With its modern architecture and desert backdrop, Phoenix is the gem of the Southwest. While you are here, you will want to relax at one of the many spas or try your hand at a challenging game of golf. As you head out of town, you can opt for the slower route along Route 66 or travel the interstate for a quicker arrival time in Santa Fe. Whatever way you choose, you will not want to miss the historic city of Albuquerque. You should try a burrito smothered in the famous green chile sauce, or take a few moments to explore the historic buildings. Once you arrive in Santa Fe, walk down the narrow streets that wind past the abode-style landmarks, including the Palace of the Governor.
As you begin to plan your Phoenix to Santa Fe road trip itinerary, you might want to add a few national parks to complete your fun-filled vacation. These parks are a great way to get off the road and relax for the day. If you want to learn more about these parks, make sure to check out RVshare's national parks guide.
White Sands National Park
At the end of 2019, White Sands National Park was upgraded from a national monument to a national park. With over 275 square miles of land, you can explore this new national park. White Sands National Park has the largest gypsum sand dunes in the world, and you are free to climb on these natural wonders. Many people love to come here to sled down the gypsum dunes or hit the trails around the park.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you want to see one of the most well-known parks in the United States, then you need to head over to the Grand Canyon National Park. With over 1.2 million acres, this national park welcomes over 6 million visitors each year. You can see the bands of red rock that reveal the park's geological history. On the Colorado River, take an adventure on the white-water rapids as you paddle past sweeping vistas. Backpacking, hiking, and biking are some of the other popular activities in the park. If you want to learn more about the plants and animals, park rangers offer guided hikes throughout the day.
Petrified Forest National Park
At the Petrified Forest National Park, you can explore over 200 square miles of space, including 600 archaeological and historic sites. This park is filled with history as you can see ancient petroglyphs and petrified wood specimens. While you are there, keep your eyes open for the bobcats, coyotes, and pronghorns roaming throughout the park. Some of the most popular activities in the Petrified Forest include backpacking, hiking, and horseback riding.
On your Phoenix to Santa Fe road trip, you should take a day to explore one of the local state parks. On RVshare's website, visit the state park guide to help you find the closest park to your route.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park is a popular place for local Phoenix residents to enjoy a few recreational opportunities. There are over 320 acres of land, and it is a great space to hike or camp. Since it is located in the Superstition Mountains, there are a few local legends about the area. Many people come to the state park to see if they can find a lost mine filled with gold. Those who want to learn about the park's history should visit the on-site museum.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
The Bottomless Lakes State Park is the first state park established in New Mexico. The park takes its name from the nine deep lakes that are located along the Pecos River valley. However, some of these lakes are only 17 to 90 feet deep. The blue-green water is the result of the underwater plants that are just below the surface. This park is a wonderful place to escape for the day to enjoy water-based activities, including kayaking and swimming.
Hyde Memorial State Park
In the hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, you will want to visit the Hyde Memorial State Park. With spectacular mountain peaks, unique rock formations, and dense evergreen forests, this state park is the perfect place to hit the trails to view the pine forests and cascading waterfalls. Hyde Memorial State Park is also a refuge for many native animals, including foxes, porcupines, and coyotes. During the wintertime, cross-country skiing, tubing, and sledding are popular activities.
If you want to learn about American Indian art, you should take a few hours to explore the Heard Museum. The museum presents stories from local Native Americans in the form of art exhibitions. In addition to the art, the museum collaborates with local tribal communities to provide other unique experiences for visitors.
The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned zoo in the United States, and it encompasses 125 acres of land. There are over 1,400 animals and 2.5 miles of walking trails at the zoo. The Phoenix Zoo is divided into four themed hiking trails, including the Arizona Trail, the Tropics Trail, the Africa Trail, and the Children's Trail. For those who want an up-close look at the animals, there is also a petting zoo.
Navajo County Historical Museum
In Holbrook, the Navajo County Historical Museum contains an extensive collection of historical artifacts from the town. Since the town is along Route 66, you can see a few exhibits on the Mother Road's importance to Holbrook. Within the museum's collection, other displays celebrate the Apache and Navajo people who live in the local area.
Old Town Albuquerque was founded in 1706 by the Spanish, and you can see evidence of their settlements in the downtown abode buildings. There are several areas to explore in the area, including the San Felipe de Neri Church, museums, and shops selling Native American crafts. If you want to learn about the area's tribal history, don't forget to check out the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
This museum is dedicated to the legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe, her career, and American modernism. This Santa Fe museum includes the largest collection of her works, and many of the items are rotated throughout the year.
During your road trip from Phoenix to Santa Fe, there are several cities that you should visit. Along the way, you can stop by a campground to rest for the night. You will also see that there are a few dump stations to keep your rig nice and tidy.
Holbrook was once an authentic "Wild West" town with a large population of cattle ranchers, outlaws, and railroaders. This town is the gateway to the Petrified National Park, and it is in the middle of Navajo Country. For that reason, the city loves to celebrate its blending of Hispanic and Native American heritage. When you are ready to find a campground to park your vehicle, there are a few places around this historic town.
Along Route 66, you will find the small town of Gallup, New Mexico. This spot is a great place to view the native landscape with its red sandstone cliffs. If you want to see more of these cliffs, make a trip to Red Rock Park to visit the Anasazi archaeological sites. There is a large collection of pottery and silver at the Red Rock Museum. Throughout the area, Gallup has several campgrounds where you can spend the night.
Albuquerque has a fascinating history. You can see everything from Route 66 artifacts to ancient pueblo buildings. There is something for everyone in this city. While you are there, you will want to explore the art galleries in the downtown area or check out the unique stores in Nob Hob. Once you are done exploring the local area, visit a local campground to kick back and relax.
On this Phoenix to Santa Fe RV road trip, you will see some exciting sights of the American Southwest. RVshare is here to help you find the right RV for your upcoming trip. Whether you start from Phoenix or Santa Fe, you can find a vehicle to meet your needs and budget. When you follow this road trip itinerary from Phoenix to Santa Fe, you will not miss any exciting action on this tour of Arizona and New Mexico.