When you are ready to take a road trip from Phoenix to El Paso, you can find plenty of things that will amaze you. Phoenix is known as the Valley of the Sun, and it has become a modern oasis in the Arizona desert. As you head out toward El Paso, your first major stop is Tucson. This city is well-known for its architecture and sun-filled days. Once you reach El Paso, you can enjoy its up and coming culinary scene. For those who don't want to miss a moment of the fun, make sure to follow this road trip itinerary from Phoenix to El Paso.
You can travel from Phoenix to El Paso in a day. However, with a trip to a national park, you will extend your vacation fun. There are several national parks within a day's drive of your route.
Grand Canyon National Park
Out of all the national parks, Grand Canyon National Park might be the best-known park in the United States. The South Rim main entrance is located outside the town of Tusayan. Visitors from all over the world head to this park to see the spectacular scenery. The Grand Canyon covers over 1.2 million acres, and it is the perfect place to set out and explore. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy, including hiking, whitewater rafting, and biking. If you want to witness a once-in-a-lifetime moment, then you need to visit before sunrise or sunset. At those times, you can see the sun peek over the canyons as it illuminates the surrounding landscape.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is another unique park just outside of Holbrook, Arizona. This park is known for its historical petroglyphs and colorful petrified wood. If you are interested in paleontology, you will not want to miss a stop at the Rainbow Forest Museum. At this location, you can also access some of the trails that wind through this location. This park is also a popular spot for horseback riders, backpackers, and hikers. Newspaper Rock is the home of ancient petroglyphs. For a look into the past, you might want to visit the ruined village of Puerco Pueblo.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is located in Lajitas, Texas. Big Bend encompasses over 801,000 acres, and it is filled with various landscapes, including deserts, rivers, hot springs, canyons, and mountains. In the park, you will even find the abandoned town of Terlingua. This national park is an excellent place to kick off your hiking, kayaking, or mountain biking adventure. Bird-watching, bicycling, fishing, and horseback riding are some other popular activities. In addition to that, this park does not have much light pollution from big cities. For that reason, it is the perfect spot to gaze up at the night sky.
Arizona and Texas have some beautiful state parks. If you want to take a break from driving, then these locations are great places to pull off the road and relax.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Superstition Mountains, and it is 40 miles east of Phoenix. For that reason, this park is a popular spot for Phoenix residents. Along with that, the park is rumored to be the home of a legendary lost mine. While you are there, you might see some explorers searching for this lost treasure. For those who want to relax, the state park provides plenty of opportunities for hiking and camping.
Catalina State Park
You will find Catalina State Park near the city limits of Tucson. This state park is known for its desert plants. When the wildflowers start to bloom, the colors contrast with the red desert rocks. Many visitors head to this park to explore the mountain foothills. If you want to set off by yourself, there are trails for horseback riders and hikers. Catalina State Park is home to over 150 bird species, and it is a must-see spot for bird lovers.
Franklin Mountains State Park
This Texas state park is located 10 miles outside of downtown El Paso. If you love to explore, then this is the perfect location for you. Franklin Mountains State Park features 100 miles of biking and hiking trails. This park is considered the largest urban park in the country, and it is an adventurer's paradise. You can get a closer view of the native birds or the unique yucca species on the trails. Wildlife fans will love the chance to see the collared lizards or mule deer roam around this area. If you want a challenge, you can even climb a mountain at this spot.
On your Phoenix to El Paso road trip, you will travel past a few interesting and historical attractions. There are a few points of interest that you will not want to miss for your next vacation.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is a beloved spot in the city of Phoenix. This attraction has been a local staple since the early 1930s. The 140-acre garden contains more than 50,000 plants, and it is home to unique agave and cacti species. If you want to learn about keeping these plants happy and healthy, the Desert Botanical Garden hosts expert-led events throughout the year.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
This Spanish mission is located just outside of Tucson. It was founded in 1692 near the modern-day Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. In 1960, it received National Historic Landmark status. Today, you can take a guided tour of the grounds and buildings. These buildings are unique as they have a more European appearance than other missions in the area.
El Paso Zoo
This 35-acre zoological park houses over 220 animal, reptile, and bird species, including the endangered Amur leopard. The sea lion exhibit hosts daily shows, and it is popular with families. You can see giraffes, zebras, and lions at the new African Exhibit.
If you are starting or ending your journey, you will want to find a comfortable campground for the night. There are several choices in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. If you need a dump station for your rig, you will find a couple of spots on this Phoenix to El Paso road trip.
Tucson is home to the University of Arizona. Many visitors head to this town to check out the local festivals, including the Fourth Avenue Street Fair, the Tucson Festival of Books, and the Tucson Folk Festival. Along with the festivals, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Pima Air & Space Museum are located in town. When you are ready for a place to settle down for the night, there are a few campgrounds in the Tucson area. You can also find a couple of dump stations for your rig.
This small Arizona town is north of Bowie, and it is in the center of several natural attractions, including Roper Lake State Park. Safford is an excellent place for outdoor activities and adventures. You can find different natural elements throughout the area, including hot springs, rock fields, and sand dunes. This town provides plenty of opportunities for you to pull off the road and head out to reconnect with nature. It is easy to find a campground in Safford. There are several clean and comfortable sites in this part of Arizona.
Las Cruces, NM
Las Cruces is in New Mexico, just over the border with Texas. The Chihuahuan Desert surrounds Las Cruces. You can find plenty of attractions throughout the area, including the Railroad Museum and Museum of Nature and Science. For those who want to take a rest, Las Cruces has a wide selection of campgrounds and dump stations.
With this Phoenix to El Paso RV road trip, you will see the beauty of the desert landscape. If you want an exciting experience, you should think about an RV rental from RVshare. We have an expansive selection of vehicles, and you can choose anything from a large motorhome to a budget campervan. You can pick up your rental rig in Phoenix or El Paso. When you are ready to hit the road, we will get you behind the wheel for your next trip.