When making a Little Rock to Grand Junction road trip, there is a myriad of things to do along the way. Before you leave the city of Little Rock, enjoy a day at Wild River Country. Along the way, you will pass through five states. To start the road trip, you will mostly be following I-40 W until you reach Elk City in Oklahoma. Then, head northwest until you reach I-25 N in New Mexico. This will lead you to US-50 W, which goes right into Grand Junction.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is one of the first destinations that you will want to visit during your Little Rock to Grand Junction RV road trip. This is a unique park located in the middle of a city, and there are thermal spas that you can enjoy through the area. If you are not looking to relax in the pools, there are plenty of mountain trails that you can enjoy in the park as well.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The next national park along this route is Great Sand Dunes National Park. The park is over 100,000 acres, and it is home to some of the tallest sand dunes in the country. In addition to sand, there are lakes, wetlands, and grasslands in the park. This is a park that is unique because you will be able to slide down the sand dunes on a sandboard or a sled. It is also a great area for stargazing because the park is so vast. If you enjoy hiking, there are hiking trails to explore in the park that vary from easy terrain to something more difficult.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is the final national park that you will encounter on this trip, and it is one of the newer national parks in the country. It was made into a national park in 1999 and is a canyon of about 12 miles created by the Gunnison River located in western Colorado. You can enjoy activities on the river like fishing and kayaking. Other activities include rock climbing, hiking, biking, and stargazing.
Lake Ouachita State Park
Lake Ouachita State Park is a park with a 40,000-acre lake that is ideal for water lovers. You can fish, boat, ski, and kayak on these waters, and since the lake is so deep, scuba diving is also an option. If you do not have your own equipment, then you can rent scuba gear in the park. If you prefer to stay dry, then you can enjoy some of the hiking trails that surround the lake. Make sure to visit the Three Sisters Spring in the park during your visit.
Lake Thunderbird State Park
Lake Thunderbird State Park is an Oklahoma park that covers more than 1,875 acres of land and that includes a 5,249-acre lake. With such a large lake, fishing is one of the most enjoyable activities in the park, and there are even fishing programs throughout the year that kids can enjoy. In addition to fishing derbies, there are competitive sailing races. Kayaking, canoeing, and skiing are also activities often enjoyed in the lake, but if you prefer to stay on land, there are nature trails to enjoy on foot, on a bike, or on a horse. The park is also home to two casinos.
Sugarite Canyon State Park
A New Mexico state park that you will want to stop at during your time going through the state is Sugarite Canyon State Park. The park is a popular stop for anglers because the two lakes in the park are stocked with trout. The mesa at the park gives you a great view of the surrounding mountains and the canyon below. There are 13 miles of trails to explore, which can be done on foot, on horseback, or by bicycle.
Trinidad Lake State Park
Trinidad Lake State Park is another great place for anglers to enjoy because the lake is stocked with over 50,000 trout per year. Fishing tournaments are held in the park, and you can also enjoy hiking the 9 miles of trail that can be found here. Biking, jet skiing, boating, and archery are also fun activities that can be enjoyed at Trinidad Lake State Park.
Twin Creek Crystal Mine
If you are interested in gemstones and other beautiful rocks, you will want to stop at Twin Creek Crystal Mine on your road trip from Little Rock to Grand Junction. There are 187 acres of dirt at this mine that you can dig up while you search for quartz and other minerals. If you don’t have your own digging tools, they can be rented at the location.
Fort Smith National Historic Site
Fort Smith National Historic Site was first established in 1817, so it has been preserved for more than 200 years. You can learn about the history of life in the area by listening to stories of the soldiers, the outlaws, and the lawmen who pursued them. Make sure to take a tour of the jails, the courtroom, and the grounds. There is also a junior ranger program at this site that is designed to help kids learn more.
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Capulin Volcano National Monument is a location in New Mexico where you can learn about the Capulin Volcano eruption. The eruption shaped the land around the volcano, and you can see all of the volcanic geographies in the field surrounding it. From the rim, you can see four states, and the view is amazing both during the day and at night.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith is a city along the Arkansas River. It served as a military post in the past, but today, it includes attractions like the Fort Smith National Historic Site that explores local history. There is a Trolley Museum that features historic trolleys that are pretty unique to look at, and there is also a Chaffee Barbershop Museum. Fort Smith Campgrounds are plentiful in the area if you need a place to rest for the night. Places like Park Ridge RV Campground also have free dump stations that guests can use.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is another large city that you will want to include on this road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Grand Junction. This is the capital of Oklahoma, so it is a great place to learn more about the state. This area has a large cowboy culture, so if you are interested, make sure to stop at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum while you are here. Also, make a stop at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Oklahoma City Zoo during your visit. If you need to cool off, there is a Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in the city.
Oklahoma City campgrounds are simple to find, and locations like Roadrunner RV Park and Twin Fountains RV Resort have something for everyone. In fact, both of these campgrounds have dump stations that are free for guests to use. If you are not a registered guest at the campground, then the staff is likely to charge a small fee for the use of the dump station.
This is a city that is located near the Santa Fe Trail. While visiting the area, make sure to stop at the Trinidad history museum to explore the exhibits firsthand. The Louden-Henritze Archeology Museum is also a very interesting museum to consider visiting. Don’t forget to stop at Trinidad Lake State Park and San Isabel National Forest. You should easily be able to find a Colorado campground in the area where you can stay, and there are several dump stations that you can use for low to no cost nearby as well.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Little Rock to Grand Junction, 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 Grand Junction.