Embarking on a San Antonio to Amarillo road trip will lead you south from north-central Texas down almost to the Gulf region of southern Texas. Along the way, you will pass through mountainous, dry hills, arid plains, and humid landscapes in the south. If you have leeway to add side excursions to your San Antonio to Amarillo road trip itinerary, then national parks like the San Antonio National Historical Park or state parks like Caprock Canyons State Park are well within reach of your route.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is comprised of four Spanish missions that are connected by trails and highways. These parks are Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada, and they were originally established as fortified enclaves for Spanish priests and the local peoples of the area. These missions served to proselytize, educate, and protect. Today, the missions are still active parishes, but visitors can tour the buildings at each mission and view the architectural components and interesting artifacts. There are also interconnecting nature trails in the park.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The cave system at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the oldest known systems in the world. This system includes numerous vast underground rooms, with many having an interior height of up to 250 feet. The park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico, and it is a little over four hours from Amarillo. Visiting these unique and fascinating caves is well-worth the drive. The cave system contains more than 100 caves, including the famous "Big Room," which is almost 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide, and 25 feet high. This chamber is the largest known cave in North America and the 31st largest in the world. Besides touring the Carlsbad Caverns, you can also drive along the Walnut Canyon Desert Loop or hike along numerous nature trails through the Chihuahuan Desert. Be sure to visit Rattlesnake Springs, which is a desert wetland with many species of reptiles and birds. The park museum houses archives and around a million artifacts.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park is a fun place for all ages. Visitors can walk along and inside the same places that dinosaurs trekked across many ages ago. These preserved footprints are in the Paluxy River riverbed, and you can get a map from the park office detailing their locations. While in the park, you can swim, boat in non-motorized boats, fish, bike, hike, and ride horses.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park
Lake Mineral Wells State Park offers a wide variety of activities for all types of outdoor recreation. These activities include hiking, biking, fishing, boating, riding horses, picnicking by the lake, and even rock-climbing. You can bring your own boat or rent one at the marina on Lake Mineral Wells, which allows access for trolling motorized boats or non-motorized boats. You can climb up the rockfaces at Penitentiary Hollow, a site with natural sandstone rock formations. All climbers must register at the office. The Trailway is a 20-mile reclaimed section of the old Weatherford, Mineral Wells, and Northwestern Railroad, which carried passengers to the city of Mineral Wells for the mineral baths and the resort atmosphere during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The current Trailway travels between the city of Mineral Wells and the park and features 16 bridges on its pathway.
Caprock Canyons State Park
While at Caprock Canyons State Park, you can easily visit Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the U.S. Caprock Canyon State Park is the home of the official Texas State Bison herd, and you will love the amazing views offered by the surrounding red sandstone cliffsides that encircle the park. The Trailway is a reclaimed railroad that is a total of 64 miles and is broken into trail sections of 5 to 12 miles long. The entire Trailway spans three counties. There are 46 bridges on the Trailway, and Clarity Tunnel is an old railway tunnel that currently is the home of a very large colony of Mexican free-tail bats. When visiting the Trailway, bring your own water, and be sure to wear protective outwear when walking through Clarity Tunnel.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
The Waco Mammoth National Monument is a research and dig site that contains the remains of six Columbian mammoths, which were relatives of the modern Asiatic elephant. These animals reached heights of 14 feet. When visiting the park, you can walk on elevated walkways that are positioned above the dig sites and listen to narrations on the mammoths and the park.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
You can almost become lost in this vast expanse in Dallas, but you won't mind spending hours inside the 11 halls of fascinating interactive exhibits. You will be too busy building robots, composing music, competing against athletes, and experiencing an earthquake simulation to worry about time. The "Life, Then and Now Hall" contains numerous ancient skeletons and fossils, including dinosaurs.
Palo Duro Canyon
The canyon, known as "The Grand Canyon of Texas," is 120 miles long with an average width of 6 miles. The average depth is around 820 feet, but the deepest sections reach 1,000 feet in some areas. During your time at the canyon, you will see unique rock formations, which are formed around a deep gorge. If you would rather take in the view from the rim, you can either drive or hike along the roads and trails at the top. There are 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails within the park.
The city of Abilene is located in central Texas. If you enjoy history and visiting museums, then you will want to add this city to your road trip from San Antonio to Amarillo as it has numerous historical sites and museums. Frontier Texas! serves as both a visitors information center and a museum of Western history, and the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum and Swenson House Historical Society both offer interesting displays of historical significance. Abilene RV Park is a Good Sam RV park and has owners who live on-site for your convenience when staying overnight in Abilene. You will also have no trouble finding a dump station if you need one.
Fredericksburg is an interesting city located in central Texas. It is well-known for its various wineries and also for its German heritage, which is highlighted at the Pioneer Museum through displays of historical artifacts and settler homesteads. Another interesting site is the Vereins Kirche German church replica, located in the town square of Markplatz. You will also want to visit the National Museum of the Pacific War. La Hacienda RV Resort is a large park near Austin and is on Lake Travis, and offers plenty of amenities for a convenient stay. There are several options for using a dump station when necessary.
Austin is the state capital of Texas and mostly known for its active live-music scene. Much of the popular music here centers on the genres of country, rock, and blues. Besides the live music, the city is also home to the University of Texas, and you can find numerous parks and lakes that offer plenty of restful interludes. For a more exciting time, you may want to visit Formula One's Circuit of the Americas raceway during one of their scheduled racing events. The city of Austin is a large urban area that has lots of choices for using a dump station at the onset of your San Antonio to Amarillo RV road trip, and you will enjoy staying at the Pecan Grove RV Park in downtown Austin, within walking distance of the Colorado River.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from San Antonio to Amarillo, 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 San Antonio or Amarillo.