17 Best Places to Stop on Texas to Colorado road trip

Updated

Looking to plan a Texas to Colorado road trip this year?

This epic road trip is full of amazing attractions, incredible stops, and once in a lifetime views.

Here is a detailed itinerary to plan your Texas to Colorado trip.

Garden of the Gods scenic drive
Garden of the Gods scenic drive

Where to begin the Texas road trip to Colorado?

Houston

Houston, Texas makes an excellent place to begin this amazing road trip.

If you’re visiting the city, take some time to check it out.

The Bayou City is full of great activities, restaurants, museums, and historical sites.

The Houston skyline looks pretty when lit up at night
The Houston skyline looks pretty when lit up at night

Space Center Houston is one of the best places to visit while in Houston; other popular attractions include the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Downtown Aquarium.

Read: Best Things to do in Houston

The distance from Denver to Houston is a little over 1000 miles.

San Antonio

San Antonio is also a great starting point for this road trip.

Spend some time on the Riverwalk before you drive north towards the Texas panhandle.

Greetings from San Antonio mural in San Antonio Texas
Greetings from San Antonio mural in San Antonio Texas

Be sure to visit the Alamo and other historic Missions in San Antonio, Texas if you haven’t been before!

Read: Best Things to do in San Antonio

Dallas

The Dallas Fort Worth Metro area is located in North Texas.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science is one of the best things to do in Dallas
Perot Museum of Nature and Science is one of the best things to do in Dallas

If living in this area, then the Texas Colorado and Texas Oklahoma are the two most popular road trip destinations!

North Texas folks can look to a much shorter road trip as the distance between Dallas and Denver is under 800 miles, compared to the over 1000 miles drive from Houston.

Read: Best Things to do in Dallas

Fort Worth Water Garden has stunning design
Fort Worth Water Garden has stunning design

Austin

Austin is the place to be for Live Music and amazing food!

Take a drive down South Congress and eat yourself into a coma.

Enjoy the stunning beauty of Hamilton Pool Preserve in nearby Dripping Springs before embarking on this epic road trip.

Read: Best Things to do in Austin

Views of the Texas Capitol from South Congress Avenue in Austin Texas
Views of the Texas Capitol from South Congress Avenue in Austin Texas

Best Time to Plan Texas to Colorado road trip itinerary

The beauty of this road trip is that it can be done year around.

If planning a summer trip, spend less time in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle to escae the heat.

In spring and fall, the weather is pretty pleasant all along the route.

Plan a winter road trip to enjoy the ski resorts in Colorado and have some snow fun with the family!

Roads around Waller Texas in spring
Roads around Texas in spring

How many days to plan for Texas to Colorado road trip

In this Texas Colorado road trip planner, we suggest at least a week to fully enjoy the many attractions.

10 days to 2 weeks is a great time to visit multiple destinations in Colorado.

You can also plan a shorter road trip if you are driving straight to Colorado without stopping in Texas and New Mexico.

Also Read: Houston to Las Vegas Drive

Historic City Hall of Amarillo Texas
Historic City Hall of Amarillo Texas

Best Places to stop on Texas to Colorado road trip

Whichever city you begin the road trip, you will be heading north towards Route 66 in the Texas Panhandle.

Amarillo

Your first stop!

Amarillo is a great place to stop on the Texas to Colorado drive.

Amarillos Historic Route 66 District is one of the best things to do in the city
Amarillo’s Historic Route 66 District is one of the best things to do in the city

Popular Amarillo attractions include the Historic Route 66 district, RV Museum, the Big Texan Steak Ranch, and Cadillac Ranch.

Just north of Amarillo, check out the impressive Palo Duro Canyon State Park if you have the time!

Cadillac Ranch

Highlight of your trip!

Cadillac Ranch, located in the Texas panhandle near Amarillo, is an essential stop on Historic Route 66.

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo is one of the best places to visit in Texas
Cadillac Ranch Amarillo is one of the best places to visit in Texas

The Cadillac Ranch is made up of vintage Cadillacs buried nose down in a field.

Driving along Historic Route 66, you can easily see this colorful graffiti out near the highway!

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in America after the Grand Canyon.

Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon is one of the best hiking trails in Texas
Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon is one of the best hiking trails in Texas

The state park is popular for picnics, hiking, camping, and biking.

Motels and hotels can be found in nearby Canyon along with restaurants and other shops.

If you have more time, you can also visit the Caprock Canyons State Park.

Red Rock formations at Caprock Canyon State Park Texas 2
Red Rock formations at Caprock Canyon State Park Texas

Adrian

Adrian is the midpoint of Historic Route 66.

There’s plenty of history in this town with many restored buildings and a Route 66 museum.

Take a photo with the iconic midway sign and stop by Midpoint café.

From here, drive through New Mexico and into Colorado.

