Adventure awaits as you explore the highways and byways from Dallas to Santa Fe. During your journey, you'll drive through several beautiful state parks. Dinosaur Valley is a treat; you can walk in the actual footprints of prehistoric sauropods here. When you near the tail end of your drive through Texas, you'll see the impressive peaks of Guadalupe Mountains National Park if you take the I-20 to I-10 route. Quaint pottery shops of Old Mesilla welcome you to Las Cruces while Old Town in Albuquerque waves goodbye as you make your way to Santa Fe.
Every road trip should include an adventure to one of America's national parks. Texas is home to some of the most beautiful and protected terrain in the U.S.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, located in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, is rich with the history of early settlers. Check out the Frijole Ranch Cultural Museum, and learn about the Rader brothers, who built the ranch around 1876, as well as the ranch's subsequent owners and variety of uses. Head outside to the park's main attraction, where you'll be rewarded with perfect views of El Capitan peak, Texas' highest summit when you hike the Guadalupe Peak Trail. Make sure to see McKittrick Canyon's unique mixture of desert flora with mountainous pine and juniper trees. This canyon is especially spectacular in fall after the leaves change color. More sites to see while you're here are Bush Mountain, Devil's Hall Trail, and Salt Basin Dunes.
The drive on your Dallas to Santa Fe road trip is loaded with amazing state parks to explore. Consider checking out a few on your Dallas to Santa Fe RV road trip.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park takes you on a prehistoric journey just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. At this park, you can enjoy a guided tour on horseback of the riverbeds where the impressions of dinosaur tracks can be seen. If you're into exploring on foot, you can easily find dino tracks along the river. Hike over 20 miles of trails, and make time to visit Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Fishing, kayaking, camping, and swimming are also available here. You can expect to see dinosaur tracks, local wildlife, and wooded areas.
Abilene State Park
Abilene State Park is located 16 miles southwest of Abilene in Elm Creek. Enjoy a day of fishing at Buffalo Wallow Pond, a great place to also snap some photos of the local wildlife. You can take a dip in the park's historic swimming pool that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s and check out the red sandstone concession building also erected during the era of the Great Depression. Fun things to do here include camping, boating, and hiking the nature trails.
Hyde Memorial State Park
Hyde Memorial State Park in Santa Fe is New Mexico's first state park. With several trails to hike within the park, the Borrego-Bear Wallow-Winsor Triangle Trail is one of the park's most trekked, with its amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Dark skies are perfect for stargazing and roasting marshmallows, making this park great for an overnight stay.
U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
On your way out of Dallas, make a stop at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth. It's the second out of only two locations in the country where U.S. currency is printed (the other location is in Washington D.C.). Once inside, you can take a complimentary tour and see, from a walkway suspended above the production floor, where billions of dollars are printed. The educational film "The Buck Starts Here" can be watched in the theater followed by a briefing about the equipment used to print money. There are two additional floors to explore with interactive exhibits and special demonstrations of how money was printed in the early 1900s.
Located in Odessa, Texas, this Stonehenge replica can be found on the University of Texas Permian Basin campus. The 20-block stone configuration is a close mirror of the original Stonehenge in England with a few blocks measuring a couple of feet shorter. Each giant stone at the site weighs 20,000 pounds, and they were arranged to re-create the same celestial effect as the original. The project took only six weeks to complete with modern technology while the genuine Stonehenge took close to 2,000 years to finish. You can observe the exhibit for free, and it can be visited at any time.
Old Town in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a must-see on your road trip from Dallas to Santa Fe. Founded in 1706, this part of the city is considered the heart of Albuquerque. It's the perfect place to spend a day or two, and you can take your time exploring artisan shops, tasting the local food, and experiencing the culture of New Mexico. View some of the town's history in Old Town Plaza, and visit the San Felipe de Neri Church built in the 18th century. For a spooky adventure, take a lantern-lit ghost walk through the 300-year-old town. Fun side adventures to check out in Albuquerque are the Rattlesnake Museum; Sandia Peak Tramway, the longest aerial tram in the U.S.; ABQ Bio Park - Botanic Gardens; and the Petroglyph National Monument.
Your road trip itinerary from Dallas to Santa Fe should include stops at some of the beautiful campgrounds along the way. Many of them have dump stations for your convenience.
For some Wild West excitement, you'll want to stop in Abilene. Make your way downtown, and take a walk through Frontier Texas, one of the best locations to participate in an interactive Old West adventure. Take a tour of the Buffalo Gap Historic Village. This site has more than 15 historical structures and over 10,000 artifacts. Another point of interest you might want to see is the Grace Museum. Founded in the late 1930s, it has five art galleries in one historic location that was built in 1909.
Buck Creek RV Park is located on the east side of Abilene just outside the city. This park has a dump station and an RV campground. Its proximity to the downtown area gives you access to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
On the last leg of your journey through Texas, you'll want to visit El Paso. On the outskirts of the city is Hueco Tanks State Park. Here, you can examine the "huecos," or large natural rock basins of the Chihuahuan Desert. As you walk through the park, you'll spot pictographs as old as 8,000 years on the tanks. Head toward town, and wander through San Jacinto Plaza. You can grab some steak tacos, which is the popular local fare, at La Malinche and walk through the historic, palatial Magoffin Home. Nearby campgrounds make it easy for you to spend a few days enjoying the city.
When you enter Las Cruces, you'll pass through the small village of Old Mesilla, famous for being the town where Billy the Kid was put on trial. This is an excellent place for a respite from your Dallas to Santa Fe road trip and sampling some authentic Mexican food. Not far from town is Dripping Springs Natural Area. Hike over 4 miles of mountainous terrain, and soak in majestic views of the Organ Mountains.
Sunny Acres RV Park is located on the west side of Las Cruces. This park has a dump station and an RV campground. In a quiet area of town, you can relax and enjoy the city at your own pace. The park is close to shops and entertainment and features a variety of amenities, including laundry facilities and free Wi-Fi as well as a calendar filled with social events.
For the best road trip you'll ever take, consider using a recreational vehicle for your Dallas to Santa Fe RV road trip. Hitting the road in an RV rental from RVshare will enable you to experience a comfortable and relaxing ride so that you can spend your time creating memories on your road trip from Dallas to Santa Fe that will last a lifetime.