A Reno to Newport road trip gives you the chance to explore central Nevada, northern Utah, southern Wyoming, central Nebraska, central Iowa, the Great Lakes region, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut. There are plenty of stops to include along the way at national parks like Yellowstone, Indiana Sand Dunes, and Cuyahoga Valley. There are also several state parks and historical villages to visit along the way where you can enjoy a refreshing pause from modern technology.
Yellowstone National Park
There are so many must-dos and must-sees at Yellowstone National Park that you can easily spend a few days exploring this location. Almost 96% of the park is in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho. Each of the eight entrances to this park puts you near a different activity. If you want to see Mammoth Hot Springs, use the North Entrance near Gardiner, Wyoming. Animal lovers who want to see grizzly bears, black bears, bison, and wolves should use the Northeast Entrance near Cooke City, Montana, as it is closest to the Lamar Valley. If you can't wait to go fishing in Yellowstone Lake and see Old Faithful, choose the East Entrance, which is 53 miles from Cody, Wyoming. RVers wanting to visit the Grand Teton Mountain and Yellowstone in a short period will want to use the South Entrance. Finally, those who want to see many of this park’s geothermal features will want to use the entrance near West Yellowstone, Montana.
Grand Teton National Park
There are four visitor centers at the Grand Teton National Park, with each offering a unique experience. Much of the land making up Grand Teton National Park was gifted to the federal government by the Rockefeller family. Stop at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center to learn about the vision they had for this park through interacting with exhibits designed to use all your senses. Follow the woody trails near this center to the Jumping Rock for a cool afternoon swim on warm days. The Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center encourages you to learn about the interaction between people and the Grand Teton Mountain Range throughout time. Learn about the role art has played in preserving the Grand Teton Mountain Range by visiting the Jenny Lake Visitors Center. This historic studio was constructed in 1920 for Harrison Crandall, who took numerous photographs of the earliest tourists to see the Grand Teton Mountain Range. Finally, you will want to visit the Colter Bay Visitor Center containing the David T. Vernon Indian Artifacts Collection.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park is on the southern shores of Lake Michigan near Porter, Indiana. This park is a fantastic place to take a day or more to play its eight beaches. Take a guided hike along the Mount Baldy Summit Trail to see the dunes. This beach is moving because of the winds at a rate of about 7.5 feet per year. Central Avenue Beach is a fascinating spot to watch the bank swallows come and go from their nests in the dunes during the summer months. After a day of playing in the sun, take a stroll along Lake Front Drive to view the five historic homes left from the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair.
Cuyahoga National Park
Cuyahoga National Park near Brecksville, Ohio, is a fascinating place for an outdoor adventure. Over 125 miles of hiking trails are available through various terrain, including woodlands, wetlands, and pastures. Another great way to explore this park’s scenery is to ride on the historic Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. You may also want to bike or hike along the Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail, which lies along the old canal path. You can hike or bike along this trail and catch the train back to your starting point. You may also want to bring your fishing pole and canoe for a paddling and fishing adventure on the Cuyahoga River.
Willard Bay State Park
You will want to stop and experience the reservoir at Willard Bay State Park near Ogden, Utah. You can enjoy beautiful views of Willard Mountain from the campground. Go waterskiing, fishing, or paddling on the reservoir. This park is also a great place to go birdwatching because it is near the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Take the Ashland exit off the interstate on your Reno to Newport RV road trip so that you can visit Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. Enjoy a treetop adventure on the Go Apes Rope Course. Playing in the zero-entry wave pool with its two swimming pools at the Family Aquatic Center will make everyone’s day. Golf, miniature golf, and disc golf are all available. Head to the marina to rent a paddleboat or stock up on fishing supplies. If you have children along, they will love the activities in the art center. In the winter, an ice-skating rink and indoor activity center are available. Take a break from all the physical activities to watch a show in the theater.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
The caves at Maquoketa Caves State Park near Maquoketa, Iowa, were first recorded in 1830, but it's likely that Native Americans were using them for hundreds of years before that. Walk along the boardwalk to explore the caves. Hike across the natural stone bridge running across the Raccoon River. Stop at the Interpretative Center to learn more about this park’s unique geology.
Pokagon State Park
Be sure to include Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana, on your road trip itinerary from Reno to Newport. Lake James and Snow Lake, formed at the end of the Ice Age, are found on either side of this park. These lakes make fantastic fishing spots. There are miles of hiking trails to be explored, including ones running around the lake where you may see various toads and frogs. If you happen to be making this trip in the winter, then be sure to stop and play on the toboggan run, where speeds up to 45 miles per hour are typical, and to go cross-country skiing.
Make a stop in Minden, Nebraska, to visit the Pioneer Village, where you can see over 50,000 American artifacts displayed in 28 buildings spread across 20 acres. Some of the buildings included on this site are a Pony Express station, a general store, and a country church. You will not believe the antique toy collection found inside the toy store. This site also has over 100 antique tractors and numerous antique cars.
Pella Historical Village
Learn about the role that settlers from the Netherlands played in the founding of Iowa by visiting the Pella Historical Village. See the childhood home of Wyatt Earp. Tour the Heritage House to see many artifacts, including Dutch costumes and a Dutch organ. There are many other historical buildings to see.
Before you end your road trip from Reno to Newport, head north of Newport about an hour to visit the Plymouth Plantation. View a full-size replica of the Mayflower, which brought the first British settlers to America. Then, see the Wampanoag Homesite, where you can learn about how the Native Americans lived before the settlers arrived by engaging with Native Americans who are recreating that lifestyle. Move on to the 17th century English village, where you will get the chance to see and ask questions of people living as the first settlers did. You will not want to miss seeing the rare breed animals and other attractions at this location.
Nebraska’s capital city has a lot to offer, like the Sunken Gardens and the Museum of American Speed. Many campgrounds in Lincoln, like Pine Grove RV Park and Pawnee Lake State Recreation Center, cater to those who want time to engage with nature whereas others, like West Omaha/NE Lincoln KOA, offer a full slate of activities. At this point, you have finished driving across Nebraska’s plains, so it is a great time to use a Lincoln RV dump station to service your tanks. Great options include Pine Grove RV Park, Pawnee Lake State Recreation Center, and Wagon Train Lake State Recreation Center.
Des Moines, Iowa
Seek out the thrilling rides at Adventureland Amusement Park, stock up on fresh produce at the fabulous downtown farmers market, and take the kids to visit Blank Zoo when passing through Des Moines, Iowa. You can find many different types of campgrounds in Des Moines, including Adventureland Campground at the amusement park, Lake Ahquabi State Park with its fabulous park, and Des Moines West KOA Holiday, where campground staff often plan special activities. Use Des Moines RV dump stations, like Des Moines West KOA Campground or Marion County Park, before heading across Eastern Iowa’s hills.
One of the biggest cities you will pass through is Chicago, and you can find terrific things to do there, including visiting Marion County Park, Navy Pier, and the Lincoln Zoo. If you want a Chicago campground with lots of activities, consider Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Kankakee South KOA, or Chicago Northwest KOA. Chicago RV dump stations, like Burnidge & Paul Wolff Forest Preserve, TA-Petro Rochelle Stopping Center, and Vacationland, are great places to empty your tanks in this area where the underground water level is often high, so it can be challenging to use other methods.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Reno to Newport, 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 Reno or Newport.