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travelling to national parks via public transport!!

Travel Forums North America travelling to national parks via public transport!!

1. Posted by curlyces (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y


Were coming over to America and staying in SanFrancisco working for 2 months and then travelling for 4 weeks making our way back over to New York.

We wont have a car as cant rent one cos only 20 yrs. We really want to visit the national parks, and have been reading the write ups on them but can anyone give me advice on how to access them via public transport and how easy it is to see the parks without a car once you get there pls?

any advice would be fantastic!!

We'll be travelling from end august to mid/end september so any advice on best routes over to ny would also be great!!

we love arts, culture, walking, cycling, views, photography etc!!

cheers :)

ceri and tony xxx:)

2. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 12y

try Do you know which parks you want to go to?

3. Posted by curlyces (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y


yeah weve been looking at greyhound and getting a pass for the entire time we can get on and off as we please.

its more how accessible different ones are to get to and get round once you arrive such as grand canyon, zion park, yellowstone, and generally around this area ??

cheers :)

ceri x

4. Posted by eazeliff (Full Member 23 posts) 12y

For the most part, it is highly desirable to have a car to tour National Parks, but this is not an option for you. You can get to places like Grand Canyon and Yellowstone by public transport, but except perhaps for oldlady bus tours, you then have a problem. The suggestion that comes to mind is to rent bicycles. If you tour around the west to a large extent, you will not have a whole lot of time to reach New York by bus - you may want to fly that part of it.

5. Posted by samanthah (Budding Member 10 posts) 12y

i have the same problem...does anyone know of any public transport access to national parks around the east coast??? it seems very odd that there isn't any! help?

6. Posted by BeckyR (Full Member 174 posts) 12y


Cannot advise on publc transport, but what about small bus trips from major cities which are not too far from the parks?

Whilst in San Francisco I am taking a few days out to go hiking/camping in Yosemite and via this website have found a company which does tours for about 14 people . .reasonably priced, gets me there and back, and provides the camping gear . ..might be worth looking at for the parks you are interested in visiting.


7. Posted by StephenJ (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y


We (2 of us 1M & 1F) are coming over to the US (San Francisco) around June/July and plan to travel from the West to East Coast perhaps thru a hired car if there is people to split the costs. We are easy as to places to visit (plan to do some camping/hiking, so national parks would be great).

Any other travellers around during that time, would love to meet up with you...drop a line.

Stephen & Vivien

8. Posted by ToAfrica (Full Member 32 posts) 12y

I second Monoghan and BeckyR. Buy the Greyhound bus pass to take you the long distances, then take a shuttle/small bus/car hire tour from the nearest city or town. Visiting the websites for the parks you want to visit will probably provide you with more detail about the transportation options available.
It would be great to have public transport to these parks, but there are reasons it is generally not available. First, they are mostly remote and/or rural locations; second, most US citizens able to travel to these parks have cars, and third, this being America, enterprising companies have found ways to make money transporting people to these parks.
Have a great trip!

9. Posted by vagabond (Full Member 104 posts) 12y

Check out Amtrak. They have routes to many of the national parks. In west and south.

Amtrak might be considered expensive but if you take their passes it is not that bad. They have passes for a week , 15 days and a month. I have travelled from SF to LA to Texas to New Orleans to New york on Amtrak and it was great fun. I met many interesting people on the train too.

East coast public transport access to the national parks is surprizingly bad, esp in Virginia.

Also, if you are SF, There are day tours available by bus or train which take you to soem national parks around there.

As far as routes to NY from the west are concerend. I have two in Mind (by Train). Either you can Ride on Sunset Limited from LA to New Orleans, stay there and Ride Crecent to Ny. Its a loong journey but you see desert, marshes, swamp, mountains, cacti ..... You could even break your journey in San Anotion.

Othe way is to ride from LA or SF to Chicago by California Zephyr or Southwest Chief. And from Chicago to Ny. In summer thats one of the prettiest routes.