If you have always dreamed of going to the Grand Canyon, then a road trip from Dallas may be the perfect solution. In addition to the Grand Canyon, you can visit Carlsbad National Park and many state parks along the way. You will find many points of interest that you'll want to stop and explore. Now is the perfect time to start planning your Dallas to Grand Canyon road trip.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park lies almost on the Mexican border about 290 miles southeast of El Paso, Texas. You can find many things to do at this park that covers more than 1,252 square miles. Consider going for a scenic drive to see the transition from the desert to the cooler mountain environment. You may want to stop at several historical sites in this state park, like Sam Nail Ranch, Homer Wilson (Blue Creek) Ranch, and the Castolon Historic Compound. One of the neatest things about this park is that you can go on desert, mountain and river hikes or bike rides without ever leaving the park. Many different canoeing trips ranging from a few hours to multiple days are available on the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. A great way to explore this park is on a guided walk with one of the park's rangers.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Stop at Carlsbad Caverns National Park to visit the largest single cave chamber in the United States. You can go on a self-guided tour of this cave. If you are able, consider taking the Natural Entrance to the cave as you will be amazed at how this cave appears to open out of nowhere. Stick around until sunset to see the bats come out of the cave at night. While you are waiting, go on a surface hike along miles of trails running through the Guadalupe Mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert. There are also five other tours that you can do with a ranger to other caves in this park. Night sky programs frequently occur at this remote national park.
Monahans Sandhills State Park
Monahans Sandhills State Park near Monahans, Texas, is a mysterious place to visit because the wind sculpts oceans of sand into dunes all day and night long. Rent a sand disc from the park's office and go sledding on the dunes. You can hike anywhere that you want at this park. Be aware that the moving sand may instantly cover up your tracks, so plot your path by other features so that you can get back to the visitor's center. There are nature exhibits you can explore, and there are over 800 acres at this park where you can ride your horse.
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park overlooks the Pecos River near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Stroll along the nature trail to see more than 40 Chihuahuan Desert animals, including pronghorns, cougars, prairie dogs and more. Do not miss the chance to see the black bear named Molly paint pictures with her paws as part of her stimulation program. You can purchase these paintings in the gift shop. You will also see many native plants, like the honey mesquite, shinnery oak, and fourwing saltbush, as you stroll along. Head to the aviary to see birds of rapture and the reptile house to see the snakes. End your stop at the visitor's center where you can see a whale's fossils that once swam in the sea located here. Children often love visiting this center because of the many items that they can touch.
City of Rocks State Park
You may feel like the 40-foot tall volcanic rocks at City of Rocks State Park were placed by humans, but nature placed them in their unique positions more than 34.9 million years ago. A great way to see the rocks is to stroll along the 5.5 miles of hiking trails. As you move along, watch the air for the birds that live at this state park near Deming, New Mexico. Check the schedule to see if the observatory will be open at night because the stargazing parties held here are terrific. The botanical garden near the park's visitor's center offers a great opportunity to see native plants.
Lost Dutchman State Park
During your Dallas to Grand Canyon RV road trip, head to Lost Dutchman State Park, located about 40 miles east of Phoenix, to see amazing red rock scenery as you hike along. Be as quiet as possible, and you may see mule deer, javelinas, jackrabbits and coyotes. For a less strenuous hiking opportunity, follow the Native Plant Trail or test your skills by climbing to Flatiron. Ride your mountain bike along the four-mile trail.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Explore Arizona’s rim country by adding a stop at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to your road trip itinerary from Dallas to the Grand Canyon. Follow the hiking trails to see the travertine bridge, which may be the longest bridge of its type in the world. There is an observation deck near the river so that you can stop and admire this bridge. Then, head to see Goodfellow Lodge, located on the hill above the bridge. While part of this building, which was constructed in the 1920s, is a hotel, you can also get a good meal here to eat on the outdoor patio or in the dining room with windows allowing you to see the beauty of your natural surroundings.
Caverns of Sonora
The Caverns of Sonora are located about 15 miles south of Sonora, Texas. Walk down the 360 steps to enter this cave located 155 feet below the earth's surface. Participate in one of the many cave tours. Then, head back to the surface to hike and pan for gemstones. You will not want to miss getting a piece of the fudge that is made at this location.
The Hubbard Museum of the American West
See a fascinating collection of artwork created by American West artists and learn more about the artists' personal stories by stopping at the Hubbard Museum of the American West. You can also see a terrific collection of transportation-related items along with some Native American artifacts.
Acoma Sky City
Climb on board the tour bus to ride up the hill to Acoma Sky City in New Mexico. This pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America. Join the tour guide as they tell you about the fascinating history of how logs were hauled by hand to this location and learn some Native American legends.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Set in the stunning red rocks of Coconino National Forest, you will want to visit this ornate church whose design was inspired by the Empire State Building. Enter to see breathtaking Christian works of art.
Take in a play at the Globe Theater in Midland on the campus of Odessa College. This 410-seat theater often offers Shakespearean plays. You may also want to visit the Ellen Noel Art Museum. Consider camping in Odessa at Castaway RV Park or Main Street RV Park. RV dump stations in Odessa include Midessa Oil Patch RV Park, Midland RV Campground, and other Texas locations.
El Paso, Texas
You can find many great places to explore in El Paso, Texas, including the El Paso Zoo and the El Paso Museum of Art. Consider camping in El Paso at Mission RV Park as they host frequent events or at the conveniently located El Paso Roadrunner RV Park. El Paso West RV Park and American RV Park offer dump stations in El Paso. There are other dump station locations in Texas.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Riding the Sandia Peak Tramway, seeing the animals at the ABQ BioPark and learning about petroglyphs at the Petroglyphs National Monument are just a few of the fun things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With so many great choices, consider campgrounds in Albuquerque, like Balloon View RV Park or El Rancho RV Park. Albuquerque RV dump stations can be found at Giant Service Station 2, Flying J Travel Plaza, or other New Mexico locations.
Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, is an awesome place to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon. Consider Grand Canyon campgrounds like Apache Palms RV Park and Point of Rocks Campground. Grand Canyon RV dump stations include North Rim Campground, Mather Park and other Arizona locations.