Texas is a fun state to visit because of its diverse landscapes and large urban cities. Your Austin to Lubbock road trip will begin with the exciting city of Austin and end in the smaller but still interesting city of Lubbock. Along the way, you have ample opportunities to experience the natural beauty and entertaining sights of Texas.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park contains four Spanish Missions: Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission Espada, and Mission San Juan. Beginning in the early 1700s, these four missions and others were established by Spanish missionaries in order to convert, teach, and protect the native inhabitants as well as accommodate the missionaries. The missions are located in different areas around San Antonio but are connected by highways and hiking trails. While these missions are still used as active parishes for the congregants, visitors are allowed to view the original buildings and the displays of artifacts.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Located in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns National Park contains one of the oldest documented cave systems in the world. The cave system has more than 100 caves, a number of which are large underground caverns that reach a ceiling height of 250 feet. The "Big Room" cavern is approximately 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide, and 25 feet high; it is the largest known cave in North America and the 31st largest in the world. After you tour the caves, you can visit other areas inside the park, such as the Walnut Canyon Desert Loop driving trail, the Rattlesnake Springs desert wetlands, and the park museum, which houses park archives and a large collection of artifacts. There are also many hiking trails that present great views of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Adding Pedernales Falls State Park to your Austin to Lubbock road trip itinerary is a great way to explore the Wolf and Tobacco Mountains. Inside the park, you can hike along Bee Creek and play in the step pools, visit the butterfly garden, and use the bird blind while bird-watching. The Wolf Mountain Trail is a six-mile hike through the mountains, and you can also hike up to the overlook for Twin Falls on the Twin Falls Nature Trail. Cyclists can mountain bike on the 10-mile Juniper Ridge Trail.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway
Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway is a large state park that has outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can fish, boat, hike, bike, ride horses, climb rocks, and eat a picnic lunch. Lake Mineral Wells has a marina where you can rent motorized or non-motorized boats if you do not bring your own. If you are a fan of rock climbing, Penitentiary Hollow has lots of natural sandstone rock formations where you can challenge yourself. Climbers need to register at the park office before climbing. The Trailway is a 20-mile hiking trail in the park that follows a section of the former Weatherford, Mineral Wells, and Northwestern Railroad, which carried passengers to the resort city of Mineral Wells, a popular spa destination in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Caprock Canyons State Park
Caprock Canyons State Park is located near Palo Duro Canyon and offers a smaller and quieter place for visiting this area than the larger and more crowded Palo Duro Canyon Park. Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the U.S., and it attracts many visitors each year. Capstone Canyons State Park is surrounded by red sandstone cliffsides that offer great vistas throughout the park. You will also appreciate viewing the official Texas State Bison Herd that resides inside the park. While in the area, you can hike along the Trailway, which is a reclaimed section of the former Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway. The Trailway is a total of 64 miles that are segmented into shorter trail sections. One popular site on the Trailway is Clarity Tunnel, an old railway tunnel that has a large colony of Mexican free-tail bats inside. If you plan on walking through Clarity Tunnel, be sure to wear protective clothing.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
The Waco Mammoth National Monument is an anthropological dig site that contains mammoth and other prehistoric animal remains. Between 1978 and 1990, the fossil remains of 16 Columbian mammoths were found and excavated and are now housed at Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex. Between 1990 and 1997, an additional six mammoths were discovered along with a giant tortoise, a Western camel, an American alligator, a dwarf antelope, and an unidentified animal. These six mammoths are on-site in situ (original position), and visitors can view the mammoths from elevated walkways.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Be prepared for an exciting and immersive experience while in the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. This unique center contains 11 halls of interactive displays that are spread across five building floors, and visitors will be able to participate in exhibits that demonstrate principles of technology, engineering, and conservation. You can build robots, compete against world-class athletes, compose music, and experience a simulated earthquake. The "Life Then and Now Hall" is a fascinating display of ancient skeletons, fossils, and dinosaurs. The facility also has a multimedia theater, café, and children's museum with an outdoor play space and courtyard. Visitors also have access to a roof deck.
Palo Duro Canyon
Located in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the U.S. The canyon is a deep gorge that descends an average of 800 feet — some areas reach a depth of 1000 feet — from the ridge to the floor and contains unique formations of rock. It is 120 miles long and has an average width of six miles, with some areas having a width of up to 20 miles. You can hike down into the canyon or drive and hike along the canyon rim. There are 30 miles of hiking, equestrian, and biking trails throughout the park.
Georgetown is just a few miles north along your road trip from Austin to Lubbock, and you should visit this fun area if time permits. The Downtown Historic District features several interesting historic buildings, and the Fountainwood Observatory has two telescopes and hosts free nightly viewings for the public. The Williamson Museum has exhibits on the local history, and just south of the city is the Inner Space Cavern, a large cavern with hundreds of stalactites. Berry Springs RV Park is surrounded by 200-year-old oak trees and features Texas Hill Country sunsets. There are several convenient locations for stopping at a dump station if needed.
The city of Abilene has many museums and historical sites of interest for you to experience during your Austin to Lubbock RV road trip. The Swenson House Historical Society and the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum have lots of historical displays, and Frontier! Texas is a visitor center that also doubles as a museum. Abilene RV Park is a Good Sam RV park, and you will appreciate the added security of resident managers. There are several conveniently located dump stations nearby if you need one.
Sweetwater is the county seat of Nolan County, and it is located east of Abilene about midway between Austin and Lubbock. The city is known for being one of the state's largest energy producers in wind and petroleum. While stopping here, you can take the time to visit the WASP WWII Museum and the Pioneer City County Museum, and if you are traveling through town during the second weekend of March, you may have the opportunity to see the famous Rattlesnake Rodeo. Windmill RV Park is close to the interstate and provides easy access to attractions in Sweetwater, and they have large sites that can accommodate big rigs. If you need to find a dump station, there are several located in this area.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Austin to Lubbock, 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 Austin or Lubbock.