Home > pre-trip > 48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary: The Whole Thing

48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary: The Whole Thing

May 8th, 2009

People like maps. Here’s mine:

48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary Map

48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary Map

The push pins are relevant for the most part — I’m stopping where there are push pins, with maybe an exception or two. But I’m also stopping in some places without push pins. Very confusing, yes. The pins are really just there to hold the map together. As pins often do.

I’m looking at the trip in four parts: West Coast, Northern States, East Coast and Gulf, and South/Southwest. Here are highlights:

Part 1: West Coast (from July 15 through August 16)

  • San Simeon
  • Big Sur
  • Monterey Peninsula
  • San Francisco
  • Point Reyes
  • Yosemite National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Oregon Coast
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Mt. St. Helens (ca. 2 days)
  • Mt. Rainier National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Olympic National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Mt. Baker/North Cascades National Park (ca. 5 days — it’s a family reunion)

Part 2: Northern States (August 17th to September 15th)

  • Glacier National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Whitefish, MT
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Sheridan, WY
  • Devil’s Tower
  • Mt. Rushmore
  • Custer State Park, South Dakota
  • Badlands National Park
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Voyageurs National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Duluth
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti
  • Chicago
  • Nauvoo, IL
  • United States Air Force Museum (Dayton)
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Niagara Falls
  • Palmyra, NY
  • Adirondacks
  • Vermont Mountains
  • New Hampshire Mountains
  • Acadia National Park (ca. 2 days)

Part 3: East Coast and Gulf (September 16th to October 11th)

  • Newport, RI
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Annapolis/Ft. McHenry/US Naval Academy
  • United States Marine Corps Academy (Quantico)
  • Shenandoah National Park (ca. 2 days)
  • Monongahela National Forest (WV)
  • Charlottesville/Monticello
  • Appomattox
  • Richmond
  • Yorktown
  • Williamsburg
  • Jamestown
  • Wright Brothers National Monument
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Charleston/Ft. Sumter
  • Hunting Island State Park, SC
  • Savannah
  • Pensacola/Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • Mobile
  • New Orleans (ca. 2 days)

Part 4: South and Southwest (October 12th to November 6th)

  • Vicksburg
  • Natchez Trace Parkway (from Jackson, MS to Nashville)
  • Nashville
  • Mammoth Cave National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Cathedral Canyon, MO
  • Joplin, MO
  • Petit Jean State Park, AR
  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Austin
  • San Antonio/The Alamo
  • Fredericksburg
  • Big Bend National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Roswell
  • White Sands National Monument
  • Santa Fe
  • Chaco Culture National Historic Park
  • Four Corners
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Right. So one of these days I’m going to figure out how to best present all this information in a way that’s useful. Not there yet. Even though I’m calling out how many days I’m spending in a few of the place above, there are others where I’ll also be spending multiple days. I also have down the names of trails, campgrounds, and other points of interest that aren’t listed above.

I mean, really, how much of my planning do you actually want to see? (You can answer that.)


Categories: pre-trip Tags: , ,
  1. Miquela Faure
    May 9th, 2009 at 09:51 | #1

    You are going to be one tired fellow, methinks. 😀

  2. May 9th, 2009 at 09:59 | #2

    Ideally, yes. 🙂

  3. May 9th, 2009 at 19:41 | #3

    More dates. Wayne’s world is not listed. I hope you find showers.

  4. May 13th, 2009 at 23:31 | #4

    As do I, as do I. Actually, I have a “solar shower” that I’ll be taking with me, but it doesn’t include any sort of privacy — it’s just a water bag that you leave out in the sun. We’ll see how it goes. It’s been suggested that it’s okay to shower and “cleanse oneself” with one’s short’s on. Maybe.

  5. littlefyfe
    June 23rd, 2009 at 23:23 | #5

    big sur is amazing! stay a while.

  6. June 24th, 2009 at 01:18 | #6

    Well if I can move my departure up a couple days, I’ll spend ’em there. Hopefully it works out.

  7. Carly Alejandre
    July 5th, 2009 at 20:43 | #7

    Hope you have a safe trip and enjoy every mile of your trip! We are in the process of planning something smaller but similar not the 48 States, but 35 states. Have a Great time my friend.

  8. July 5th, 2009 at 20:58 | #8

    Thanks! I’m betting 35 is also plenty — enjoy ’em!

  9. jeff
    June 2nd, 2012 at 06:18 | #9

    i’m curious to know what the fuel cost would be for such a trip. i know it depends on fuel economy of your vehicle, but what do you expect to spend on fuel at your current vehicles mpg?

  10. SAVA
    June 2nd, 2012 at 08:28 | #10

    I can’t believe your bypassing the Grand Canyon for Las Vegas. Yuck

  11. June 2nd, 2012 at 08:51 | #11

    22,000 miles / 17 mpg = 1,294 gallons of gas. 1,294 gallons * $3.50/gallon = $4,529.

  12. June 6th, 2012 at 10:12 | #12

    SAVA :

    I can’t believe your bypassing the Grand Canyon for Las Vegas. Yuck

    You don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to.

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