Special Report

The Best Road Trips to Take Before Summer Ends

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> Start: Las Vegas, Nevada
> End: Salt Lake City, Utah
> Total miles: 420

Who said that Interstate Highways have to be boring? From the neon lights of Las Vegas to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, I-15 provides a convenient passageway to some of the grandest sights in the Southwest. Stop to see the Hoover Dam at Lake Mead, and the stunning red rock cliffs and fertile river chasms of Zion National Park, or detour to see the rock spires at Bryce Canyon. Hiking and camping opportunities are abundant along the way in the Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-La Sal, or Uinta Wasatch-Cache National Forests.

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Alaska Pipeline
> Start: Homer, Alaska
> End: Valdez, Alaska
> Total miles: 519

At the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, Homer is a great place to spot whales and other wildlife. From there, the drive up the coast features volcano views, a historic Russian fur trader village, and a dump where hundreds of bald eagles tend to congregate. Pass through old gold-mining towns and fishing villages, then continue on from Anchorage to Valdez, witnessing mountains that rise to 14,000 feet, ancient glaciers, and the waterfalls in Keystone Canyon.

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El Camino Sierra
> Start: Joshua Tree National Park
> End: Lake Tahoe, California
> Total miles: 527

California Route 395 runs from the deserts of Southern California near Joshua Tree National Park into the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, passing by such well-known destinations as Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite, Mono Lake, and Lake Tahoe. If exploring jaw-dropping national parks isn’t enough, you can visit the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, where dozens of Western movies have been filmed, or the ancient bristlecone pines in the White-Inyo Mountains — said to be the oldest trees in the world.

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Seafood Trail
> Start: Portland, Maine
> End: Prince Edward Island, Canada
> Total miles: 543

Route 1 follows the Maine coastline on what is sometimes called the Lobster Trail. From Portland, where lobsters and art are plentiful, head up the coast through Maine’s many idyllic oceanside towns to Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park. From there, the towns are fewer and far between, and the coastline is king. Cross the Canadian border in New Brunswick and drive along the Bay of Fundy, being sure to stop at the geologic wonder, Hopewell Rocks. Cross the massive Federation Bridge to Prince Edward Island, and end at Cavendish Beach, where more seafood awaits.

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Northwest National Parks Tour
> Start: Jackson, Wyoming
> End: Glacier National Park, Montana
> Total miles: 558

Starting in Jackson, head into Grand Teton National Park, stopping to hike at Jenny Lake amongst the towering peaks of the Tetons. From there, make your way to Yellowstone National Park. Don’t miss the rainbow waters of the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Detour to Bozeman or Missoula for refreshments, then head to Glacier National Park and take one of the most scenic drives in the country along Going to the Sun Road, where you’ll see alpine lakes, cliffs, wildflowers, and some of the last glaciers in the park.

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