Enjoy an exciting journey from the picturesque mountains of Colorado to the beautiful coasts of California on your Fort Collins to San Jose road trip. Outdoor excursions to Rocky Mountain National Park and Yosemite National Park give you time to stretch your legs and allow you to explore each unique ecosystem at your leisure. Fun cities and points of interest have you enjoying decadent eateries at Oxbow Public Market in Napa, climbing the wall of a hotel in Reno and participating in a bonafide Mad Hat Tea Party in San Francisco.
Explore a couple of beautiful national parks on your road trip from Fort Collins to San Jose. Some of the most rugged and famous terrains are on your route.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park has over 250,000 acres of alpine forests, wildflower meadows, and breathtaking mountains for you to enjoy, and it's all just one hour and 10 minutes away from Fort Collins. Check out the Alpine Visitor Center first to grab a cup of coffee at the cafe, gather info about the park, and peruse the gift shop. Outside, the main attraction is Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in the park. Other spectacular favorites include Dream Lake, Alberta Falls, Calypso Cascades, and Flattop Mountain. Some of the best ways you'll want to experience this park are to hike, rock climb, or camp at these epic Rocky Mountain destinations.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is another amazing place you should add to your Fort Collins to San Jose road trip itinerary. Stop at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center to get your national parks passport stamped and enjoy the nature displays, and then visit some of the park's most famous lookout points at Tunnel View, Glacier Point, and Valley View for breathtaking views of Half Dome and Merced River. If you love photography, the Yosemite Valley is the perfect place to snap a few shots of the local wildlife and capture the magnitude of Yosemite's majestic scenery. There's a ton to explore at Yosemite, so plan to spend at least two to three days here.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a biodiverse destination that has four types of volcanoes and a variety of geothermal sites that are just two hours and 35 minutes north of Reno. Some of the popular spots you'll want to hike, explore, and photograph are Bumpass Hell, Devil's Kitchen, Horseshoe Lake, and the Painted Dunes. Trek along the edge of an extinct volcano at Cinder Cone, and then wander over to the most famous volcano at Lassen Peak for more hiking trails that reward you with incredible views of the park. As you journey through Lassen, you can expect to see plenty of geysers, mud pots, hot springs, and fumaroles.
State parks are fantastic for adding more adventure to your road trip from Fort Collins to San Jose.
Bear River State Park
Stop at Bear River State Park on your way through Wyoming for a day of hiking and biking on the park's 326 lush acres. Access to the river is perfect for fishing, kayaking, and swimming, and don't be surprised if you see some bison and elk meandering throughout the park. There's also a museum, gift shop, and visitor center on-site, so be sure to enjoy the exhibits and grab a few souvenirs.
Great Salt Lake State Park
At Great Salt Lake State Park, you'll experience the water like never before. With a salinity that's two to seven times higher than the ocean, you can float the day away in the great lake, kayak, or enjoy a sunset cruise on a 53-foot yacht while dining on gourmet cuisine. Onshore, you can go on a free audio tour, bird-watch, and eat breakfast or lunch at the only restaurant on the southern shore at The Sunset Galley.
McNee Ranch State Park
You'll find McNee Ranch State Park's coast side in the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains near San Mateo. At this lovely park, you can hike, bike, and horseback ride on moderate to difficult trails to North Peak for fantastic views of the San Francisco Bay and Mount Diablo. Wildlife viewing and bird-watching are excellent ways to enjoy your time here as well.
Park City Ski Resorts
Only 40 minutes away from Salt Lake is Park City, a must-explore destination you'll want to add to your Fort Collins to San Jose RV road trip. In this swanky ski town, you can enjoy world-class restaurants and shopping on historic Main Street, bobsled at Utah Olympic Park, and relax with hot chocolate and board games at The Stein. Be on the lookout for the complimentary s'mores bar at Montage at Deer Valley Resort, and spend a night kicking back at the High West Distillery & Saloon located at the bottom of the Quittin' Time ski run.
Old City Cemetery
Sitting on over 30 acres with a Victorian Era design, Old City Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Sacramento. At this late 19th-century city treasure, you can take lantern and candlelit tours of the grounds with professional guides in costumes from the period and hear true stories about some of the cemetery's occupants as well as lore about the city itself.
Oxbow Public Market
Oxbow Public Market used to be a garage and tire store in the 1930s, but now it's an enormous foodie hotspot where you can satisfy your sweet tooth, sip fine wine, and eat hand-selected steak. Some of the best places to treat yourself are at the Five Dot Ranch & Cookhouse, Ca' Momi, and the Kitchen Door. After lunch, indulge in a chocolate tasting and some beer or wine brittle at Anette's Chocolates. Then, enjoy prohibition-era cocktails at the Napa Valley Distillery.
Salt Lake City, Utah
In Salt Lake City, you can enjoy some of "The Greatest Snow on Earth" at a few choice resorts in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, including Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, and Brighton. If you're not here in the winter, these resorts are also excellent places to hike in the spring and summer months. Check out Temple Square for the impressive architecture and lovely landscape, and then head over to The Bayou to select a cold brew from a menu with over 300 beers. Campgrounds near the city are great for extending your stay in this unique area. Clean dump stations are located around town as well.
As "The Biggest Little City in the World," Reno offers plenty of excellent restaurants, casinos, and live entertainment, but there's another side of Reno you'll definitely want to explore. If you're up for the challenge, you can scale the climbing wall on the side of the Whitney Peak Hotel that not only overlooks the Reno Arch but is also the tallest artificial rock-climbing wall in the world. You can also stroll along the Riverwalk, stargaze at the Fleischmann Planetarium, check out some craft breweries, and go on a walking tour of Reno's ghostly history. You'll find campgrounds with dump stations and other fantastic amenities nearby, so you can explore more of Reno.
San Francisco, California
A visit to San Francisco treats you to a few of the most famous sites in the country at Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Further exploration of this iconic destination starts at Fisherman's Wharf for some of the best seafood on the coast and a stellar cup of Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe. You'll also want to experience the illuminated forest at Peacock Meadow, eat exquisite English fare at a Mad Hat Tea Party at Merchant Roots, and sample a variety of foods at the historic Ferry Building. Don't forget to experience Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, and Union Square before you're on your way to San Jose. Enjoy natural surroundings at campgrounds close to San Francisco to make the most out of your experience. Conveniently located dump stations help you keep your RV clean.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Fort Collins to San Jose, 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 San Jose.