Photo credit: @Reneeroaming
The Great American Road Trip has long been a rite of passage for the free-spirited, synonymous with finding oneself and making memories that last a lifetime. And what better place for a photo op than a majestic National Park?
Since it might be tough to transport your farm-to-table summertime bouquet with you (at least until flower-friendly seat belts get invented), we’ve paired our favorite parks in the country with a guide to local flowers to look out for as you ramble your way across the US of A. Go forth and Instagram!
The Park: Yellowstone National Park
Planning a road trip without including Yellowstone National Park on your itinerary just wouldn’t be right. It is the world’s first national park, after all! Wowing visitors since 1872, this renowned park is home to Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, and enough incredible sights to make you consider extending your trip. Pro tip: June–August are peak season at the park, so book early if you plan on staying overnight. And bring your camera in case you catch a glimpse of some wildlife!
Because of the size of the park and differences in elevation, a whole host of wildflowers abound in Yellowstone. Rabbitbrush––great name, right?––is in bloom along the Northern range from August–September, and it’s bright yellow appearance (trend alert!) makes it the perfect bloom to include in photos. Find a complete list of the wildflowers growing across Yellowstone here.
The Park: Cuyahoga Valley National Park
As you cruise away from the ocean breeze, Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park beckons from the northern corner of the state. Fun fact: Situated on 52 square miles of land, this vast landscape offering views of waterfalls and a train ride for visitors is the only national park in Ohio. (So visiting feels like joining a secret club!) If cycling is your thing, you can jump on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a 21-mile path that runs through most of the park.
During the summertime, the fields of Cuyahoga Valley are filled with Canadian goldenrod and New England aster. You can spot the golden rod by looking out for clusters of small yellow heads on a tall stalk.
The Park: Shendandoah National Park
Slip outside the bustle of the nation’s capital and, before you know it, you’re winding along Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, overlooking 200,000 acres of land that includes parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and eight counties (Yes! Eight!) worth of rolling hills. Save some time to do a little backcountry camping adventure. The permit is free, and the trails are plenty!
There are plenty of incredible flowers to look out for (862, to be exact), but we suggest focusing your search on big, bold, impressive sunflowers. They grow into late fall, so there’s plenty of time to catch them on display.
Well, there you have it –– your official road trip flower guide. We wish you a summer of freedom, adventure, wild stories, and incredible photos. You can even try a fun road trip game and spot as many blue flowers as you can find. Now grab your copy of On the Road and hit the open highway!