If you are tired of Houston's hot temperatures and traffic jams, you may want to go on a Houston to Denver road trip. You will pass through big and little cities. Prepare to get sandy as you trade your city clothes for country attire while traveling along this route. You can see many exciting national and state parks along with other attractions during the trip. Consider these ideas for a Houston to Denver RV road trip.
Big Bend National Park
You will find many things to do at Big Bend National Park. Over 150 miles of hiking trails cover the largest expanse of roadless public lands in Texas. The park contains many different ecosystems. Consider planning hikes in the Chihuahuan Desert, into the Chios Mountains, and along the Rio Grande River. Over 100 miles of paved roads and many more gravel roads in this national park are excellent places for scenic drives. Consider following the Dagger Flat Auto Trail to see some of the historic buildings in this park.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The main reason that most people go to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is to see the Big Room, which has the largest chamber of any cave in North America. There are approximately 100 caves in all at this national park, and over 66% of the area is left in its natural state. When visiting Carlsbad, try to time your visit to watch thousands of bats fly from the cave. You can also participate in ranger-led stargazing parties. This national park is more accessible if you take your road trip through El Paso and up into New Mexico on I-25.
White Sands National Park
White Sands National Park in New Mexico is located on the southern part of the largest gypsum dune field on earth. You can do many different things at this national park, including sledding down the dune's slick faces on a plastic saucer. You can also go hiking on five trails that run across the dunes. Many people bike or take an auto tour of White Sands. You will want to bring your camera and memory cards when you come to this park because of its innate beauty. Like Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands is more easily accessible off the I-25 route.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Unlike the white sand at White Sands National Park, the brown sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado forms the tallest dunes in North America. Grab a sandboard and try going down the dunes while standing up or watching others who have mastered the skills do amazing tricks. You can also go sledding on these dunes. A great way to cool down is to splash in Medano Creek. This is an outstanding park to explore at night, especially when there is a full moon to make the sand glisten.
Guadalupe River State Park
Texas can be very warm much of the year, and a great way to cool off is by spending the day floating on an inner tube at Guadalupe River State Park, which is located near Spring Branch, Texas. You can also use this park as a starting point for great paddling trips on the Guadalupe River. There are over 3 miles of trails to explore. There are many outstanding camping options at this state park as well.
Manzano Mountains State Park
Manzano Mountains State Park is nestled in the Manzano Mountains' wooded foothills near Mountainair, New Mexico. Consider taking the self-guided nature trail to learn more about the trees and plants that grow at this location on the east side of Manzano Mountain. Camp under the tall trees where you can sit and watch the huge Abert's squirrels while deeply breathing in the scent of fir trees. This park is near Albuquerque if your route takes you near New Mexico's largest city.
Heron Lake State Park
The no-wake lake at Heron Lake State Park near Los Ojos, New Mexico, is a great place to go sailing. You can also paddle your canoe or kayak on the lake while enjoying the view of the pine trees along its shoreline. Many anglers come to this park to fish for salmon and trout.
Roxborough State Park
When planning your road trip itinerary for Houston to Denver, be sure to plan a visit to Roxborough State Park, which is home to unique red-rock formations. Look at the calendar of events at this Colorado park to get a closer look at what it offers. Roxborough has been named an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. To see the birds and other wildlife here, you can explore the park's nine hiking trails.
The parklike setting of HemisFair in San Antonio, Texas, is designed to celebrate cultures from around the world that have settled in the region. Children will love the playground and splash pads. Everyone will love touring the UTSA Institute of Texas Cultures. Many events are held here throughout the year. Finish your time at HemisFair by heading to the top of the Tower of the Americas, where you can see the city from its highest vantage point.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
You can find trails spread across 870 square miles at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, which was created to tell the story of the Mogollon culture. This location near Silver City, New Mexico, is one of the few places where you can get close to the cave dwellings that were originally utilized hundreds of years ago. Even if you cannot hike to see the most remote caves, stop at the three visitor centers to understand how some of the area's earliest inhabitants lived. Gila Cliff Dwellings is accessible off the Interstate 25 route through New Mexico.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, serves as an introduction to the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. Watch shows put on by various tribes in the courtyard area. Stroll through the museum to learn more about the relationships between early settlers and the Native Americans. Dine in the restaurant on traditional Native American dishes.
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
Since 1937, visitors have been coming to this museum in Santa Fe to learn more about the Navajo tribe through their art. Permanent and temporary exhibits are available for viewing throughout the year.
Garden of the Gods
See sandstone rock formations towering over 300 feet at this park in Colorado Springs. If you are a climbing enthusiast, head to the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center as climbing tours leave from there every 30 minutes. You can also go on Jeep and Segway tours of this 1,367-acre park. If you want to head out on your own, consider bringing your bike or renting one on-site.
El Paso, Texas
The last major city you will pass through in Texas is El Paso if you take I-10 across the state. Consider taking the cable car to the top of Ranger Peak at Franklin Mountains State Park. While you can camp at the park's campground, you can also consider camping at Mission RV Park, which offers a dump station.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
In addition to visiting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, there are many other fun activities you can do in Albuquerque. This includes riding the Sandia Peak Tramway, playing at the ABQ-BioPark-Zoo, and touring Old Town. Consider camping in Albuquerque at the Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post or Albuquerque Central KOA. If you need to clean your tanks, use the dump station at the Flying J Travel Plaza or the Giant Service Station.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
You can also find many unusual things to do in Santa Fe. Visit the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, shop on Santa Fe Plaza, and see the art at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground, which has a dump station, and the Santa Fe Skies RV Park are outstanding camping options. You can also find dump stations at Hyde Memorial State Park.
While you will pass through some smaller Colorado towns on your road trip from Houston to Denver, Pueblo is a major city that you will encounter. Think about stopping to go hiking in the Pike San Isabel National Forest or fishing at Lake Pueblo State Park. You can camp at either place and use the dump station at Lake Pueblo.
Following this plan allows you to spend many days on your Houston to Denver road trip. It may take you a while to clean all the sand off your RV, but the beautiful memories that you have made will make it all worthwhile. You will have learned more about Native Americans and seen some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. If you do not have your RV, consider renting one in Houston or Denver from RVshare.