Las Vegas is a great place for adult fun, but what if you are in the area and would like to explore nature with your family? On a road trip from Las Vegas to Corpus Christi, you can enjoy national and state parks that will give you plenty of fresh air and fun in nature. The trip will take about 30 hours of driving, so you should plan to travel for at least four to five days so that you can enjoy more of these natural wonders. Start by going east on I-40, stopping at the Grand Canyon along the way. Then, after you pass through Albuquerque, start heading south to hit up a few more parks before you head east again when you get close to the border.
Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most iconic stops to make on your road trip itinerary from Las Vegas to Corpus Christi is Grand Canyon National Park. The canyon in the park was carved by the Colorado River millions of years ago, and in some places, the canyon is a full mile deep and up to 10 miles across. There are over 1,000 caves within the canyon, but only one is open to the public for exploration. There are more than 100 different trails in the park that you can hike, ranging from 2 to 72 miles. If you travel here in the winter, the North Rim will be closed, but the South Rim is easily accessible all year long.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is 220 square miles of very colorful rock formations and fossilized wood. This is one of the largest areas of petrified wood in the world. You can explore hiking trails like the Painted Desert Rim and the Blue Mesa to see the formations, petrified wood, and plenty of wildlife during the day.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a unique stop along this road trip that gives you a glimpse at some amazing-looking limestone caverns. In total, there are 119 caverns in this park. Lechuguilla Cave that can be found here, is the deepest limestone cave in the country. There are also hikes designed for stargazing and bat spotting; 17 different species of bats live in this national park.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to the Guadalupe Peak, which is the highest point in the state. In addition to this 8,749-foot-high peak, there are also ruins in the park of an old stagecoach station. There are various trails within the park to explore, ranging from the half-mile Manzanita Springs Trail that is a short, paved path to the strenuous Bowl Trail that is just over 9 miles with an incline of 2,500 feet.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a gem that you will want to visit as your last national park on this RV road trip. It is a full 801,000 acres, and you can hike and explore the mountains, canyons, river, and desert all in one park. There are even thermal hot springs that you can enjoy in the park, so make sure you have plenty of time to explore. Other common activities that can be enjoyed in the park include hiking, bird watching, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and stargazing. Trails in the park range from about three-quarters of a mile up to 15 miles in length.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
Bottomless Lakes State Park is an oasis in the middle of the desert. It is located about 12 miles from Roswell, so it is relatively easy to access. These lakes are actually sinkholes that formed because of an underwater cavern collapse. The plants in the lakes give the illusion that the water is much deeper than it really is though it can reach a depth of 90 feet in some areas. The lakes are open for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and other water activities. In fact, in the deeper areas of the lake, scuba diving is even permitted. There are also hiking trails in this park.
Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Kickapoo Cavern State Park is another stop to consider if you enjoy exploring caverns. If you happen to visit the park on a Saturday, they have guided tours that you can enjoy. Otherwise, you can explore the Armadillo Trail or one of the other trails, enjoy some bird or bat watching, or explore one of the 20 different caverns in the park on your own.
Mustang Island State Park
The final state park that you will want to visit gives you access to a beach. Mustang Island State Park is on a narrow strip of land just past Corpus Christi, and it offers a great spot to relax, take in some rays, and swim for the last part of your journey. Bird watching and geocaching are also popular activities to enjoy in the park.
The Hoover Dam, which was named after President Herbert Hoover, is an engineering marvel that you will want to see. It is the tallest dam in the country, and it is designed to bring hydroelectricity to three states: Arizona, Nevada, and California. There are 30-minute and one-hour tours of the dam that you can enjoy during your visit to learn more about the history of this engineering marvel.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
The Walnut Canyon National Monument is only about 7 miles from Flagstaff. The canyon has many historic dwellings that you can take in, but the best way to see these is to explore the trails along the canyon's edge that provide a better view of the area. In addition, there is a small museum that you can explore.
Cibola National Forest
Another major point of interest during this Las Vegas to Corpus Christi road trip is the Cibola National Forest. This area covers over 1.6 million acres of land, and the elevation in the forest ranges from just under 3,000 feet to just above 11,000 feet. In this area, there are hunting and fishing opportunities that you can enjoy with the proper license, or you can simply enjoy one of the programs that are designed to help you spot specific wildlife in the area.
Albuquerque is one of the first major cities you will encounter during your road trip from Las Vegas to Corpus Christi. There is a lot of culture in the city, so make sure to visit the historical sites and the museums before you leave town. There are plenty of Albuquerque campgrounds in the area that you can book to stay for more than a day. Since this is about the halfway point of your trip, you may want to look for a dump station that you can use nearby.
If you are interested in aliens and the unexplained, you most likely have heard about the Roswell UFO incident in 1947. During your trip, find a campground in Roswell to stay at so that you can explore some of the unique UFO-related attractions in the area. You can explore the International UFO Museum and Research Center, or if UFOs are not your thing, there is a museum of contemporary art and a wildlife refuge that you can enjoy.
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio is the second-largest city in the state, so it is a destination that you definitely want to see during your trip. While you are visiting, make sure to check out the National Bridge Wildlife Ranch, the San Antonio Zoo, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and the Alamo. If you enjoy caves, make sure to visit the Natural Bridge Caverns in this city as well. If you have kids, you are going to want to find a San Antonio campground to stay at so that you can enjoy a full day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas before the end of your trip, and there are plenty of dump stations around town in case you need one.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Las Vegas to Corpus Christi, 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 Las Vegas or Corpus Christi.