A road trip from Little Rock to Amarillo offers the chance to see a wide range of natural landscapes, historical sites, and fun attractions. You will begin in the state of Arkansas, continue through Oklahoma, and end at your destination of Amarillo, TX. Along the way, you should take the opportunity to stop at places like Hot Springs National Park, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Your Little Rock to Amarillo road trip will take you through the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. On the way, you will have the opportunity to visit these unique national parks.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is the oldest park maintained by the National Park Service. It was established in 1832 by Congress before the National Park System existed, and it became a national park in 1921. The park is located near the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and continues to provide visitors with relaxation and health benefits. The park includes part of downtown Hot Springs, multiple walking trails, and mountain views. Bathhouse Row is a National Historic Landmark and has grandiose buildings of Gilded Age architecture, and two of the original bathhouses are still being used today. The spring water emanates from Hot Springs Mountain and is managed instead of remaining in an unaltered state. Visitors can pay an additional fee to use the springs.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Texas is dedicated to the preservation of the writings, works, and memories of the 36th president of the United States. President Lyndon B. Johnson governed the U.S. during the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War abroad and the civil upheavals taking place at home. He is known for his initiation and support for the "Great Society," a collection of social legislative enactments that set laws in place to protect and improve civil liberties and rights. Many of these laws also addressed poverty and other social issues. The park houses a museum, and the surrounding land in the park is still a working ranch.
Your road trip to Amarillo will be at least a day's worth of driving on the road, and you will have many chances to stop at any number of state parks along the way. If you have the time, you can add staying at one of the following state parks to your road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Amarillo.
Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park is a popular state park in Arkansas and was the first park created in the Arkansas state park system. The park contains Petit Jean Mountain, Cedar Creek, and Lake Bailey, a small lake created when Cedar Creek was dammed. Visitors can enjoy the many structures and trails built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which constructed roads, trails, bridges, cabins, and the beautiful Mather Lodge. The lodge has 24 rooms, a restaurant, and a lobby with a fireplace and meeting rooms, and it offers views of Cedar Creek Canyon. You can fish, kayak, and pedal boat, and the boathouse offers boat rentals, snacks, and supplies. There are two swimming pools, several playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, pavilions, and a boat launch ramp. There are multiple nature trails that will take you past points of interest like Bear Cave, Natural Bridge, the Grotto, and many rock formations.
Lake Thunderbird State Park
Lake Thunderbird State Park is an Oklahoma state park located on Lake Thunderbird, which offers a number of water-based activities for everyone. There are two marinas, two swimming areas, and nine boat ramps. The park is family-friendly with several playgrounds, picnic areas, and shelters to gather in. There is also an archery range, a nature center, nature trails, and equestrian trails with obstacles. In designated areas, you can hunt for waterfowl and deer during the appropriate season.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the home of Texas' Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the U.S. The trail into the canyon floor descends 800 feet to the bottom, and there are numerous other multiuse trails, for a grand total of 30 miles. Visitors can also view the canyon via 16 miles of paved roads. Besides the canyon itself, there are multiple red sandstone rock formations throughout the park. You can also read historical plaques and tour many original structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Canyon Gallery was built with native stone by the CCC and offers spectacular views of the canyon. Today, it has interpretive displays, video productions, and locally crafted art and souvenirs.
Big Dam Bridge
Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian and cycle bridge in the U.S. and is 4,226 feet in length. It is 90 feet above the Arkansas River and 30 feet over the dam. The bridge connects Little Rock and North Little Rock and links 20 miles of trails that run alongside the Arkansas River. The bridge is a popular spot for bike rides and walks, and it is also a favorite route for staged events like the cycling tour or 5K races.
Pivot Rock Park
You will see many interesting rock formations in Pivot Rock Park, Arkansas, including its namesake Pivot Rock, which resembles an inverted pyramid. Natural Bridge is another point of interest and is a bridge formed of large boulders. According to legend, Jesse James and the James Younger Gang used this area as a hiding spot for a time. You can easily see these geological formations from a paved trail that traverses the park.
Crystal Bridge Conservatory, Myriad Botanical Gardens
The Crystal Bridge Conservatory is the centerpiece of the 15-acre Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City. The conservatory is home to thousands of both tropical and desert plants with over 750 species. Inside the 13,000 square feet of space, there are cascading waterfalls and a sky bridge. The unique design of the building consists of 3,028 sections of translucent acrylic panels and has two distinct climates: the tropical wet zone and the tropical dry zone.
Your Little Rock to Amarillo RV road trip will take around eight hours or more, depending on the number of stops you make along the way. There are several cities directly on your route that will offer much-needed breaks for rest and fuel, and you can take the opportunity while there to see local attractions and do some shopping.
Fort Smith, AR
Fort Smith is located on the Arkansas side of the Arkansas River and is a former frontier military post. You can visit several historic sites while in the city, such as the Fort Smith Museum of History, the Trolley Museum, and the Italianate mansion Clayton House. You can find fun and convenient RV accommodations at the William O. Darby RV Community, which offers a quiet respite from the road and access to the city of Fort Smith. There are also many available dump stations in the nearby areas.
Weatherford is a midsized city in Oklahoma that possesses a small-town charm combined with plenty of cultural, historical, and entertainment options. You can visit the Heartland of America Museum and the Stafford Air & Space Museum, and there are several attractive city parks, one of which has a splash pad and a fishing pond. Route 66 used to run through Weatherford, and there are still some sections of this historic route to the west. Mustang Run RV Park and other campgrounds offer a comfortable and clean break from your trip, and you can find various dump stations in the local areas.
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma and is well-known for its cowboy influences and the oil wells that have helped the city's prosperity. It is the 11th largest city in the Southern United States. The city has one of the largest livestock markets and is also home to Tinker Air Force Base. You will find the Myriad Botanical Gardens here, and the Oklahoma Zoo and Botanical Garden offer an educational and entertaining tour of a wide variety of animal and plant species. There are two amusement parks, and there are many walking trails around the lakes, canal, and Oklahoma River. The capital section of the city is home to a number of architecturally significant buildings. There are many great campgrounds in the area, and Roadrunner RV Park is a pleasant RV park that offers convenient access to downtown Oklahoma City. You can also find nearby dump stations for your use.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Amarillo, 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 Little Rock or Amarillo.