Best RV Travel Routes in the American West

From desert plains to towering mountains and everything in between, the American West is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. But with so many options, it can be difficult to decide which RV routes are worth the time and effort. We are here to discuss some of the best RV travel routes in the western United States and provide you with the information you need to plan your perfect RV camping adventure.

Choosing an RV Route

When it comes to planning an RV trip, one of the most important things you’ll have to decide on is the route you’re going to take. It’s essential that you choose a route that will provide you with plenty of interesting sights, activities, and places to stay. To help you make the best decision for your trip, here are some key points to consider when choosing an RV route. 

What Are the 3 Rules of RVing?

First, think about what type of scenery you want to experience. Do you want to take in sweeping views of the ocean or lush forests? Are you looking for a more urban experience or do you want to explore the country? Knowing what type of scenery you want to see can help narrow down your choices. 

Next, think about how much time you want to spend on the road. Consider how many miles you want to drive each day and how long your trip will be. This will help you determine how far you’ll be able to travel and which routes will fit within your timeframe. “I only travel between 7am and 3pm if I can help it,” says Dana Chambers, a single mom and experienced RV traveler, “No more than four hours on the road because driving any type of RV is not like driving a car. It takes more mental maneuvering and anticipating what other drivers may do.”

Finally, look at the available amenities along the route. Will there be plenty of campgrounds or other places to stay overnight? Are there plenty of restaurants or other attractions that you would like to stop at? By looking into these details ahead of time, you can make sure that your RV trip is well-planned and enjoyable. Meredith McDonald, an avid RV traveler, recommends never allowing your gas tank to go below four gallons. “You never know how long it will be before you see civilization again. I learned that the hard way in Oregon.” 

By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the perfect RV route for your next adventure. Now, let’s get into some of the best RV travel routes in the American West.

The Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway

From Washington state to California, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) offers stunning views of the rugged Pacific coastline and the beauty of nature along the way. It is relatively flat and easy to navigate, so it is a great option for RV travelers.

The PCH runs through Oregon and California, passing through several beautiful cities and towns along the way. From north to south, RVers can enjoy the scenery of Crescent City, Eureka, Leggett, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego. In addition to the breathtaking coastal views, the PCH also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture and history of these diverse regions.

For those looking for outdoor activities, the PCH offers ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, kayaking, camping, and more. Whether you’re looking for a beachside vacation or a drive through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, the PCH has something for everyone.

Route 66

Route 66

An RV trip along Route 66 is a great way to explore America’s Mother Road (not to be confused with State Road 66 in Florida, which is a 25-mile-long state road.) Camping along the way allows you to explore some of the most famous locations in the country. As you travel along Route 66 through windswept Illinois and the desert of New Mexico, you will discover a side of America that can’t be seen elsewhere.

You can start your journey in Chicago, where the historic Route 66 begins. Drive through Springfield and St. Louis, and enjoy classic diners and drive-ins that stir up nostalgia for the heyday of the road trips. Then head south into Oklahoma, and check out one of the oldest surviving sections of Route 66 near Tulsa. 

After making your way across Oklahoma, head into Texas and explore Amarillo and Fort Worth before heading west into the state of New Mexico. Check out Albuquerque, and make sure to hit some of the more rural parts of Route 66 like Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. Make sure to stop at interesting roadside attractions like the Cadillac Ranch and Adobe Walls, and take in the unique sights of the high desert. 

Finally, end your journey in California at the Santa Monica Pier, and look back fondly at all of the incredible places you visited on your RV camping adventure along Route 66.

The Loneliest Road in America

A 466-mile route stretching across Nevada, the so-called “Loneliest Road in America,” can make for an unforgettable RV trip. A wide-open highway with desert landscapes creates a breathtaking experience for RVers along this stretch of road. 

You’ll start your journey in the town of Ely, located in Eastern Nevada. From there, you’ll travel westward through the open landscape of rural Nevada. Along the way, you’ll pass through some small towns and vast deserts, eventually making your way to Lake Tahoe in the west. 

On this route, you can take a break at Austin, Nevada – home to some of the best historical attractions in the region, including a museum and an old Victorian courthouse. You can also enjoy the outdoor activities that Nevada has to offer: hiking, camping, or even just stargazing. In addition to that, you can make the most of your RV by taking a dip in hot springs and visiting some of Nevada’s natural wonders, such as the red rock formations near Valley of Fire State Park. 

Craving a shot of adrenaline? Attempt a drive through Sand Mountain – a large sand dune located near Fallon, Nevada. This can be an exciting experience for experienced RVers and a unique way to end your journey. 

The Desert Southwest

The American Southwest is a sprawling desert region of the United States and is one of the best places to RV. There are a variety of routes you can take through this vast and beautiful area, so it’s important to plan your trip carefully. 

One of the most popular destinations for RV travelers in the Southwest is the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. With stunning views and plenty of outdoor activities, the Grand Canyon is a must-see for any traveler to the American West. Along the way, you can also visit several other incredible national parks such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.

For a more secluded experience, consider traveling to Monument Valley. This remote and rugged region of the Southwest offers breathtaking views and some unique landscapes. Nearby Four Corners Monument is the famous spot where four states meet at once – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah (if you venture into Utah, consider visiting the Mighty Five)

No matter which route you choose, you’re sure to have an incredible RV experience in the Desert Southwest. With its spectacular scenery and wide range of activities, it’s no wonder why RVers flock to this region every year. 

The Rockies

The Rockies

If you’re an experienced RV traveler, the Rocky Mountains are an absolute must-see. This mountain range is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the western United States, with plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure. Driving in some of the areas along the routes at night or in inclement weather requires extra caution

When it comes to planning an RV trip through the Rockies, there are a few routes to consider. The most popular option is the iconic Rocky Mountain Loop, which takes you from Banff, Alberta, through Canada and Montana, and then south through Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and back up through Idaho. Along this route, you’ll be able to experience both the beauty of Canada’s Rocky Mountains and the wild landscape of the U.S. Rockies.

Another great RV route through the Rockies is the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone loop. This route takes you down through the Grand Canyon and across the Four Corners region, passing through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico before heading up through Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park. You’ll be able to see some of the most stunning desert and mountain scenery on this route. 

If you’re looking for a longer road trip that offers more of a sense of adventure, consider taking the Trans-America Trail. This route starts in North Dakota and runs all the way down to New Mexico, taking you through some of the most rugged terrain in the country. Along the way, you’ll get to experience a wide range of landscapes, from high alpine meadows to dry desert canyons. 

The Rocky Mountains are full of incredible natural wonders, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure along the way. From amazing wildlife sightings to scenic hikes and breathtaking views, a road trip through the Rockies will stay with you for years to come.

Final Thoughts

The American West is a stunning and varied region of the United States, making it an ideal place to explore in an RV. From the Pacific Coast Highway in California to Route 66 in Arizona and New Mexico, there are a number of routes that offer amazing views and experiences. Travelers will also appreciate the diverse terrain, from the rugged mountains of the Rockies to the unique desert landscape of the Southwest. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway or a longer journey, RV camping in the American West is sure to create lasting memories. With its wide-open spaces, spectacular scenery, and endless opportunities for adventure, the American West is truly a must-see destination for any RV enthusiast.

By Jenita Lawal

Jenita Lawal is a mother of three teenagers and owner of Lawal Travel Services, a Nashville-based travel agency specializing in adults-only luxury travel. After a few decades in a career spanning human resources and hospitality asset management, Jenita now enjoys a laid back, semi-retired lifestyle in Mexico.

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