the highway was completed in 1920 when roads were mostly dirt and gravel. To plan the roadway, the National Park Service partnered with the American Automobile Association (AAA) and in 1920, a group of twelve men set out on an inaugural trip.
A group of 22 motorists left Denver on August 26, 1920 for the inaugural trip. Together they drove for 76 days in a publicity tour to all the Nation's Playgrounds, as National Parks were then called. On the list were Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Glacier, Rainier, Crater Lake, Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite, Kings Canyon (then General Grant), Sequoia, Zion, Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde National Parks.