Rock the Rockies – Lonely roadtrip across 13 Ntl. Parks

A 26day solo trip across national parks of the West USA.
Driving timelapse (3h total):
Top 50: (also in this post)
Video reports (I’m super amateur):
Top 300 photos:


How to read this? If you’ve:

  • VR headset: swipe through the 150 photospheres
  • 30sec: go through the top 50 photos.
  • 2min: read TLDR & conclusion; check top 50 photos, if any picks your interest read the surrounding text.
  • 5min: read TLDR & conclusion; check top 300 photos, click through my driving timelapse video; read some text, ask me a question.
  • 15min: do the 5min thing and use the spared 10mins for something more useful.
  • 1h: you’re my grandma, read it all and fell asleep watching the timelapse video.

Disclaimer: My English is as good as an average USA high school student, I’m happy for any feedback!


Driving timelapse (3h total):
Top 50: (also in this post)
Video reports (I’m super amateur):
Top 300 photos:


Rough map:
Distance: driven 5200miles. That’s 25% more than estimated (4078miles), cause of with extra detours due to visits.
With 30fps, and 1 shot per second, it took me over 90h of driving. That’s 58mph
Hiked ~210mi, elevation gain ~9km, terrain: forest, rocks, snow, sand.

List of parks:

  • Great Basin, NV  (dayhike summit Wheeler Peak)
  • Bryce Canyon, UT (just lunch)
  • Great Staircase Escalante, UT (hike, technically a national monument)
  • Capitol Reef, UT (dayhike Cassidy Arch, Frying pan loop)
  • Arches, UT (few short hikes)
  • Canyonlands, UT (few short hike, good backpack / ATV options)
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison, CO (dayhike, summit bottom)
  • Great Sand Dunes, CO (skiing, backcountry hike Star Dune)
  • Rocky Mountains, CO (backpack Northern Inlet)
  • Grand Teton, WY (backpack Paintbrush pass)
  • Yellowstone, WY (backpack Black Canyon + short hikes)
  • Glacier, MT (backpack Stoney Indian + car views)
  • Mt. Rainier, WA (dayhike John Muir Camp)
  • Crater Lake, OR (cross-country ski with camping Sunset notch)
  • Redwoods, CA (hike Boyscout tree).


My main goal of the 26 day alone trip was to “disconnect from the loud modern world”. I believed this would help me clear my mind and so I can hear my true self.
Why I decided this is important to undertake? I’m struggling to express it with words, but was feeling I’m missing something in my current life, something I used to have before. These states which lasted days, when I’ve got completely submerged and forgot about the outside world, got passionate, entered a flow, had a purpose, however we call it nowadays.
Rest of post is essentially an itinerary, review and some basic lessons learned. I’ve kept my inner thoughts to myself, as well some of the stories. So just surf around the post, or not, it’s mostly for inspiration and my memory.

May/21 – Day 0: Let’s plan this out, pack and go!

This took much longer than anticipated, originally wanted to leave on the same day.
In the end I’ve decided to just plan in roughly (CO,MT and back) and decide as I go and feel. Goal was to get alone in nature’s beautiful settings, that for me meant backpacking in national parks.

Better be prepared than sorry!
Better be prepared than sorry!

So I’ve started packing, checking weather (and snow conditions) and got prepared for blazing heat, freezing cold while hiking, skiing and backpacking. This all requirements lead to my biggest REI (outdoor equipment) bill in my life.
Yeah, ultimately it took me whole day to pack, shop, check car and empty my backlog.

Roadtrip map
Roadtrip map

May/22 – Day 1: Driving to Great Basin Ntl. Park (11h)

Woke up 5am, left 6:30am after final checks.
Lot of things went across my mind, which job to sign (I was still deciding at this point), why I’m travelling this, what can go wrong and so on. All of these thoughts got eventually evicted by random thoughts, daydreams and memories during the 11h to East of Nevada.

Detailed Day Itinerary:
First stop at Walmart, Sacramento to get some fruit, missing stuff.

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