Taking a few days off from the daily grind can do wonders for your stress levels. A Fort Collins to Lincoln RV road trip might be just the thing you need. This route has all the classic ingredients of an epic road trip through the Midwest. The scenic drive through the I-80 corridor takes you from the Rocky Mountains to the Pawnee National Grassland. You will also encounter big commercial cities, like Denver and Grand Island. It is a perfect mix of touristy spots and some less-traveled paths that make for the perfect getaway.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountains National Park is located within the frontal range of the Rocky Mountains. This 416-acre park is at an elevation of 7,000 feet, making it the highest park in America. There are plenty of activities to keep visitors engaged in the park. For one, the area is a hiker’s paradise. You can explore the 355 miles of hiking trails spread across the park. Other attractions include biking, fishing at Mills Lake, horseback riding, and camping. There is also plenty of opportunity for star gazing if you are looking for some solitude. The best part is that getting to the park only takes an hour from Fort Collins. This is a great way to kick things off.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park is located in western Colorado. This 30,000-acre park is found in Melrose County. Visitors get to see some of the deepest cliffs in the area as well as thundering rivers. Driving to the park requires taking a detour south before embarking on your journey. The good news is that you can get to the area in less than six hours if you take U.S. Highway 285. If you enjoy hiking, then you will love Black Canyon of the Gunnison. There are seven major hiking trails around the park. Just be careful since some of the trails have fairly steep drop-offs at some parts. Guests can also explore the depth of the canyon. Other attractions include fishing on the Gunnison River and wildlife watching. You cap it all off by gazing at the stars once the sun sets over the park.
Lory State Park
Lory State Park is found in Larimer County, which is miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado. Since the park is only 20 minutes from this trip's starting point, Lory State Park is a great first stop to include on your road trip itinerary. Despite its relatively small size of 2,000 acres, the park has more than enough activities for everyone to enjoy. You can participate in a host of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, biking, boating, and shooting sports. If you are looking for something slow-paced, there is fishing and wildlife watching.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Golden Gate Canyon State Park covers 12,000 acres and stretches across Gilpin and Jefferson counties in Colorado. The park is about a half-hour drive from Denver, and there is plenty to do at Golden Gate Canyon State Park all year round. If you want to check out the wildlife, the Colorado birding trail gives you a front-row seat to the wonders of the park. You can also explore these trails on a bike or horse. Those who enjoy fishing can test out their skills at the regularly stocked ponds in the area, although you will need a Colorado fishing license. Other activities available include rock climbing, hunting, and picnicking. The best part is that you are allowed to bring your dog with you provided that they are leashed at all times.
Platte River State Park
This 453-acre park lies on the southern bluffs of the Platte River in Cass County, Nebraska. Platte River State Park is only 36 minutes from Lincoln and just seven minutes from Louisville. Its proximity to the city means that you can make a quick run if you need anything in town. Platte River State Park offers a breathtaking view of rolling plains against the backdrop of the surrounding forested area. Visitors can take in the view from one of the two observation towers that are located in the park. You can also enjoy fishing at the Jenny Newman Lake. Other attractions in the park include a shooting range, boating, and hiking. If you are interested in a longer stay, you can explore other state parks in the area and set up camp for a few days.
Many children have a short attention span, and this can be problematic on a long trip in an RV. You can get them excited again by taking them to Water World in Denver. Although it is a great spot for kids, there is something for adults, too. You can take on the speed slides or the wave pools. If you are looking to relax, you can take it easy at the lazy river. There are age restrictions on some of the scary rides, and while it is okay to split up, younger kids should be within their parents' reach at all times. The best part is that there are places to grab some food and drinks once you are done enjoying the park offerings. Refreshments options on offer include ice cream, pizza, burgers, and even beer for the adults.
Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park
Another spot worth checking out on your Fort Collins to Lincoln road trip is the Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park. This is a much better place if you have teenagers with you on your trip. You can hold a party or celebrate a special occasion here. Parents aren't allowed in the teen bash, but there is a separate park section for the adults. There is a live DJ, food, and great prizes to be won. However, Brighton Oasis closes toward the end of the year. Check their website for current opening and closing date information before adding the stop to your road trip itinerary.
Joslyn Art Museum
Visiting the Joslyn Art Museum is a great way to wind down from an epic trip. After spending a significant portion of the trip in the wilderness, seeing some art is a breath of fresh air. It can even inspire interest in the younger ones in your family. The museum boasts of a huge collection of artworks from different eras and regions. Expect to see exhibitions from Europe, Asia, the American West, and Native American cultures. Other attractions are sculpted gardens and beautiful architecture.
Denver is the capital of Colorado, and it is located just 60 miles south of Fort Collins. It is one of the oldest cities in Colorado, and it has a long, storied history spanning back to the Old West era. Denver is home to more than 700,000 people, making it the most populous city in Colorado. Major attractions in the city include the Denver Art Museum. It is worth mentioning that the mansion of famed Titanic survivor Molly Brown is in this city. You can stop at the many campgrounds in the area, including the Dakota Ridge RV Park. In addition, you can also stop at one of the many dump stations to use the facilities.
Grand Island is home to 51,000 people. The city is the county seat of Hall County, Nebraska. The city got its name from the long island on the Platte River. You will experience more about the history of the place at the Stuhr Museum. Like most cities, Grand Island has no shortage of dump stations and campgrounds nearby. Hall County Campground is a good place to stay or sanitize your RV.
North Platte is right on your way to Lincoln on the I-80. The city is the county seat of Lincoln County. North Platte has a population of more than 23,000 people. The city marks the midpoint of the road trip from Fort Collins to Lincoln. With some distance still to go, you will need to find a place to rest and clean your RV. Fortunately, there are great dump stations and campgrounds. Holiday RV Park and Campground is just one of the many great options in the area.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Fort Collins to Lincoln, 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 Fort Collins or Lincoln.