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  • Writer's pictureAlaina

Road Trip Week 5: Armchair Explorer

Our virtual road trip continues this week as we visit California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.


California is full of national parks that are all worth exploring - check out Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate Park and Alcatraz Island, Death Valley National Park, Redwood National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park. Another really cool National Park you might not have heard of is the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front. Each park site offers information on the people and history of the parks, podcasts and video guides, photos, and more.

Celebrate women and their accomplishments by checking out the Women's Museum of California and their digital exhibits. You can also watch a number of virtual programs, explore the Women's Hall of Fame, and check out their video series Trailblazing Women.


Located on the border of Arizona and Nevada is the Hoover Dam. The building of the dam is truly fascinating - check out the video above to learn more.

We can't visit Nevada without stopping in Las Vegas! Las Vegas has undergone a massive transformation in a relatively short amount of time. This timeline, which features photos and videos of Vegas from the early 1900s to the 2010s, offers a glimpse of how a desert town became Sin City. Las Vegas is always changing - hotels and casinos are constantly coming and going. One way to get a glimpse of Vegas history is by visiting the Neon Museum - also known as the Neon Boneyard. You can watch a nighttime tour of their museum, learn about the history of neon signs in their collection, and even see their special Tim Burton exhibit.



Olympic National Park in Washington is massive - it spans nearly a million acres! You can check out a timeline of the Olympic Peninsula and the creation of the park, learn about the restoration of the Elwha River, watch special presentations from the park rangers, and more.

Washington is also home to Mount St. Helens, which erupted on May 18th, 1980. The eruption led to the deaths of 57 people and also changed the future of volcanology.


Learn about the Nez Perce at Nez Perce National Historic Park. You can explore their virtual museum, learn about the historic sites that make up the park, and check out photos from the park.

You can learn about both the Oregon Trail and California Trail at the National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho. If you're even remotely interested in the historic trails, this is a really interesting website to explore - check out the information on the wagons used by pioneers, the daily schedule of a pioneer on the trail, journal excerpts from real pioneers, and even their collection of great resources for further information.



There's lots to explore at Yellowstone National Park - you can experience Yellowstone through a series of videos and tours, you can explore their sound library, take a virtual tour of the park, learn about the history of the park and the tribes associated with Yellowstone, and, of course, learn all about geysers and other hydrothermal features that can be found in the park.

Watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind then spend some time exploring Devils Tower National Monument. There are many American Indian tribes connected to the Devils Tower, and reading their different oral histories about the tower is really interesting.


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