50 in 50

In 50 weeks, we’ll be visiting 50 National Parks.

There are 59 National Parks in total, and one day hopefully we shall see them all, but ambitious as our agenda may be, we’re not nutty enough to think we can see all parks in the continental US (plus 2 in Hawaii and one in the Virgin Islands) and then still have time to dash up to Alaska in the Whale to see the remaining 8 parks.  Not to mention flying across the world for the final park in American Samoa.  We’re very happy to zip around the continental US in our silver buggy, and then capping off our adventures by abandoning the Whale in the winter for some time in Hawaii.  Besides, isn’t 50 just a nice, round number?

Here is our journey thus far, showing both the parks and the various cities we’ve stopped in to explore for one reason or another (usually because some kind of good eats is calling).

We were inspired by the NPS Centennial in 2016, and in particular one amazing road map created by Randy Olson, data scientist extraordinaire, that calculated the best route (well, most efficient) to all 47 parks in the continental US.  This route covers almost 15,000 miles, and if you dedicate yourself to speed and just a glimpse of each park, this road trip would take about 2 months. (Interactive map: HERE)

Here’s another article about the proposed road trip, and while it notes that it’s highly improbable anyone would try this insanity… apparently there were at least 2 people crazy enough to try.

List of the National Parks we will be visiting, in order:

  1. Pinnacles  CA
  2. Channel Islands  CA
  3. Joshua Tree  CA
  4. Death Valley  CA
  5. Grand Canyon  AZ
  6. Petrified Forest  AZ
  7. Saguaro  AZ
  8. Guadalupe Mountains  NM
  9. Carlsbad Caverns  NM
  10. Big Bend  TX
  11. Hot Springs  AK
  12. Mammoth Cave  KT
  13. Great Smoky Mountains   TN
  14. Everglades  FL
  15. Dry Tortugas  FL
  16. Biscayne  FL
  17. Congaree  SC
  18. Shenandoah  VA
  19. Acadia  ME
  20. Cuyahoga  OH
  21. Isle Royale  MI
  22. Voyageurs  MN
  23. Theodore Roosevelt   ND
  24. Badlands National Park   SD
  25. Wind Cave   SD
  26. Rocky Mountain  CO
  27. Great Sand Dunes  CO
  28. Black Canyon of the Gunnison   CO
  29. Mesa Verde   CO
  30. Grand Teton  WY
  31. Yellowstone   WY
  32. Glacier   MT
  33. North Cascades National Park     WA
  34. Mount Rainier National Park     WA
  35. Olympic National Park     WA
  36. Crater Lake  OR
  37. Redwoods    CA
  38. Lassen Volcanic National Park    CA
  39. Yosemite   CA
  40. Kings Canyon  CA
  41. Sequoia  CA
  42. Great Basin  NV
  43. Zion  UT
  44. Bryce Canyon    UT
  45. Capital Reef   UT
  46. Arches  UT
  47. Canyonlands   UT
  48. Haleakala   HI
  49. Hawai’i Volcanoes  HI
  50. Virgin Islands