With summer right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning your vacation. The US has many amazing options for everyone – whether that’s a beach vacation, a getaway in the mountains, or exploring our national parks.
Road trips take a lot of planning, from what you’re going to eat to where you’re going to stay to what activities you’ll be doing. Unfortunately an added stressor for the EV owner is where to charge. While the EV charging market has grown significantly, sometimes it can be difficult to go on a spontaneous adventure without worry that your Tesla will make it to the next charger. This is especially true in our National Parks.
In 2017, BMW, the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Department of Energy partnered together to begin installing EV chargers in and around national parks. While this initiative has improved travel, we’ve still got a long way to go.
In the meantime, here are some parks you can explore while being fully charged!
1. Grand Canyon National Park
Arguably one of the most famous national parks, the Grand Canyon, is located in the northwest corner of Arizona. The park is separated by a 277 mile long canyon. While the canyon is 10 miles across, it’s around a 200 mile drive from the South Rim entrance to the North Rim entrance. However, the Grand Canyon has many Tesla compatible chargers in and around the park.
The south rim, which according to the National Parks Service receives 90% of the park’s visitation, has a super charge located 2.4 miles south of the entrance in Tusayan. It also has 15 charging stations throughout the South Grand Canyon Village including port J-1772, NEMA 14-50, and Tesla chargers.
Due to the South Rim receiving most of the park’s traffic, the North Rim has significantly less chargers. 18.1 miles north of the North Rim Entrance, there’s one station that has a NEMA 14-50. The next closest charger is 57.7 miles away on the way back to the South Rim Entrance. This station has 2 Tesla Chargers and a J-1772.
2. Yellowstone National Park
Home to the famous Old Faithful Geyser, this national park is located in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Yellowstone encompasses over 2 million acres and is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. So, it’s understandable if a charger is hard to find.
Outside the west entrance in West Yellowstone, MT, there are 8 superchargers, 47 wall, 4 Tesla, 2 J-1772, and 2 NEMA 14-50 chargers. Approximately 10 miles east, there is also 1 wall charger. If you go south, Old Faithful has 7 wall and 2 J-1772 ports.
5 miles south of the north entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs provides 4 J-1772 ports. Southeast 40 miles there’s a J-1772 port. If you keep heading south 16 miles, there are 2 NEMA 14-50, 2 J-1772, and 1 wall chargers. Outside the east entrance, there are 2 NEMA 14-50 chargers at Yellowstone Valley Inn.
3. Grand Teton National Park
Located 10 miles south of Yellowstone, this national park covers 309,994 acres. On the north end of the park in Colter Bay Village, there is 1 NEMA 14-50 charger. 10 miles south along Teton Park Rd, Signal Mountain Lodge has 2 wall, 2 NEMA 14-50, and 1 J-1772 ports.
Note: Colter Bay Village and Signal Mountain Lodge both close down during winter months.
Coming from the east into the park along HWY 287, there is 1 NEMA 14-50 port. It’s important to keep in mind that during the winter months many roads close down, so during the winter from here the next closest charger is at the Jackson Hole Airport, 57 miles southwest. If you continue into Jackson WY south of the park, there are 8 superchargers, 9 wall, 7 J-1772, 2 Tesla, and 1 NEMA 14-50 ports.
4. Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is located on the border between California and Nevada. This park is notably unreliable when it comes to having internet service, so it’s important to have a plan before entering the park. This national park is the largest, driest, and the lowest (in terms of altitude level) National Park in the continental US. It takes about 2 hours (120 miles) to drive through this park.
There are 3 Supercharger locations outside of the park. One is 40 minutes south of the park and has 40 chargers. Coming from the southwest, this location has 4 chargers. 30 minutes northwest, Lonepine has 8 chargers. East of the park in Beatty, there’s a station that has 8 Tesla superchargers.
16 Miles inside the west entrance of the park, there’s 1 NEMA 14-50 charger. 30 miles east in Stovepipe Wells village, there’s another NEMA 14-50 charger. 24 Miles South in Furnace Creek, there are 3 locations including 6 J1772, 2 NEMA 14-50, and 1 wall charger.
5. Mount Rainier National Park
Located 60 miles east of Olympia, WA, this national park covers 235,000 acres. Mount Rainier is 14,410 ft tall, and is an active volcano that last erupted 1,000 years ago.
There is 1 wall charger within the park located in the southwest area at Cougar Rock Campground. 5 miles outside the southwest entrance there are 3 locations with 5 wall ports and 5 NEMA 14-50. Outside the northeast border near Crystal Mountain Resorts, there is a NEMA 14-50 port and wall port.
6. Olympic National Park
Located in the northwest corner of Washington state, the Olympic National Park covers 922,691 acres, and is home to one of the few temperate rain forests in the world.
Inside the southwest border of the park, Quinault has 3 wall ports and 2 J-1772 ports. There are 2 J-1772 ports in the north at Lake Crescent. South of Lake Crescent there are 2 J-1772 ports located at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. There are many chargers surrounding the park. 37 miles southwest of the Sol Duc north entrance, Forks WA has 8 supercharger stations, 4 wall, 2 J-1772 , and 2 NEMA 14-50 ports.
7. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Located 22 miles south of Cleveland, OH, this national park protects 33,000 acres. This park is known for its rolling hills, deep forests, and is a refuge for flora and fauna.
This national park has a Tesla supercharger with 6 stations located 4 miles from the northeast entrance. However, there are no known chargers within the park. Luckily, to drive from the north most point to the south is only 12 miles.
8. Wind Cave National Park
This park gets its name from the natural flow of wind that goes in and out of the cave depending on the barometric pressure. It covers 28,295 acres and borders the Black Hills National Forest. It’s located 57 miles southwest of Rapid City, SD.
20 Miles north in Custer, SD, there is 8 Tesla superchargers. If you decide to stay in Custer there are also multiple locations for ports J-1772, Tesla, and NEMA 14-50. 11 miles south in Hot Springs, SD, there are 2 wall ports and 2 Tesla ports.