2020 US Cross-Country Road Trip Outline (Updated)

*By Whitney*

A month ago we wrote about our 2020 Cross-Country Road trip plans, which included approximately 26 states and 31 National Parks!

We’ve since modified our route a little bit based on recommendations we received. We decided that we are going to completely cut out Florida and some of the southeast, because we can make this its own separate trip and easily travel there from our home base in Virginia. Plus right now might not be a great time to visit Florida with the heat and COVID!

Cutting out this portion of the trip allowed us to add more time out west, where there is so much to see and it’s not as easy for us to get to normally! So I think we are now looking at about 23 states and 29 National Parks!

We are still planning to keep our plans flexible and ready to change if things come up, such as closures/higher risk due to COVID cases, or if we decide we want to spend more time in one place. Some of our dates are fixed due to existing hotel reservations, but most of it is flexible!

Keep in mind, we still have lots of years to travel, so we know there are things we are skipping along our route (like the whole state of Wisconsin 😦 .. ), but we will visit more places in the future! The primary objective on this trip was to hit many of the National Parks! We have also already been to a lot of other places in the middle of the country, including Utah and Colorado on our 2019 Road Trip, and we’ve been to every state on the east coast (including New England) during our travel assignments, which is why you don’t see any of those places on this itinerary! We are hoping after this trip we will be close to seeing all of the lower 48 states (I think we will be at approximately 46 states)!

And for those who are looking at this itinerary thinking, that’s WAY too much to cram into an 8-week trip, we hear you on that too! But, hey, to each their own. We tend to make jam-packed travel plans, and so far so good. We’re definitely trying to cover as much ground as possible in our younger years, and then in the future we can spend more time going back and revisiting places we like to see them more in depth!

So with all of those disclaimers (haha) — below is our new rough outline for where we plan to travel during our 8-week road trip throughout the US!!!

Road Trip Outline

  • 8/7 (Fri)- Roanoke VA to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
    • Cuyahoga & Cleveland
  • 8/8 (Sat) – Ohio to Michigan
    • Northern Michigan
  • 8/9-8/10 (Sun-Mon): Michigan (Upper Peninsula)
    • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
    • Tahquamenon Falls
  • 8/11 (Tues)-Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
    • Duluth, MN
    • Voyageurs NP
  • 8/12 (Wed)- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
    • Voyageurs to Teddy Roosevelt
  • 8/13 (Thurs)- North Dakota to South Dakota
    • Teddy Roosevelt
    • Badlands
  • 8/14-15 (Fri-Sat): South Dakota
    •  Badlands
    • Mount Rushmore
    • Crazyhorse Memorial
    • Custer State Park
    • Wind Cave National Park
  • 8/16 (Sun)- SD to Wyoming
    • Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming
  • 8/17 (Mon)- Grand Tetons to Yellowstone


  • 8/18-19 (Tues-Wed)- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
    • 2 days at Yellowstone
  • 8/20 (Thurs)- Yellowstone to Glacier


