Your road trip from Amarillo to Roswell treats you to a few fun stops at some of the Southwest's most unique national parks where you'll explore the geological wonders of Carlsbad Caverns and sled down snow-colored dunes at White Sands. The cities of Plainview, Lubbock, and Carlsbad welcome you with special attractions and the delicious cuisine of the Southwest. Exciting points of interest take you to a galaxy not so far away at the International UFO Museum and Research Center and cruising down the famous Route 66 for an art exhibition you won't soon forget at Cadillac Ranch.
Consider adding a few beautiful national parks to your road trip itinerary from Amarillo to Roswell. Some of the most unique protected lands are west of Texas in New Mexico.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to a magnificent system of caves with a population of bats that you won't want to miss. Start your adventure at the visitor center for information about the formation of the caves and habitats of the local wildlife; then, grab a bite at the cafeteria before you head to the cavern's natural entrance. You can explore the cave on your own or take a ranger-guided tour of Hall of the White Giant, Lower Cave, or Slaughter Canyon Cave.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located not far from Carlsbad Caverns and is another fantastic park you should add to your bucket list. At this park, you can hike over 80 miles of rugged trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Take the Devil's Hall Trail to Devil's Hall, a steep ravine with spectacular views of the park from above. Further exploration takes you to McKittrick Canyon, El Capitan, and Guadalupe Peak, three must-see destinations. The beauty of this park and its proximity to Carlsbad Caverns make it ideal for an overnight stay.
White Sands National Park
Only two hours and 20 minutes southwest of Roswell lies White Sands National Park, a breathtaking place to spend a few days hiking, backcountry camping, and sand sledding. A stop at the visitor center is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the history of the park and decide which programs you want to participate in. Check out the Interdune Boardwalk, and see if you can spot a few of the local oryx roaming the dunes. The pure white sands make moonlight hikes something you'll definitely want to experience, and you can also cruise the Dunes Drive, an 8-mile scenic stretch that takes you through the heart of the park.
State parks are perfect places to relax and spend a few days enjoying more of the outdoors on your Amarillo to Roswell RV road trip.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is just 30 minutes outside of Amarillo and is a great place to start your adventure. Some of the best spots for hiking and photography you'll want to explore are Goodnight Peak, Devil's Tombstone, and Fortress Cliff. Daredevils can enjoy an invigorating zip lining experience over the canyon at Palo Duro Canyon Adventure Park and enjoy a bit of history at TEXAS Outdoor Musical, a seasonal play with plenty of singing and dancing.
Caprock Canyons State Park
Caprock Canyons State Park features 15,000 acres of rugged terrain to explore as you watch the bison roam. Check out a few of the park's numerous trails on foot, on horseback, or by mountain bike. If you feel like fishing, you can cast a line at Lake Theo, go for a swim, or spend the day boating and then stay the night and marvel at a breathtaking Texas sunset while roasting marshmallows at one of the park's scenic picnic areas.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
Only 15 miles from Roswell, Bottomless Lakes State Park is home to nine "bottomless" lakes that are actually cenotes with varying depths from 17 to 90 feet. At this park, you can take a dip or scuba dive at the only bottomless lake that allows swimming, Lake Lea, and head out for a hike on the Bluff, Wetlands, or Skidmarks trail to do a little bird-watching. More lakes that you won't want to miss are Lazy Lagoon, Mirror Lake, Devil's Inkwell, Figure Eight, and Lost Lake.
Before you leave Amarillo, check out Cadillac Ranch, a unique art installation created in 1974 by an artistic group of hippies called the Ant Farm. At this site off famous Route 66, you'll see 10 brightly colored Caddies half-buried into the ground that pay homage to the evolution of the Cadillac tailfin.
Buddy Holly Statue
On your way through Lubbock, be sure to stop at the famous Buddy Holly Statue, an 8.5-foot-tall bronze tribute to the rock 'n' roll legend. The statue, which was created in 1970, embodies the spirit of Buddy Holly's musical impact as he strums his Fender Stratocaster guitar. Across the street, you can walk through the Buddy Holly Museum that houses a variety of Holly's personal possessions, including his bedroom furniture from 1955. On your way out, don't forget to snap a photo at the giant eyeglass sculpture, another ode to Buddy Holly and his unique style.
International UFO Museum and Research Center
The International UFO Museum and Research Center is an absolute must-see on your Amarillo to Roswell road trip. Watching the featured video is a great way to start your examination of the events that took place in Roswell. You'll hear eyewitness accounts and interviews with military personnel and see evidence filmed at the crash site. In the museum, you can check out photos and exhibits documenting the famous 1947 UFO crash as well as worldwide UFO and alien sightings.
The small town of Plainview lets you experience true Southwest Americana in a quaint setting with interesting attractions. Visit the Museum of the Llano Estacado for information about the history of the area with exhibits that showcase Victorian era housing, Native American culture, and the lives of the Buffalo Soldiers. Great eateries you'll want to try are the classic American Plainview Diner, Morrison's, and the Dirtyburger Restaurant.
Palo Duro Rim RV Campground is a great place to set up camp for a couple of days before you head to Plainview. Located just off Interstate 27, this park has 47 RV sites that will accommodate rigs up to 60 feet long at the Sagebrush area with an on-site dump station for your convenience.
A stop at some of Lubbock's top attractions is a must on your road trip from Amarillo to Roswell. Make your way to Prairie Dog Town located in Mackenzie Park to view these special animals in their natural habitats. Entry is free, and you can bring baby carrots to feed the prairie dogs. While you're here, be sure to check out the National Ranching Heritage Center's walkthrough exhibits and take the trolley tour of the grounds through historical early settler homes. Excellent wineries to add to your bucket list are McPherson Cellars, Llano Estacado Winery, and Pheasant Ridge Winery.
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad is located in the Chihuahuan Desert and is just 76 miles away from your Roswell destination. Sights you'll want to stop for in this city are the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center and the Carlsbad National Wildlife Refuge. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park is another excellent place to visit. Self-guided tours offer up-close viewing access to animals and plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Amarillo to Roswell, 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 Amarillo or Roswell.