Going on a Columbus to Albuquerque road trip is a great way to explore history. While you will want to explore the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and take a ride on the Sandia Tramway, do not be in such a hurry to arrive that you miss all the fun along the way. Learn about the Westward expansion, Civil War history, and Native American history as you drive across Missouri. While it is a short distance off of your route, stop and explore the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. There is a lot to see in Oklahoma, including the Fort Sill National Landmark and Museum, The Holy City, and the Five Civilized Tribes Museum. Stop at Palo Duro Canyon State Park to learn Texas history by watching a play before you arrive in Albuquerque.
Gateway Arch National Park
Step inside the elevator at Gateway Arch National Park to take a ride to the top of the arch. Once you arrive, you can see for miles on a clear day. Then, ride the elevator back down and take time to explore the museum located at the arch's base. Learn about the people and places that were critical to expanding the United States in every direction, including upward.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Take the cave tour at Carlsbad Caverns National Park to see the fantastic stalagmites and stalactites. Then, head out on your own to go wild cave touring as this park is home to 119 caves. Bring along extra clothes if you plan to explore more than one cave because you are required to change before going from one cave to another. Hike along the nature trails that run through the Guadalupe Mountains and the Chihuahua Desert. After exploring, get back to the parking lot in time to watch the bats fly out at sunset.
White River State Park
Stop and see the world-class museums at White River State Park. Explore the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, where you can stroll along the 92 County Walk, which features a unique sculpture representing each of the state's counties. Then, head to the Eiteljorg Museum to see early American and Native American art. Visit the animals at the zoo and take in a ballgame at the ballpark. You will also want to drive the golf carts at Wheels of Fun and get in a workout at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Hear the drum roll and see the longhorn cattle come across the horizon at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Here, you can learn about Texas history by watching a play about Texas at the outdoor amphitheater. Hike the Lighthouse Trail like the early settlers did when coming to this location. You can go horseback riding, eat a chuckwagon dinner, and enjoy many other activities at this state park near Canyon, Texas.
Conchas Lake State Park
Conchas Lake is one of the biggest lakes in New Mexico, and there are 11 miles of the Conchas River and 14 miles of the South Canadian River running through this New Mexico state park. It is a fantastic place to go fishing. Hiking trails along the rivers’ shores allow you to see a large number of bird species. This park near Conchas Dam is also a great place to go stargazing because of its remote location.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
When you get to Joplin, Missouri, drop south about 62 miles to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Hike along five miles of nature trails running across the Ozark hills. Then, sit by the reflecting pool at this museum’s entrance. Finally, head inside to take one of their tours. Various options are available; the tours focus on the museum's unique architecture, its vast art collection, and Ozark plants and history. Therefore, you may want to take more than one tour at this museum, which offers many free exhibitions throughout the year.
Five Civilized Tribes Museum
When driving through Tulsa, Oklahoma, drive south 49 miles to see the Five Civilized Tribes Museum at Muskogee, Oklahoma. Learn about the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole Native Americans. See the permanent and temporary art exhibits along with cultural demonstrations at this location. You will also want to see their artifact collection if you include this stop on your road trip itinerary from Columbus to Albuquerque.
Fort Sill National Landmark and Museum
Learn more about the military, social, political, cultural, and economic history of Fort Sill by stopping at the Fort Sill National Landmark and Museum near Lawson, Oklahoma. This site contains 38 historical buildings that were used during the Dragoon Expedition from 1834 to 1920. These expeditions were how the United States government interacted with the Native Americans living on the Southwest Plains.
The Holy City of the Wichitas
You will think you have left Cache, Oklahoma, and traveled to Jerusalem when you visit the Holy City of the Wichitas. While you can watch a passion play at this location, you will also want to explore the historic buildings and sets constructed by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. While enjoying exploring this city on your road trip from Columbus to Albuquerque, be sure to stop and see the art displayed inside the church. This building, like many on the grounds, is nearly 100 years old. This property is part of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, so take time to explore the nearby hiking trails and see the American bison.
Petroglyph National Monument
Learn more about Native Americans who lived in this country about 400 to 600 years ago by seeing the vast collection of rock art at Petroglyph National Monument. Take the time to hike along the four trails at this national park. The Boca Negra Canyon will take you about one hour to walk, and you will see over 100 different petroglyphs. If you want a more natural experience, head to the Rinconada Canyon, where you can see about 250 petroglyphs. Another option is the Piedras Marcadas Canyon, where you can see about 400 petroglyphs. If you are looking for a great hiking trail but are not interested in seeing petroglyphs, go hiking in the Volcanoes Day Use Area. Whichever option you choose during your Columbus to Albuquerque RV road trip, be sure to pack plenty of water along as there is none available along the trails.
In addition to being the home of White River State Park, Indianapolis offers many historical attractions to visit, including Union Station, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. You can find fabulous Indianapolis campgrounds, like the Indiana State Fair Campground and the Indianapolis KOA Holiday. There are also great Indianapolis RV dump stations to consider, including those at Louisville North Campground, Ouabache (Wabash) Trails Park, and Flying J Travel Plazas.
St. Louis is home to the Gateway Arch National Park, but there are many other historical sites that you may want to visit in the city, including Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and City Garden. St. Louis campgrounds are easy to find. Consider staying at Pin Oak Creek RV Park if you are looking for resort-style amenities or at St. Louis RV Park if you want to be close to Busch Stadium, Grants Farm, and other attractions. You can find terrific St. Louis dump stations at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, Horseshoe Lake State Park, and Beaver Dam State Park.
Oklahoma City is a fun city to explore. You can view the Oklahoma City National Monument and Museum, Centennial Land Run Monument, and Henry Overholser Museum. Consider campgrounds in Oklahoma City, like Twin Fountains RV Resort, where you can often catch summer concerts, or Rockwell R.V. Park, which is located close to many downtown attractions. Roadrunner RV Park and Council Road RV Park offer Oklahoma City RV dump stations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Columbus to Albuquerque, 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 Columbus or Albuquerque.