Fly to Texas – Dallas, Houston or Austin
You have a choice of starting points in Texas for this tour. Austin is closest to the first scheduled overnight in San Antonio. Or you might want to fly into Dallas to have a day or so in this modern metropolis to visit the fascinating Sixth Floor Museum which chronicles the JFK assassination and the George W Bush Presidential Library. Or you could fly to Houston to visit the fascination NASA Space Center. You’ll need at least one night in a hotel before you pick up your motorhome, so just let us know which city you’d prefer!
Drive to San Antonio (80 miles from Austin, 197 miles from Houston, 274 miles from Dallas)
Today pick up your motorhome and drive to the amazing city of San Antonio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the world famous Alamo at the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park and spend time in the park area known as River Walk where you will find a glorious array of shops, restaurants and attractions. The suggested overnight stop is at the San Antonio Alamo KOA Campsite – there’s lots to see, do and enjoy around San Antonio so you might want to stay for another night.
San Antonio to the Caverns of Sonora (203 miles)
This morning head north for an hour to the Texas country town of Fredericksburg, steeped in German heritage and visit the National Museum of the Pacific War. You could also experience some wine tasting in the various excellent wineries in the area, before continuing on to the Caverns of Sonora. We thorough recommend a guided tour of this hidden gem. Overnight at the Caverns own RV Park.
Caverns of Sonora – Fort Davis (232 miles)
Today you’re heading westbound through Texas to Fort Davis and you can break the journey up with a stop in Fort Stockton to stroll its Historic District. Continue onto Fort Davis Inn and RV campsite for your overnight stay. Here you will find the picturesque David Mountains State Park where there are some lovely hiking trails. The McDonald Observatory and the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Centre are also both worth a visit.
Fort Davis – Marfa (25 miles)
A nice short drive today, to the quirky town of Marfa surrounded by mountain ranges and desert. This tiny remote town is a hub for artists and you’ll find unique galleries and art permeate the place, including Ballroom Marfa and Rule Gallery. The most famous is the Chinati Foundation, founded by artist Donald Judd, with huge indoor and outdoor installations on an old army base. But its also where you can browse eclectic boutiques and relax over a cocktail.
Marfa – Marathon (56 miles)
It’s another short drive to reach Marathon - gateway to the Big Bend National Park. Here there is no light pollution and clear night skies so is the perfect place to relax and star gaze. Marathon is located in Brewster County which is the largest county in the USA with the lowest population density and is situated in the Great Marathon Basin surrounded by mountains which protect it from light intrusion from neighbouring towns, giving is Class 1 Dark Sky status.
Marathon – Big Bend National Park (approx. 40 miles) – Lajitas (approx. 30 miles)
It’s worth an early start to drive to the Big Bend National Park in good time to spend the whole day here. We recommend taking the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive which will give you fantastic views of the Chihuahuan Desert landscape and lead you to the banks of the mighty Rio Grande River. There are scenic stops along the way. Pause and take the short walks to Sam Nail Ranch, Homer Wilson Ranch and the Castolon Historic District to have a glimpse into Big Bend’s past. At the end of the road is a highlight of the trip - a short walk into Santa Elena Canyon - one of Big Bend’s most scenic spots and an easy 1.4 mile round-trip hike.
The next campsite is the Maverick Ranch RV Park near Lajitas where we suggest a two night stay. Here you can enjoy all the activities at hand such as golf, horse-riding, fun Cowboy activities plus the Agave Spa.
Big Bend Ranch State Park
A day to enjoy the activities at the Maverick Ranch and / or explore Big Bend Ranch State Park stretching along the Rio Grande on the Mexico border. You can hike or bike a wide variety of trails, giving you amazing view of rugged mountains and steep canyons.
Lajitas - Guadalupe Mountains National Park (283 miles)
You’re now going to head back up north again after driving the Big Bend loop, and it will be about a four hour drive up to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. There are a couple of simple campsites in the park - they’ve got limited facilities so this will be a “back to nature” one-night stop! There are over 80 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy nature walks to more moderate hikes following arid canyons and along lush streams. For the super-fit and super-keen there is the Guadalupe Peak Trail climbing to the “Top of Texas”.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Las Cruses (152 miles)
Enjoy more time this morning exploring the park before heading over the border into New Mexico to Las Cruses. Overnight in the Hacienda RV Resort which is within walking distance of historic Old Mesilla Village where Billy the Kid used to hang out. Here you’ll find lovely plazas with quaint boutiques and cafes.
Las Cruses – Albuquerque (235 miles)
Have a stroll around Las Cruces before setting off for Albuquerque – New Mexico’s largest city, sitting high in the desert. Explore Albuquerque Old Town, founded in 1793 where the historic homes have been renovated into galleries, shops and restaurants.
NB: if your planning your visit for early October, book the campsite well in advance as it’s the famous balloon festival.
Albuquerque - Petrified Forest National Park – Flagstaff (310 miles)
Break up today’s journey with a stop at the Petrified Forest National Park. You can take the short Puerco Pueblo trail which is just 0.3 mile and will take you through the remains of a hundred room pueblo occupied over 600 years ago and to see petroglyphs engraved in the rock. Or you can take the 1 mile Painted Desert Rim Trail which winds through woodland and gives spectacular views of the Painted Desert. The Giant Logs trail is less than half a mile and on this you’ll see some of the largest and most colourful petrified logs in the park. Continue onto Flagstaff, where there are several campgrounds for you to choose from for your overnight stay.
Flagstaff – Grand Canyon National Park (95 miles)
Today visit the truly spectacular Grand Canyon. You can walk alongside it, go down into it, hover over it. Work out how you want to see the Canyon and where you want to stay – there are several campgrounds in various locations around the national park with varying facilities.
Grand Canyon – Route 66 – Kingman (150 miles)
Today take the scenic drive through Peach Springs on the edge of the Hualapai Indian Reservation to Kingman where our recommended overnight stop is Blake Ranch RV Park. In Kingman you can visit the Historic Route 66 Museum and the Mohave Museum. Or park up the motorhome and take a tour of the Desert Diamond Distillery or Stetson Winery.
Kingman – Las Vegas (120 miles)
Cross from Arizona into Nevada and make sure you visit the awe-inspiring Hoover Dam – a colossal feat of engineering. Continue onto Las Vegas and hook up at the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort. Choose to stay here for a night or as long as you like to enjoy the myriad attractions of Vegas. Then return your motorhome to the Las Vegas depot and take your flight home.