We arrived home last Thursday and spent the past few days taking a vacation from our vacation! We are finally unpacked, have plenty of fresh food in the house, have a CLEAN house, and resumed our regular routine, not to mention sleeping in our own bed!

I decided to analyze the numbers for our trip in case you were wondering:

  • 38 days
  • 8135 miles
  • $9200 spent
  • 11 National Parks
  • 14+ National Monuments (Historic Parks/Forests/Preserves/Recreation Areas)
  • 28 hotels
  • ~2000 photos (each!)

National Parks

  1. Petrified Forest National Park
  2. Grand Canyon National Park
  3. Zion National Park
  4. Bryce Canyon National Park
  5. Capitol Reef National Park
  6. Arches National Park
  7. Canyonlands National Park
  8. Grand Teton National Park
  9. Yellowstone National Park
  10. Wind Cave National Park
  11. Badlands National Park

National Monuments, Preserves, etc.

  1. Pecos National Historic Park
  2. Bandelier National Monument
  3. Valles Caldera National Preserve
  4. El Malpais National Monument
  5. Walnut Canyon National Monument
  6. Sunset Crater National Monument
  7. Wupatki National Monument
  8. Coconino National Forest (Sedona)
  9. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell and more)
  10. Hog Springs Recreation Area (Bureau of Land Management)
  11. Natural Bridges National Monument
  12. Devil’s Tower National Monument
  13. Jewel Cave National Monument
  14. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

I’m sure you are wondering, would we do it again? Well, 38 days on the road was a long time, and things were starting to become less interesting because we were mentally saturated with everything we had seen and we were almost becoming jaded. We do plan other national park adventures, but with some changes:

  • Fly to a centralized airport and rent a car
  • 3-4 weeks maximum
  • Fewer parks and less hotels

A couple of our future National Park trips include flying into Seattle and visiting Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks (all in Washington), plus Glacier National Park in Montana. Another trip will involve flying to Denver, Colorado and see all four National Parks in that state. These are not trips for this year, however! We will be sticking closer to home, except for our annual New England Trip to see our brothers (between us, we have 4) and close friends. We will, of course, be taking our camper out too this summer and fall, but not going too far for those excursions.

I intend to continue blogging because I really enjoyed sharing our adventures with those that I care about. The first thing I want to do, however, is to create a photo book of this trip while it is still fresh in my mind. After that, I will come back to this blog and clean up some of the posts (fix typos, try to be more coherent and maybe add other useful details). I plan to add new posts that might be useful for a more general audience planning a trip to these destinations but I will keep all of the ones I’ve written as well, since they were written for friends and family. I hope you will continue to follow along, and get ideas for your own wonderful trips. Be sure to sign up to get emails if you want to keep up with my blog in the future. Happy Travels!

About Author

Karen is a retired software developer, now exploring our beautiful country with her husband, Steve.

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