still awesome, was the 100+ Bison herd we had also seen stretched along on the side of the road.
Our visit to the Grand Tetons National Park was a day of beauty. The main three majestic Teton mountain peaks towering over pristine lakes like Lake Jenny was a perfect backdrop for the easy walks we did. We enjoyed our time in nearby Jackson Hole area exploring its unique shops and delicious eats. Huckleberry old fashioned soda is made locally here and was a new treat for us all.
I think the Badland’s National Park and surrounding area can be underrated and overlooked. We enjoyed the bands of color ribboning in its jagged rock formations and tried to imagine the lifestyles of the natives and early settlers here. This area also has so much family fun to offer, we had a great time at Wall Drug and posed for some funny photos. My niece loved the Cowgirl hat she found there and wore it our entire trip. Dinosaur digs, caves, and more are so close by that it make’s for perfect family fun.
Seeing the National Monuments such as Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower were also high lights of our trip. We visited Mount Rushmore by day and night. We loved the upper level and the walkway with all of the state flags and enjoyed seeing the faces glow as they were illuminated after dusk. The best sight of the 4 past Presidents was catching the first glimpse of their faces from afar as we arrived into the area. Devil’s Tower can be seen from quite a distance but viewing this rock tower created by volcanic force up close is so interesting. We enjoyed the massive bounders at its base.
Staying in towns like Cody, WY and Keystone, SD gave us time to get into the spirit of the wild west. Having great weather added to the experience and spending time splashing in the pools were great way to start or end our days.
Bringing three generations together on a road trip is my favorite memory of all. We kept focused on the reason for this trip which was that the joy was in the journey. This was what made a driving trip special for us and something we could not have experienced by flying alone.
Lori also recently spent family time on a Dude ranch out West. We love that we can blend time with family and gain current insights on what to see and how to see it. We also know what can really be left for a later visit if time is short so the trip will stay fun for all. We would love to help you plan your own adventure West!