As the world opens up again, more and more people are reincorporating the outdoors into their lives. 90 percent of American travelers have laid out plans to travel since June 2021, according to a survey conducted by Forbes in cooperation with YouGov and other data companies. Restrictions on overseas travel have renewed appreciation towards local sights and attractions, thus making road trips and camping trips a lot more popular. If you’re looking to join this mass exodus to the American wilds yourself, here are some exciting road trip ideas to help you plan your upcoming adventure.
The Anchorage Loop
This seven-day getaway from out of Anchorage, Alaska is well-traveled yet is rarely burdened by crowds. If you’ve ever wanted to have a pleasant expedition across the USA’s slice of the Great White North, this loop is going to give you the most fleshed-out experience. The Anchorage loop offers a little something for everyone. Once you’ve wrapped up your preliminary romp around the city, you’ll be met with the vast Alaskan wilderness, punctuated every so often by small settlements and the odd lone structure.
Along the way, you might chance upon teams of sled dogs pulling their charges, as well as flocks of migratory birds returning home if you’re visiting in the summer. Summertime is also the best season to catch whales breaching off the coast, such as greys and humpbacks, as well as orcas. The loop also leads you to the picturesque Denali National Park and the Saint Elias Mountains, which are prime locations for some glacier hiking.
The Virginia Highlands
The state of Virginia’s slice of the Appalachian Trail is one that is rife with attractions for those with a thirst for adventures in mountainous terrain. Centered around the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the Virginia Highlands hosts more than 430 miles (692 km) of trails. The locale has no shortage of vistas and sights to discover, and most trails are accessible to bikes and even horses as well as hikers. Along with the trails, the Virginia Highlands also has plenty of creeks and other bodies of water for kayaking and fishing.
The gradient in this area might be too steep for vehicles not designed for mountainous terrain, so you’re best advised to drive a heavy-duty or light-duty truck to get to your desired starting location. If you’re looking to hike for multiple days, regulars to the Virginia Highlands tout the Beartree Campground as the best campground in the area. This is because of its proximity to several prime attractions, its clean and quiet atmosphere, and its scenic location along Beartree Lake.
The State of California
The West Coast has always been famed for its natural beauty, and California is one of the best examples of this. The road trip adventures in California are much more accessible thanks to the state’s excellent road system. It’s also because of this that you get a lot more freedom in mapping out your route and the attractions you get to visit.
The state offers a fantastic blend of urban spectacle and captivating nature. San Francisco and San Diego are must-see locales for those who have never been in the state. Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Park are classic destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, but those who are up for a more stimulating outdoor experience can visit sites like Mammoth Lakes or Death Valley National Park.
The Continental US has more in store for the intrepid outdoorsman than one might think. If you’ve been aching to take a vacation to parts unknown, you’ll find that the open road can more than fulfill that for you.