If you want to travel from near the Gulf Coast to the Puget Sound, then you might want to hit the open road on a Houston to Seattle road trip. There are multiple national parks close to this route that feature everything from deserts and canyons to mountains and waterfalls. You'll be able to visit plenty of beautiful state parks as well, so your road trip from Houston to Seattle will have many great places to hike, swim, fish, and more. When you're not exploring national and state parks, you'll have many opportunities to see the sights in fun cities full of fabulous tourist attractions.
White Sands National Park
If you travel about three hours south of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, you'll reach White Sands National Park. The stark white gypsum sand dunes here cover 275 square miles, making them the biggest gypsum dune field in the world. You can explore these dunes on foot, on horseback, or on a sled. Dune-sliding is a beloved pastime here, so you have to take at least a couple of slides down these fascinating white dunes.
Mesa Verde National Park
This part of the country is known for its great Puebloan ruins, so you need to make sure you visit Mesa Verde National Park on your Houston to Seattle RV road trip. It has some of the best Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in the country, so traveling 10 miles southwest of Cortez, Colorado, to see them is a must. Humans have lived here since 7500 BC, and the 600 cliff dwellings and 4,300 archaeological sites some of them left behind are fascinating. Multiple trails in the park take you past petroglyphs, canyons, and cliff dwellings. An easy loop circles around Cliff Palace, which is America's largest cliff dwelling.
Arches National Park
The population in Moab, Utah, is only slightly more than 5,000, but it can boast of being the gateway to two outstanding national parks. The first of these is Arches National Park, which is only 20 minutes from Moab. It's full of gorgeous sandstone arches that are on display in a beautiful desert environment. As you might imagine, this is a great place to go canyoneering and rock climbing. There are also plenty of fantastic trails that are suitable for hiking and horseback riding.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is 30 miles west of Moab. Just like Arches National Park is the place to go to see amazing sandstone arches, Canyonlands National Park is the best place to view stunning canyons, crevasses, mesas, and more. You can also visit the intersection of the Colorado River and the Green River. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are all popular here as is whitewater rafting. At night, the dark sky is perfect for stargazing.
Mount Rainier National Park
Seattle residents can see Mount Rainier easily from the city, and you can get to Mount Rainier National Park in about two hours from the city. At this park, you can climb all 14,410 feet of Mount Rainier itself, but you can also hike part (or all!) of the Wonderland Trail, which takes you through 93 miles of alpine terrain at Mount Rainier's base. Those in search of a little less strenuous adventure can content themselves with hiking more moderate trails that take them to lakes, glaciers, wildflower fields, and more.
Caprock Canyons State Park
Roughly an hour to the west of Estelline, Texas, is Caprock Canyons State Park. This state park will serve you well as an excellent appetizer for the larger canyons and red-rock formations you'll see at the other national parks on your road trip itinerary from Houston to Seattle. It's a great place to hike since it has 90 miles of trails of varying levels of difficulty. Lake Theo provides you with a quality place to go swimming, fishing, and no-wake boating. Another great attraction here is the park's bison herd; you can also see eagles, prairie dogs, and more.
Oasis State Park
Oasis State Park is a small but lovely park about 20 minutes southwest of Clovis, New Mexico. It's a top-notch place to go fishing thanks to the modest reservoir in the park. You can also go walking or biking on the trail network that takes you around the reservoir and through some of the New Mexico desert.
Wasatch Mountain State Park
Before you leave Orem, Utah, and head to Salt Lake City, you should take a half-hour detour to the east so you can visit Wasatch Mountain State Park. There are two 18-hole golf courses here, so you can golf until your heart's content. Historical places like Huber Grove, the Tate Barn, and the Snake Creek Hydroelectric Power Plant Historic District are also in the park.
Wallowa Lake State Park
Before you leave Oregon, you should drive an hour and a half to the east of La Grande to Wallowa Lake State Park. Wallowa Lake is surrounded on three sides by mountains, so the area earns its designation of "Oregon's Little Alps." Fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and cross-country skiing are popular here.
Potholes State Park
Potholes State Park is an hour to the east of Ellensburg, Washington. It's located on Potholes Reservoir, which is a nice place to boat and fish. Bass, trout, crappie, walleye, and more are waiting for you to catch them. The park gets its name from the geological features that were formed in the rock during the previous ice age.
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas, is home to the Texas Tech University Red Raiders. This lovely college was founded nearly a hundred years ago, so there are historical buildings and places on campus. If you enjoy collegiate athletics, you can try to catch a Red Raiders sporting event during your visit.
Petroglyph National Monument
On the western fringe of Albuquerque, you'll find Petroglyph National Monument. You already have multiple destinations on your road trip itinerary from Houston to Seattle that contain petroglyphs, but Petroglyph National Monument has more of these carved designs and symbols on its grounds than most places in America. You can explore this park on foot. Dogs are welcome as long as they're leashed.
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Roughly 20 minutes before you reach Salt Lake City, you'll pass by Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Their main attraction is a 40-foot underwater shark tunnel, but they also have some land animals on display. You can also have personal encounters here with sharks, stingrays, and penguins.
Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
The back part of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve itself isn't far from your route, but you'll have to drive nearly two hours from Bliss, Utah, to reach its entrance. This extensive park's otherworldly environment was formed by long-ago lava flows. You can explore this fascinating, desolate landscape on foot or by car.
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
About 20 minutes outside of Seattle, you'll be able to stop at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park in order to prolong your road trip from Houston to Seattle. This park is 3,000 acres large and populated with 35 miles of trails. From this park's high points, you'll be able to see beautiful views of Lake Sammamish, Seattle, Bellevue, and the Cascades.
Lubbock is just outside of the Texas Panhandle. Its status as a large college town ensures that it has plenty of campgrounds nearby. Be sure to visit Texas Tech University, the Buddy Holly Center, and the Science Spectrum Museum.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This popular city in New Mexico is a frequent tourist destination due to lovely places like Old Town and the Sandia Park Tramway. Unsurprisingly, there are many great dump stations and campgrounds in the area.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The capital of Utah is named for the famous large salt lake directly to the west of it. Travelers flock to this city for its culture and, of course, to see the Great Salt Lake. You won’t have a problem finding quality dump stations and campgrounds close by. Don't forget to drop by Temple Square, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and the Utah State Capitol.
Boise is Idaho’s capital, so there are plenty of great things to do there like visit the Idaho State Capitol or tour the historical Old Idaho Penitentiary. Many dump stations and campgrounds are available for your convenience.
Before you head to Mount Rainier and Snoqualmie Pass, you'll go through lovely Yakima. Multiple campgrounds are in this area. Places to visit include Johnson's Orchards and the Yakima Valley Museum.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Houston to Seattle, 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 Houston or Seattle.