If traveling from the Great Salt Lake to the Gulf Coast sounds exciting, then you would probably enjoy taking a Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park road trip. Red rocks, white sand, cliff houses, and caverns await you in some fascinating national parks. Large reservoirs, unique rock formations, and a barrier island are featured at some awesome state parks. If you’re looking to round out your road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park, then you’ll be able to add some fun tourist attractions in the interesting cities along your route.
Canyonlands National Park
You can find the entrance to Canyonlands National Park by driving just 20 minutes from your route as it enters Moab, Utah. Utah’s largest national park is full of the vast canyons that give the park its name, but you can also see tons of the red rocks, crevasses, peaks, and more for which this region is known. If you want to get out on the water, then you can explore the Colorado River and the Green River since both intersect in the park. Whitewater rafting is popular here, but you can also enjoy the rivers with other types of boats. Plenty of fabulous trails give hikers, bikers, and riders the means to explore some of this park’s 520 square miles.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is right down the road from Canyonlands and is just off your route as it goes through Moab, so it’s a must-see on your Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park RV road trip. Arches is significantly smaller than Canyonlands, but it’s packed with the more than 2,000 delicate sandstone arches that give the park its name, and that make it such a popular destination for photographers. Visitors often prefer to explore this park on foot or on horseback, but there are also excellent places to go rock climbing and canyoneering.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is 50 minutes from Cortez, Colorado. This part of the country is known for its ancient Puebloan ruins, so you should stop by the best place to see these fascinating dwellings on your road trip from Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park. More than 600 cliff dwellings are contained in the more than 52,000 acres of this park; be sure to take a look at Cliff Palace, which is North America’s largest known cliff dwelling.
White Sands National Park
You can reach White Sands National Park by traveling two hours and 15 minutes southwest of Roswell, New Mexico. If you want to experience the surreal environment of stark white sand filled with desert flora and fauna, then visiting this national park is a must. Hiking is the most popular method of exploring these gypsum dunes, but horseback riding is possible as well. If you’re feeling adventurous, then you may want to go sledding down the dunes as well.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
An hour and 40 minutes south of Roswell is fascinating Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This national park in the Guadalupe Mountains is home to nearly 120 limestone caves, some of which are open to the public. When you’re not exploring these fossilized caverns, you can do other activities, like hiking, stargazing, and watching the bats fly out of their caves at sundown.
Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park may be only four square miles large, but those four miles are packed full of the distinctive rock formations called hoodoos that can sometimes be found in this region. Multiple trails of varying degrees of difficulty take you through this otherworldly park; you can also explore the park on your bicycle via the Wild Horse Mountain Biking Trail System.
Navajo State Park
If you want to visit a lake that’s so large that houseboaters enjoy living on it, then you’ll need to drive an hour and 35 minutes east of Cortez, Colorado, to Navajo State Park. Navajo Lake is 24 square miles in size, so you won't have to worry about running out of room for boating, fishing, swimming, and participating in watersports. Multiple nice trails provide great places for biking and hiking while affordable camping spaces with full hookups are available in the park.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
Bottomless Lakes State Park is only three minutes from the outskirts of Roswell, so you should stop by this park and take in the uniquely colored lakes here. These lakes are obviously not bottomless, but they can go as deep as 90 feet. Several of the lakes in the park provide awesome locations for boating, swimming, and scuba diving.
Garner State Park
About an hour south of Junction, Texas, is lovely Garner State Park. The park includes nearly three miles of the Frio River, so you’ll be able to wade, tube, paddle, and boat to your heart’s content. There are 16 miles of trails in the park that are perfect for hikers and bikers. If you visit during the summer, you’ll get to participate in a traditional jukebox dance.
Mustang Island State Park
Mustang Island State Park is your final destination, so it’s the end of your Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park RV road trip. At this park, you can park your camper just a short walk away from the five-mile beach that is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. If you enjoy kayaking or canoeing, be sure to check out the Mustang Island Paddling Trail, which takes you through 20 miles of inlets and coves.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is 20 minutes from Pleasant View, Colorado. This 176,000-acre park is home to the greatest archaeological site density in America, so there’s no shortage here of fascinating ancient Puebloan ruins. You can also explore the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum, which is a high-quality museum filled with information about ancient Native American peoples.
International UFO Museum & Research Center
Your road trip from Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park takes you right through Roswell, so how could you pass up the chance to visit the International UFO Museum & Research Center? This museum is dedicated to providing information to visitors about the infamous “Roswell Incident” as well as UFOs in general.
Fort Concho National Historic Landmark
The Fort Concho National Historic Landmark is several minutes off of your route as it goes through San Angelo, Texas. It consists of 24 original and restored 19th-century buildings and the bulk of the old fort itself. It’s also home to a fine museum that contains over 20,000 historic objects from early to modern Texas and American history.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Five minutes from your route as it heads into San Antonio, Texas, is Six Flags Fiesta Texas. This exciting park in the Six Flags franchise is home to excellent rides like Boomerang, Goliath, and Poltergeist. If you want to beat the summer heat, then you can head to White Water Bay, which contains attractions like Big Bender, Paradise Plunge, and Bermuda Triangle.
Texas State Aquarium
Before you head to Mustang Island, you should stop by the Texas State Aquarium, which is just five minutes off of your route in Corpus Christi, Texas. At this aquarium, you’ll be able to explore exhibits like Tortuga Cay, Islands of Steel, and Stingray Lagoon.
This Utah city is home to Brigham Young University and Bridal Veil Falls. Because Utah is extremely popular with RVers and with outdoor sports enthusiasts, there are tons of dump stations and campgrounds close by.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is mostly known for its ties to extraterrestrials and UFOs, but there are plenty of other experiences to be had here like visiting the Spring River Park and Zoo and touring the Roswell Museum & Art Center. There are some nice campgrounds in this famous town.
San Angelo, Texas
The International Waterlily Collection and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts are two interesting locations to visit in San Angelo. Since there are so many lovely campgrounds in the area, you’ll be able to easily find a nice place to park your RV.
San Antonio, Texas
In this Texas big city, you can take a stroll along the San Antonio River Walk and pay a visit to the Alamo. You’ll have no trouble locating top-notch dump stations and campgrounds in this part of Texas.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park, 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 Salt Lake City or Mustang Island State Park.