  • 8/21-22 (Fri-Sat) Glacier National Park, Montana
    • 2 days at Glacier
  • 8/23 (Sun) Montana to Washington
    • Drive thru Spokane, WA
    • Arrive North Cascades NP
  • 8/24 (Mon): North Cascades to Mount Rainier
    • North Cascades
    • Mount Rainier
  • 8/25 (Tues)- Mount Rainier National Park
    • Mount Rainier
  • 8/26-27 (Wed-Thurs)- Poulsbo/Seattle
    • 2 days Poulsbo/Seattle area
  • 8/28 (Fri)- Olympic National Park, Washington
    • Olympic National Park
  • 8/29 (Sat)-Washington to Oregon
    • Stop in Portland, Oregon
    • Arrive Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
  • 8/30 (Sun)- Crater Lake
    • Full Day @ Crater Lake
  • 8/31 (Mon)- Redwood National Park
    • Crater lake to Redwood
    • Redwood National Park
  • 9/1 (Tues) – Redwood to Lassen
    • Stop in Redding
    • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • 9/2 (Wed)Lassen to Yosemite
    • Drive thru Sacramento
    • Get to Yosemite area
  • 9/3-4 (Thurs-Fri) – Yosemite
    • 2 Full days @ Yosemite National Park
  • 9/5 (Sat) – Oakhurst to Kings Canyon
    • Oakhurst to Kings Canyon
    • Kings Canyon National Park
    • Kings Canyon to Sequoia
  • 9/6 (Sun) – Sequoia NP
    • Sequoia National Park
  • 9/7 (Mon) – Pinnacles to Coast
    • Sequoia to Pinnacles
    • Pinnacles National Park
    • Stay in Salinas/Monterey
  • 9/8 (Tues) – Pacific Coast Highway
    • Drive along coast thru: Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
    • Stay near Ventura
  • 9/9 (Wed) – Channel Islands
    • Channel Islands National Park


  • 9/10 (Thurs) – Ventura to Death Valley
    • Stop in Los Angeles/Orange County
    • Drive toward Death Valley
  • 9/11 (Fri) – Death Valley to Las Vegas
    • Death Valley NP
    • Check in Las Vegas
  • 9/11-9/15 Las Vegas
    • 4 nights in Vegas
  • 9/15-18 Carlsbad/San Diego
    • Vegas to Carlsbad
    • 3 nights in Carlsbad/San Diego
  • 9/18 (Fri)- Joshua Tree NP
    • Carlsbad to Joshua Tree
    • Day @ Joshua tree NP
  • 9/19 (Sat)- Arizona
    • Drive Joshua Tree to Sedona
    • Sedona, AZ
  • 9/20 (Sun) – Arizona
    • Sedona to Petrified Forest (2.5hrs)
    • Petrified Forest
  • 9/21 (Mon) – Arizona
    • Petrified Forest to Phoenix (3.5hrs)
    • Phoenix AZ
  • 9/22 (Tues) – Arizona
    • Phoenix to Tucson
    • Saguaro NP
    • Tucson
  • 9/23 (Wed) – New Mexico??
    • **Mandatory 14 day quarantine- check back to see if we can go**
    • Tucson to White Sands
    • White Sands NP
  • 9/24 (Thurs) – NM to TX
    • White Sands to El Paso
    • El Paso, TX
  • 9/25 (Fri) – TX/NM
    • El Paso, TX
    • Guadalupe Mtns
    • Carlsbad Caverns NM
  • 9/26 (Sat) – Texas
    • Big Bend NP
    • (Check back to see if open, if not will have to skip)
  • 9/27 (Sun) – Texas
    • Big Bend to San Antonio?
    • San Antonio (drive thru)
    • Austin
  • 9/28 (Mon) – Austin/Dallas
    • Austin to Dallas
  • 9/29 (Tues) – Dallas TX


  • 9/30 (Wed) – Arkansas
    • Hot Springs AR
  • 10/1 (Thurs) – South Carolina
    • Congaree NP
    • (May skip and save for later)
  • 10/2 (Fri) – Back home to Virginia


We are getting really excited about our road trip! We are a little nervous with everything going on in the world, but we are up for the adventure and going to remain flexible! We are also a bit nervous about our first time “van camping” in our new minivan we just got and converted into a place to sleep! However, we will only be camping in the van some nights and plan to have some stops along the way where we go to Airbnbs, Hotels, or stay with friends!

What do you think about our road trip? Leave us a comment and let us know!

If you want to follow along with our adventure, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@TravelTherapyMentor) where we will be posting lots of pics of our trip!!

6 thoughts on “2020 US Cross-Country Road Trip Outline (Updated)

  1. You will LOVE Duluth, MN. If you need some restaurant recommendations I would say you should try out OMC Smokehouse for lunch/dinner and then Love Creamery for dessert! If you can do both I WOULD!! 🙂


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