Top 3 U.S. Park Destinations for a Group Road Trip

  • June 23, 2021
  • Victoria Phillips
  • 0
A group of young friends on a road trip through countryside.

A group of young friends on a road trip through countryside.

Road trips are a fun and exciting way to travel, especially for groups that enjoy chasing new experiences and unseen roads. National and State Parks have seen a huge increase in travelers as road trips continue to surge in popularity as destinations for both small and large group trips. So, gather your group and hop into your recreational vehicles or motor homes, and enjoy our favorite domestic park destinations for a group road trip.

Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah is a lesser-known destination that makes the top of our list because it is not as overcrowded as some of the most popular national park areas. A desert destination in southern Utah, Moab has two beautiful national parks nearby that can be explored over the course of a few days.

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

Arches National Park is known and named for its vibrant orange colored rocks that are the shape of an arch. With a variety of great trails to hike and many drive-up friendly iconic locations, Arches National Park offers outdoor opportunities that are accessible to a variety of people making it ideal for groups.

Explore one-of-a-kind landscapes naturally hewn of red rock with your group at Arches National Park in Utah. | GroupTools

Nearby Moab is also Canyonlands National Park, which is the largest national park in the US. It offers miles of untouched land and sights to be seen for miles as canyon views. Moab also has a state park we highly recommend to enjoy at sunset called Dead Horse Point, which has views of a winding river deep inside a giant canyon.

Moab Accommodations and Activities

Moab is a great place for group camping because there is a lot of free BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land available, even if you cannot get a dedicated campsite. BLM land offers much open space making it great for accommodating large groups. For groups looking to stay in the great indoors on your road trip, the town of Moab has a lot of great lodging options too and the group rates are affordable.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) maintains 26 campgrounds in the Moab area, your group will love camping in the breathtaking landscapes of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. | GroupTools

Moab offers outdoor adventures for everyone, from excellent shopping downtown to kayaking the Colorado River to extreme off-roading trails, so your whole group can find an activity they enjoy and experience everything this desert town has to offer.

The Million Dollar Highway and Ouray, Colorado

Ouray, Colorado, is a gorgeous town known as the “Swiss Alps of America” because it is nestled between giant mountain peaks on all sides. Nearby Ouray is the famous Million Dollar Highway, offering some of the most spectacular views the country has to offer.

Your group will love the beautiful scenery including bear creek falls along Highway 550, the Million Dollar Highway, in Colorado. | GroupTools

Ridgway State Park

Nearby Ouray, at the entrance to the San Juan Mountains, you’ll find Ridgway State Park. The Uncompahgre River runs through the park and the main attraction is the Ridgway Reservoir. With a variety of park activities and watersports available, as well an array of beautiful group facilities, your group can’t go wrong spending a day at Ridgway.

Ouray Accommodations and Activities

To match the beautiful views you’ll see on this group road trip, the area offers equally stunning lodging opportunities. There are tons of camping options nearby, such as Molas Lake, which is known as the most picturesque campsites in the entire state of Colorado. For groups seeking a more luxurious option, Basecamp 550 offers high-end glamping just 5 minutes from Ridgway and 10 from Ouray.

Take your group to the heart of the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado and explore Ouray, the Switzerland of America. | GroupTools

Inside the town of Ouray, there are three waterfalls (Cascade Waterfalls, Bear Creek Falls, and Box Canyon Falls) to check out that can all be experienced in just a day. The town also offers river walks, gold panning, shopping, and dining opportunities. At the end of the day, we recommend taking a soak in one of the several hot springs in the area to soothe your muscles after a long day of adventures. 

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons  

Yellowstone is a well-known National Park destination, known for its seismic activity and unique landscapes filled with lakes, wildlife, and pockets of hot springs and geysers. On a drive around the loop that makes up Yellowstone, you are almost guaranteed to see some wildlife such as grizzly bears, moose, elk, or bison.

For an unforgettable group road trip, discover the stunning pools and geyser fields in Yellowstone National Park. | GroupTools

Nearby Yellowstone is another national park that is lesser-known but quite possibly more beautiful, called Grand Teton National Park. The Grand Tetons are a breathtaking mountain range that appears to shoot up high in the sky from flat ground. Surrounding the Tetons are incredible lakes, making it one of the most picturesque places you will ever experience.

Accommodations and Activities

South of the Grand Tetons is the quaint western town of Jackson, Wyoming. There is a lot of shopping, activities to enjoy, and lodging options. Camping in the area is popular; however, be cautious of leaving food out because this is bear country. It is recommended to read up on traveling through bear country beforehand so you know what to do in case of an encounter. Don’t let that deter you, though, because Wyoming’s western side is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the entire US.

The beauty of Grand Teton National park in northwestern Wyoming is sure to take your group's breath away. | GroupTools

These are just three road trips we recommend, but there are tons of amazing places that your group can discover on the road. Wherever you choose to go on your next group road trip, GroupTools is here to help make your planning process safe and stress-free. Visit GroupTools.com to learn more or jump right into your planning today.

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