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National Park(USA) tour?
Old 03-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
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National Park(USA) tour?

My wife and I discussed our bucket list and number 1 was visiting every national park in the USA. Put Two kayaks on the roof of our Prius and bikes on a rear hitch and go.

Has anyone done this? Do you know of a good tour book that would cover this?

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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Wow. I'm seriously envious of your goal (except the Prius part ). There are plenty of guide books on the NP's. You can do them by region to make the travel logisitics more reasonable. Although I've been to several, seeing all of them someday is also #1 on my bucket list.

Have fun!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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I did this in 1973 in a 1966 Econoline. I didn't see every park, but I hit most of 'em. I'd highly recommend it.

The national parks have a good web site. National Geographic also has apps for iPad for the parks.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Thanks - only reason for a Prius is the MPG, 50+ MPG, across the USA really save some serious $$$$. I found the books by region - seems like the only solution as their is so much info in them. I will check out Nat. Geo.

Thanks
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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My wife and I discussed our bucket list and number 1 was visiting every national park in the USA. Put Two kayaks on the roof of our Prius and bikes on a rear hitch and go.

Has anyone done this? Do you know of a good tour book that would cover this?


I just want to get a feel for what you are planning... when you say 'park', what do you mean

IOW, I had a bet with my DW and DS about how many national parks we had visited... when I pointed out that we had been to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, my DS said 'That is not a National Park'. I said 'it even has park in the name!!'...


We will be visiting a few in California this summer, so will be adding to our list...
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
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Good point - All the National parks - but lets be less strict - if it looks fun and interesting we will do it. If it is listed in nps link below it qualifies.

U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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IMHO, I don't think that it is a good idea.
I've been to many US National Park (not all) and the first thing that you learn once you visit a few parks in a row is that you stop appreciating their beauty. Each Park is great in its unique way, but once you start seeing them immediately one after another, images are starting to blur and you are starting to judge them against each other.

My suggestion - split this into a number of years. There is no reason to rush. Enjoy no more than 2-3-4 parks per one trip with several trips per year. Spend as much time as you can in each park and enjoy its beauty. Don't rush.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Like Travelover I did something like that in 66, 67 and 69 camping with friends from school. It was a ball. DW and I have talked about doing it one of these years. If you are over 60 make sure to get the $25 lifetime National Parks pass. It is good for you and up to three others in any vehicle you arrive in.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
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Just looked them up....

It will be hard pressed for you to visit all of them in your Prius...

American Samoa American Samoa
Haleakal Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes Hawaii
Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands


Plus 8 in Alaska, which you might be able to drive.....
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsv_climber View Post
IMHO, I don't think that it is a good idea.
I've been to many US National Park (not all) and the first thing that you learn once you visit a few parks in a row is that you stop appreciating their beauty. Each Park is great in its unique way, but once you start seeing them immediately one after another, images are starting to blur and you are starting to judge them against each other.

My suggestion - split this into a number of years. There is no reason to rush. Enjoy no more than 2-3-4 parks per one trip with several trips per year. Spend as much time as you can in each park and enjoy its beauty. Don't rush.

Our plan is to limit our time based on the season - i.e. when school is in session we will be in the parks. I went to a few NP in Arizona last February and I felt that each one was unique and stayed as long as I wanted w/o anything driving me out. W/O a schedule and with park pass it is not hard to smell the roses and not be in a rush.

We may even camp is in few for a week - no rush and no fuss.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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Just looked them up....

It will be hard pressed for you to visit all of them in your Prius...

American Samoa American Samoa
Haleakal Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes Hawaii
Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands


Plus 8 in Alaska, which you might be able to drive.....
Ha - those would require a flight and Prius rental - Only using the Prius because it comfortable and has amazing MPG. I purchase a Chevy Sonic at the same time, it's not as comfortable and gets ~ 15 mpg less.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:29 PM   #12
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You have to be 62 to get the free pass for $10. Good for forests, blm and others.

Get a Pass
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Just looked them up....

It will be hard pressed for you to visit all of them in your Prius...

American Samoa American Samoa
Haleakal Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes Hawaii
Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands


Plus 8 in Alaska, which you might be able to drive.....
I thought that was what the kayaks were for.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:10 AM   #14
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I've found an Annual Pass a good deal if you don't qualify for the Senior. Haven't been to all by a long shot but quite a few, I've found the internet the best guide,buying local guide books at the larger parks for extended stays. I like staying inside the big parks, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, it adds something to the parks being there dawn and dusk. Reservations at the popular parks are a must, some must be made many months in advance.

My bucket list has me in one of these instead of the Prius though... Legend EX
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:30 AM   #15
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All 59 national parks in one trip? We have been to a dozen or little more of them and are adding a few each year. I think HSV Climber is right. This is something to do a few parks at a time in regions.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:19 AM   #16
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I did this in 1973 in a 1966 Econoline. I didn't see every park, but I hit most of 'em. I'd highly recommend it.

The national parks have a good web site. National Geographic also has apps for iPad for the parks.
Those were great years to travel weren't they? I did the same thing over the course of a few years from '74 to '82 camping out in a 1972 VW bus. I just might do it again now that I'm retired but need to adjust to driving a newer vehicle and camping in a motel. The bones just aren't what they used to be.

Cheers!
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:42 AM   #17
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All 59 national parks in one trip? We have been to a dozen or little more of them and are adding a few each year. I think HSV Climber is right. This is something to do a few parks at a time in regions.
Nope - basically 4 months per year - staying away from the crowds. This will force us to go by regions and if we really like a park spend extra time their.

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:56 AM   #18
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Those were great years to travel weren't they?.......
Everything is better when you are 20 years old.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #19
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I've found an Annual Pass a good deal if you don't qualify for the Senior. Haven't been to all by a long shot but quite a few, I've found the internet the best guide,buying local guide books at the larger parks for extended stays. I like staying inside the big parks, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, it adds something to the parks being there dawn and dusk. Reservations at the popular parks are a must, some must be made many months in advance.

My bucket list has me in one of these instead of the Prius though... Legend EX

This is a really good idea - something to consider. We like to travel light, using a Coleman Insta-Tent and high quality cots if we found a place to camp. Mostly we would stay in hotels/motels. I currently have a camper but a converted van is great idea. Since we have the $ maybe traveling in Luxury is the way to go.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
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This is a great reference:
The Most Scenic Drives in America: 120 Spectacular Road Trips It's not just drives, but also where to spend some time.

It covers tons of national parks, monuments, parkways, etc. but it also covers things worth visiting on the way. DH and I used it a lot (an earlier edition) when RV exploring parts of the US that we hadn't visited before. We would have missed several gems if we hadn't checked the book.

Not everything spectacular is a national park either - for example, you wouldn't want to miss the entire Oregon coast! And it's worth visiting Mount Rushmore in SD (especially for the mountain goats) but if you miss nearby Custer State Park, or that crazy loopy road between them, you've really missed out!
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