Historic Route 66 Midpoint Sign in Adrian, Texas
Historic Route 66 Midpoint Sign in Adrian, Texas

Tucumcari

After spending your time in Adrian, make the drive to Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Tucumcari is another Texas CO road trip stop where you will find many restaurants, abandoned buildings, vintage gas stations, and attractions along Route 66.

Santa Rosa

Next stop, Santa Rosa Blue Hole.

This gorgeous natural pool is located in the mountains of New Mexico.

Spend some time splashing around before heading on to Santa Fe!

Historic buildings in Santa Fe downtown
Historic buildings in Santa Fe downtown

Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a very charming city.

Popular things to do in Santa Fe include adobe architecture, museums, art galleries, dining, and attending festivals.

There are also some beautiful hotels in Santa Fe to spend the night before you finish up this incredible Texas CO road trip!

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Travelers coming from Houston or Dallas should plan to stop at Capulin Volcano National Monument while driving through New Mexico.

At the monument, you can take a walk through the crater to see unique vegetation, wildlife, and geological features.

Prickly pear cactus at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Prickly pear cactus

Time to cross the border into Colorado!

Spend some time checking out these fun attractions before making your way towards Denver, Colorado.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Spend some time at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The park is known for it’s massive sand dunes surrounded by gorgeous mountains.

You can hike along the top of the dunes or go for a fun run on the soft sandy surfaces!

Kids love climbing up to the top of the dunes and sledding down the sand.

In summer, build a sand castle or take a dip in Medano Creek!

Historic buildings in Old Colorado City Colorado Springs
Historic buildings in Old Colorado City Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

The Colorado Springs road trip is a scenic drive famous for its gorgeous views of the rock formations.

Popular attractions include Garden of the Gods park, Pike’s Peak, and the Broadmoor Hotel.

Drive up to the Pikes Peak Summit for some of the best views in Colorado!

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is another fun way to take in stunning panoramic views.

Head on over to visit the historic Broadmoor Hotel before you make your way to Denver.

Stunning rock formations in the Garden of the Gods monument Colorado
Stunning rock formations in the Garden of the Gods monument Colorado

Garden of the Gods

Located just west of Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a popular area with spectacular red rocks.

This area is on most visitor’s bucket list.

Best ways to explore the region and its unique rock formations is by hiking, biking, or scenic drives.

This area is spectacular any season of the year.

Hiking trails in Garden of the Gods
Hiking trails in Garden of the Gods

Manitou Springs

Just a few miles west of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs is a small town with lovely Victorian architecture and is famous for its mineral springs.

It makes a great stop to rest and enjoy the attractions.

Denver

For many Texans, Denver road trip is an annual ritual!

The Mile High City is known for its huge variety of attractions including museums, art galleries, shopping districts, bars/clubs, restaurants, parks/outdoor spaces, historic sites, and much, much more.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space near Manitou Springs Colorado
Red Rock Canyon Open Space near Manitou Springs Colorado

Take a tour of the Coors brewery or visit one of many local breweries in town.

If you are looking for some green spaces, head over to City Park or Washington Park to enjoy beautiful gardens, gorgeous ponds, fountains, and sculpture exhibits!

Estes Park

The charming mountain town is located less than an hour away from Denver and is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains.

Estes Park is known for its quaint downtown area and is a great place for families to visit.

Elk crossing the road in Estes Park Colorado
Elk crossing the road in Estes Park Colorado

From shopping to gear rentals, you will find all kinds of shops in the town.

This Colorado road trip stop is perfect for those wanting to see snow in winter months.

Popular things to do in Estes Park in winter include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding/skiing, hiking, and wildlife watching.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountains are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Colorado.

Begin your visit at the visitor center.

The national park is famous for its several miles of hiking trails including the famous Bear Lake Loop that offers stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide.

The scenic drive along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain NP is a must-do when its open in the summer.

In the summer, you will find the park blooming with gorgeous wildflowers.

After Denver, you can either head back to Texas or explore southwest Colorado or head to northwest region and the Colorado National Monument.

Abandoned building on Historic Route 66 in Texas Panhandle
Abandoned building on Historic Route 66 in Texas Panhandle

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is another popular stop on the Texas CO road trip.

Located in the southwestern region of Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park is surrounded by the iconic mesas.

Popular attractions for families include the ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

You can take guided tours of the cliff dwellings at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Colorado National Monument

Home to iconic red rocks, Colorado National Monument is another fun stop on the trip.

Drive along Rim Rock Drive for stunning views.

The Monument is located about 60 miles west of Grand Junction.

Take a hike along the paths carved into the red rocks to explore this unique area.

Route 66 mural in Amarillo Texas
Route 66 mural in Amarillo Texas

You can also use this itinerary for Colorado to Texas road trip.

Did you like our Texas to Colorado road trip itinerary?

Let us know your favorite stops along the route.

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