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National Park Road Trip Guide: West Coast Edition

America's best idea is turning 100!

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

This year marks 100 years of the National Park Service and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than planning an adventure-filled road trip through the national parks. From the rugged mountains in the Pacific Northwest all the way down to the desert sand dunes of Southern California, the West Coast may be home to the most diverse group of national parks in the country. Because we're here to make getting outside easier, we picked some of our favorite adventures from these parks to get the ball rolling. We also threw in a few pit stops along the way from our favorite cities. If you like local craft beer and consider yourself a foodie, you'll be glad you made the detour. Start planning now and make time to celebrate the 100th birthday of America's best idea.

North Cascades National Park

Hike Thornton Lakes and Trappers Peak

Photo: Scott Kranz

Olympic National Park

Hike to Olympic Hot Springs

Photo: Matt Williams

Hike to Klahhane Ridge (Switchback Route)

Photo: Stephen Bellrichard

Hike to Elk Mountain from Obstruction Point

Photo: Seth Whelden

Backpack to Lake Angeles

Photo: Nick Lake

Hike Mount Storm King

Photo: Jason Horstman

Pit Stop: Seattle, Washington

Photo: Scott Kranz

Mount Rainier National Park

Hike to Panorama Point

Photo: Michael Matti

Hike Pinnacle Peak

Photo: Sean Van Dommelen

Camp at Snow Lake

Photo: Michael Matti

Hike to Fremont Fire Lookout

Photo: Mitch Pittman

Pit Stop: Portland, Oregon

Photo: Alan Maxcy

Crater Lake National Park

Explore Crater Lake

Photo: Eric Johnson

Take a Boat Tour and Hike to the Top of Wizard Island

Photo: Jess Curren

Bike around Crater Lake

Photo: Colton Jacobs

Hike Mount Scott

Photo: Amy Lin

Redwood National and State Park

Backpack Redwood National and State Park

Photo: Austin Trigg

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Photograph Lassen Peak

Photo: Beth Young

Pit Stop: San Francisco, California

Photo: Josiah Roe

Yosemite National Park

Top 10 Adventures in Yosemite Valley

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Backpack Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

Photo: Nathaniel Polta

Camp at Glacier Point

Photo: Sarah Vaughn

Hike to Taft Point

Photo: Joel Bear

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Hike Crescent Meadow

Photo: Dane

Backpack to Mount Silliman

Photo: Debra Alison

Hike the Congress Trail

Photo: Will Cebron

Backpack the Rae Lakes Loop

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

Death Valley National Park

Photograph Death Valley’s Wildflower Bloom

Photo: Michael Wigle

Explore Zabriskie Point

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Camp at Wildrose Campground

Photo: Cameron Gardner

Hike the Badlands Loop

Photo: Shannon Kalahan

Channel Islands National Park

Hiking and Kayaing on Santa Cruz Island

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Pit Stop: Laguna Beach, California

Photo: Josiah Roe

Cover photo: Beth Young

Stay energized outdoors with CLIF:

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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