If you were to ask people what they think of when they think of Idaho, they’ll most likely say potatoes. While this isn’t a bad thing, Idaho is known for much more than that. In one of the most populated cities in the small state, Boise is known for gems! With over 72 different types of gems found in the city, it sure makes this place unique. Like most large cities, Boise also has art centers, museums, and beautiful parks to relax in.
This capital city has around 250,000 residents who call it home. They get to enjoy a hot and dry summer and temperatures that drop below freezing in the winter. If you’re a resident and looking to get out of dodge for a week or two, consider a road trip to El Paso. You can rent a van or RV online for cheap and head out on the 1,200 mile road trip with your best pals. Here are some notable stops along the way.
You’ve almost reached your final destination! Before you run off and explore El Paso with your friends, consider spending a few hours at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. This state park preserves a forest located on the banks of the Rio Grande. You’ll be able to explore over 300 acres of land at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet.
This is a great place to have a relaxing walk in the woods, cool off in the river, or just set up a quick picnic. It’s important to clean up after yourself for future visitors and for the animals that call Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park home. La Cruces KOA Holiday Journey and Siesta RV Park are good places to stay to count sheep before getting to El Paso.
Speaking of places with a lot of history, the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts is packed with years of interesting things. As you can guess from the name, it is located in Los Lunas, New Mexico. There are tours available where you can guide yourself through the exhibits or have someone guide you. If you opt for the guided tour, it’s much easier to learn all about the area.
There are artifacts, paintings, photographs, and more of important historical figures that were once prominent in Los Lunas. There is even a digital collection that you can see online to give you an idea of what’s in store for your stop at the real place! It’s safe to assume that you’re tired from a long drive. Cottonwood RV Park is close by and has everything you need for a solid night of sleep.
Now that you’ve made it to New Mexico, there are just a few points of interests left before you reach El Paso. The first is the Rex Museum, located in Gallup, New Mexico. If you’re traveling with young kids, the history of this place may not be the best option. The Rex Museum was one of the most popular brothels in the state of New Mexico.
Now, it’s a museum that displays several different relics and pictures from the history of the local area. Not only was this place a brothel, but it was once a place where military meetings took place and where a lot of mining activity was recorded. There are plenty of places to stay in the area if you need some rest before the next stop. USA RV Park, Red Rock Park, and Indian Hills Park are just a few options.
While the Canyon Country Discovery Center may not have all the bells and whistles of some other stops along the way, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a quick rest. For starters, there is plenty of room to stretch your legs and get the blood flowing after spending hours on the road. Whether you need to take the dog for a walk or just park for a quick nap, the Canyon Country Discovery Center is the place to do it.
There are several events that take place there each month, so be sure to check the calendar online before your trip begins to see what’s going on during the time you’ll be there. If you want to camp for the night while you’re in Monticello, Utah, the Mountain View RV Park is a great place to stay.
Speaking of places to explore, as you continue driving with your friends to El Paso, consider stopping at the Manti-La Sal National Forest. There you will find over one million acres that you can explore. It’s safe to say that you’ll be able to spend plenty of time there. This place is so large that it takes up part of Utah as well as part of Colorado. During your visit to Manti-La Sal National Forest, you’ll be able to enjoy a number of activities including rock climbing, OHV riding, and picnicking.
During the off-season, visitors enjoy hiking all around the national forest. You can go skiing if there’s snow or spend the afternoon hunting if that’s something you enjoy. To get some rest before the second half of your journey, you can park the RV overnight at the national forest.
This next stop is so amazing, there’s an entire city named after it. Since you’ll drive right by it, you may want to make a pit stop at the Great Salt Lake. You may want to plan your trip according to this stop as well. If you’re visiting during the summer, you can explore the Great Salt Lake by boat. This is a fun way to see the area, while still being able to relax.
There are places to hike as well. During the cooler months, it’s still an amazing place to visit. You’ll get to see wildlife in their natural habitat and can even take yourself on a self-guided tour. If it’s a rainy day, you can spend a few hours in the visitor's center learning about the history of the area and seeing some unique finds.
Next is a point of interest outdoors to get your body moving. The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey is a nature preserve located in southwest Idaho. With nearly ½ million acres to explore, this is the perfect place to stretch your legs and take a break from the road. If you’re visiting during peak season, there are a plethora of activities for you to enjoy. You can cool off by swimming or even catch your own lunch by casting a reel.
If you’re looking for something laid back, bird watching is a popular activity that visitors enjoy. During the off-season, most people enjoy taking a hike around the nature preserve. You can also set up a picnic and spend the afternoon enjoying the wildlife in the area. You can even park the RV there for the night before making your way to Utah.
Yes, the first stop on your road trip from Boise to El Paso is going to be the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site. This is a unique place in the city that you won’t see anywhere along your trip. The Old Idaho Penitentiary Site was a functional prison from 1872 to 1973. You’ll be able to experience over 100 years of history, all in one place. There are exhibits within the site that tell you a bit about what went on in the area.
With bars still on some of the windows, you’ll feel like you’re traveling back in time. The guided tours show you real cells and a guide will share information about how prisoners lived and worked inside the penitentiary. This is a cool place to spend the afternoon and learn something new before you embark on your journey to Texas.
If you’re looking to spend time indoors, there are plenty of art exhibits and museums to visit in El Paso. Outdoors you’ll find parks, gardens, and forests to explore. This city has amazing southern food and is famous for the military pride the locals have! Grab a cowboy hat, enjoy some barbeque, and have a great vacation!