Taking a road trip from Austin to Colorado Springs will lead you north across the vast state of Texas, through the northeastern corner of New Mexico, and up through Colorado. Along the way, you will drive through a diverse landscape of hot plains, dry deserts, rivers, and mountain ranges. The trip is a long one as you drive through both small towns and large urban cities, and you will have ample opportunities to sightsee on the way.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a national park that contains four of the five existing Spanish Missions in the San Antonio area. You can explore these historic buildings that date from the 1700s at the San Antonio Missions Historical Park and view architecture that is unique to these western missions. They include Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, Mission Concepcion, and Mission Espada. The Alamo Mission is managed by the state of Texas. These buildings were founded by Spanish missionaries in order to protect and serve the local populace and to convert them to Catholicism. The missions are in separate locations and are connected by walking trails, urban streets, and roads. The missions are still active parishes, but visitors can tour the buildings and grounds.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-see national park, and it is only a few hours from Colorado Springs. This park is a faithful representation of the natural beauty of the state of Colorado with the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains on full display. The park has more than 100 mountain peaks that reach an elevation of 11,000 feet or higher, including Longs Peak, one of the famous "fourteeners" (mountain peaks above 14,000 feet in elevation) of Colorado. The Rockies are home to mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, marmots, and other wildlife, and the terrain is a diverse landscape of subalpine, alpine, and tundra biomes. In the summer, there are vast meadows of wildflowers. Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved highway in North America and serves as an access route through the park.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is a fun park to visit on your Austin to Colorado Springs RV road trip with lots of step pools in Bee Creek that are fun places for wading and splashing. There is a bird blind, and you can walk through clouds of butterflies in the butterfly garden. The Wolf Mountain Trail is a 6-mile hike through the Wolf and Tobacco Mountains, and you will be able to see the Twin Falls when walking up to the overlook via the Twin Falls Nature Trail. If you enjoy mountain biking, the 10-mile Juniper Ridge Trail has all the technical obstacles you could want.
Caprock Canyons State Park
Caprock Canyons State Park is a quiet and peaceful park that serves as a less-crowded access point to Palo Duro Canyon than its busier neighboring Palo Duro State Park. The park also contains the Trailway, a former railroad line of the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway of the early 1920s. This section of the railway is around 65 miles long and crosses 46 bridges. There are also an additional 90 miles of hiking and biking trails that range in difficulty. You can enjoy seeing the official Texas State Bison within the park, and you will have plenty of chances for water fun on Lake Theo. Red sandstone cliffs preside as a backdrop throughout the park, and you will enjoy seeing interesting and unique rock formations.
Lake Pueblo State Park
Lake Pueblo State Park is the home of Lake Pueblo, a large man-made reservoir that offers a multitude of boating and other water-based activities. You can sail, boat, paddle, waterski, swim, and generally splash around. There are two marinas that have full services and boat ramps. The park itself is 10,000 acres and contains 60 miles of shoreline, and you will appreciate the view of the Arkansas River from the dam overlook above. While in the park, you will be able to view the Greenhorn and Wet mountain ranges and Pikes Peak.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
Zilker Metropolitan Park is located in the city of Austin and is a lovely pocket of nature inside an urban setting. Barton Creek courses through the park on its way to the Colorado River, and you can canoe and kayak on the creek. The 350-acre city park contains the Austin Science and Nature Center, Zilker Botanical Garden, and the Lady Bird Lake Trail. The smaller members of your group will love the miniature train and the giant playground.
Palo Duro Canyon
Palo Duro Canyon is a popular destination and is often accessed through Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Located near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon, the canyon is the second-largest canyon in the U.S. It is around 120 miles long and is an average of about 6 miles wide. At its widest, it reaches a width of 20 miles in some areas. If you hike into the interior of the canyon, you will descend 800 feet to the bottom of the gorge and see many of the unique rock formations of the canyon on your hike. Besides the Trailway, there are many other multi-use trails, and you can also drive along more than 16 miles of paved roads for views from above.
Pikes Peak is an iconic site in the Western U.S. and one that is a definite must-see attraction on your Austin to Colorado Springs road trip itinerary. It is the tallest peak in the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and is 14,115 feet tall, thus being one of the "fourteeners" of Colorado. Pikes Peak is located in Pike National Forest and is only 12 miles west of Colorado Springs. Nicknamed "America's Mountain," Pikes Peak is named for the American explorer Zebulon Pike and is the inspiration for the song "America the Beautiful." You can get to the top of the mountain via the cog railway or by hiking up one of the many trails, like the Barr Trail, a 13-mile long hike that ascends 8,000 feet to the top of the peaks.
The city of Lubbock is halfway along your Austin to Colorado Springs road trip route. It is the birthplace of Buddy Holly and has a museum celebrating his short but prolific life. You can also visit the West Texas Walk of Fame that has a statue of Holly and plaques honoring other local musicians, the Moody Planetarium, and the Museum of Texas Tech University. There are a number of campgrounds that provide something for everyone, including Lubbock RV Park, which even has a library and a game room. There are dump stations that are nearby if you need to use one on your trip.
Amarillo is located in North Texas and is about two-thirds of the way along your route. It has many interesting sites to see and fun places to eat and shop. You can visit the Palo Duro Canyon or take some time to stroll along historic Route 66 in downtown Amarillo. The Amarillo area features a number of engaging outdoor activities, so there are a number of campgrounds. Palo Duro Rim RV campground offers close access to Pikes Peak and has lots of fun family-friendly amenities. If you need to utilize a dump station, there are various local options in the area.
The city of Raton is surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northeast New Mexico and has all the breathtaking scenery you could wish for on your road trip. There are several museums and many recreational activities, and you can find cute shops and tasty eateries. There are dump stations in the area that you can find readily, and people love to go camping in the mountains. Just south of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Skies RV Park has plenty of amenities and provides easy access to Santa Fe.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Austin to Colorado Springs, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Austin or Colorado Springs.