Excitement abounds on your Sacramento to Santa Fe road trip as you go on outdoor adventures that take you to several of the most unique and famous park destinations, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley National Parks. Fun points of interest whisk you away on Wild West journeys into abandoned gold mines at Goldfield Ghost Town and shuttle you up the longest aerial tramway in the Americas on the Sandia Peak Tramway. In a few thriving cities along the way, you will have nothing but good times as you experience the Hollywood scene and some iconic amusement parks in Los Angeles, explore an evolving arts district in Phoenix on Roosevelt Row, and enjoy authentic Native American cuisine at Pueblo Harvest in Albuquerque.
For maximum adventure, add some national parks to your Sacramento to Santa Fe RV road trip. You will find an impressive number of beautiful parks to explore not far from your route.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a short two-hour drive from Stockton and is the first famous park to cross off your bucket list. Here, you will enjoy nonstop adventure as you hike to Half Dome and El Capitan, snap some beautiful photos of Yosemite Falls, and wet a hook at Mirror Lake. Be sure to take a ride on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, and explore Tuolumne Grove, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and Yosemite Valley as you spend a few days camping in one of the most breathtaking parks in America.
Kings Canyon National Park National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is only two hours south of Yosemite. Here, you can relax and take in the scenery on over 1,000 miles of hiking and biking trails to famous landmarks such as the General Sherman Tree and Roaring River Walls. Camping at this park is phenomenal, so plan to stay at least a day or two in order to experience the beauty of the John Muir Wilderness before you backpack around Big Pine Lakes.
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is another popular park you will definitely want to visit, and it's just three hours away from Bakersfield. Some of the highlights at Death Valley include epic hikes around Dante's View, Ubehebe Crater, and Devils Golf Course, with more fun to be had at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, where you can spend some time sand surfing. Check out Scotty's Castle, a historic must-see, along with Telescope Peak, the park's highest summit, before you head out.
Joshua Tree National Park
You will cruise right through Joshua Tree National Park on your way to Santa Fe, so be sure to hop out of your rig and onto the hiking trails to visit some of the park's most unique features at Skull Rock, Lost Horse Mine, and Queen Mountain. Then, head to the Oasis Visitor Center for park info, maps, and some sweet exhibits before setting up camp to marvel at the galaxies above at this International Dark Sky Park.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is located right along I-40 as you make your way to New Mexico. You can experience this park on a drive through the unique landscape with stops at a few spectacular overlooks or on foot as you walk the trails to some notable natural attractions at Blue Mesa, Painted Desert Rim, Jasper Forest, and Kachina Point. Head to the Puerco Pueblo Ruins for the petroglyphs, and then check out the cool prehistoric exhibits at the Rainbow Forest Museum before exploring the paleo lab.
Enjoy the serenity of a few lovely state parks on your road trip from Sacramento to Santa Fe.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
Red Rock Canyon State Park features incredible hiking trails that allow you to explore California's colorful badlands while you soak up the sun. Horseback riding and picnicking are some more great ways to experience the rugged beauty of Red Rock Canyon.
Lost Dutchman State Park
In Lost Dutchman State Park, you can search for the hidden treasure of the fabled lost gold mine, hike the iconic Superstition Mountains, and view the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. Don't forget to stop by the visitor center to learn about the mysterious history of the park and pick up a few cool souvenirs.
Bluewater State Park
Bluewater State Park offers amazing views of the Zuni Mountains, with plenty of chances to trek a few pristine hiking trails around the peaceful waters of Bluewater Lake. This lake is also an excellent place to fish for tiger muskie.
Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway
On your way through Palm Springs, stop at the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway for a memorable tour of The House of Tomorrow. This location features glimpses into rooms inspired by The King's parents, as well as an exploration of the house's art deco design.
Goldfield Ghost Town
Goldfield Ghost Town shows you a rootin', tootin' good time on tours of the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and live Wild West performances enacted by the famous Goldfield Gunfighters against a dramatic desert backdrop that showcases the legendary Superstition Mountains. You can also take a stroll down Main Street to find your own treasure in one of the quaint shops. Take some time to enjoy the artifact exhibits in the Goldfield Museum as well.
Sandia Peak Tramway
On the Sandia Peak Tramway, you'll be floored by the magnificent views of Albuquerque and the lush forests of the Sandia Mountains on the longest aerial tramway in America. Your ascent to the 10,378-foot peak only takes 15 minutes as you traverse a 2.7-mile stretch that rewards you with a few fantastic hiking trails and an optional fine dining experience at Ten 3 once you reach the top. Reservations are required at the restaurant, so be sure to plan ahead.
Los Angeles, California
While in Los Angeles, you can marvel at Tesla's high-power conical coil at the Griffith Park Observatory, catch a summer flick in the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, or stroll the star-studded sidewalks on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. There is a ton to see and do in the City of Angels, so make sure to add these fabulous attractions to your bucket list: the Hollywood Sign, Disneyland, Universal Studios, La Brea Tar Pits, and Pink's Hot Dogs. Hollywood RV Park is an L.A. gem that features cozy campsites with wooded scenery, a live entertainment playhouse, and an art gallery along with quick access to a variety of fun attractions and local dump stations.
Phoenix is an amazing Southwestern city filled with unique street art, historic Native American sites, and plenty of warm desert vibes to experience on outdoor adventures to places such as Camelback Mountain and Papago Park. Some of the sites you'll want to experience in the Valley of the Sun are the Mystery Castle, the Phoenix Bat Cave, Old Town Scottsdale, the Heard Museum, and Roosevelt Row, a walkable arts district loaded with fun bars, tasty restaurants, and eclectic shops. Desert Sands RV Park is a great place to kick back and relax as you spend time exploring Phoenix. Here, you will enjoy amenities that include a swimming pool, barbecue areas, and a dump station.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque welcomes you to the Land of Enchantment on visits to a few of the city's most interesting and delicious hotspots. Take a walk through Petroglyph National Monument for the prehistoric rock art and then head to Pueblo Harvest for an authentic Native American meal of seared bison before you explore the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. While you are here, you should also check out the International Rattlesnake Museum, watch a movie at the haunted Kimo Theatre, grab a couple of cold beers at Two Fools Tavern, and learn some history at the Albuquerque Museum. Albuquerque Central KOA is located at the base of the Sandia Mountains and offers fantastic amenities, including a hot tub and sauna, a mini-golf course, a pool, free Wi-Fi, and a clean dump station.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Santa Fe, 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 Sacramento or Santa Fe.