Champaign to Aspen Road Trip Guide


If you are familiar with Chicago, then you know of a place that is called “Downstate”. In fact, one such place in south-central Illinois makes for a great starting point for a road trip. Champaign, Illinois is home to the University of Illinois and the Fighting Illini. And it’s right in the middle of the Land of Lincoln. It will also be the place you will start with a road trip from the Midwestern US to the Rocky Mountains.

Your destination will be Aspen, Colorado. This is a place where plenty of tourists, skiers, and snowboarders visit every year. You’ll be right in the heart of the Rockies by the time this trip ends. And you’ll have plenty of fun along the way. Let’s get started with a road trip that will last you seven days in an RV and memories that will last a lifetime.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 7+ days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: family

Point of Interest

Blue Waters Supercomputer

If you are a bit of a techie or if you are interested in seeing a computer that is probably one of the most powerful in the world, the Blue Waters Supercomputer in Champaign is a cool place to visit. You’ll take a guided tour that will last you a half-hour at most. You’ll learn about the supercomputer and how it operates. And you’ll also know about the mindblowing statistics as well. It’s way faster than any home computer (even your own).

If you are looking to spend one more night in Champaign, there’s a few RV camps and campgrounds in the area. The D&W Lake Campground & Park just off of Interstate 57 north of the city could be a good place where you and your family can rest before the big trip begins.

Lincoln’s Tomb

After traveling west via Interstate 72, you’re now in the capital city of Springfield. It is here where you’ll find Abraham Lincoln’s tomb. The 16th President of the United States was a native of Illinois and began his political career in Springfield. It is said that people visit the tomb to rub Honest Abe’s nose for good luck. It might come in handy when you are making this trip across one part of the country to the next.

If you go south of the city, you’ll find a KOA Campground that is located just off of Interstate 55. KOA is always a great place for RVers and travelers to go whenever they are going camping or going on a cross country road trip. You can never go wrong with them.

Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home & Museum

If you are a fan of literature, you’re probably familiar with Mark Twain. He was the man behind The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn among other stories. Twain lived in Missouri when he was a child. And his home in Hannibal is also a museum that is dedicated in his honor. Check out the many artifacts that mark the life of the man that was born Samuel Clemens.

There is a campground with the same name that you can go to when you want to settle in for the day. It will be south of Hannibal where you can also explore the caves on the park grounds as well. You can take cave tours that will last a little over an hour before you venture off for something to eat and hitting the sack later that night.

National World War I Museum

Located just north of downtown Kansas City, the National World War I museum is where you’ll find artifacts and exhibits that commemorate the first “Great War” that raged on from 1914 to 1918. On the grounds of the museum is a memorial that was built in honor of those killed during the conflict. If you are a history buff, this is a place worth checking out.

While there are plenty of RV parks located all over Kansas City, some of them might be out of the way. You’ll eventually be traveling on Interstate 70 as you will be entering Kansas. The Stadium Park & Campground is located conveniently off the Interstate and will provide plenty of space and amenities for travelers like you. And you will be in walking distance from some local restaurants.

Museum of Odd

Does the name strike your attention? What kind of artifacts do they have at this place? There’s a lot of sock monkeys, a toothbrush that belonged to famed game show host Bob Barker, and so much more. That’s what you’ll find in the Museum of Odd located in Lawrence, Kansas. There are plenty of artifacts from historical figures that were collected and curated by a local man who wanted nothing more than to keep it weird. And it’s been drawing quite a lot of people.

If you are looking for an RV park or a campground, here’s some good news. The good news is that you can find a lot of them in Lawrence and in nearby Topeka. The even better news? Both cities have a KOA Campground where you can fit your RV. Either way, it would be a good starting point for the next day of traveling.


Before you leave Lawrence or Topeka (depending on where you stayed the night before) you might want to check out Truckhenge. This was built out of old trucks as a way to protest “The Man”. Now, it’s a modern art masterpiece that looks good enough for people to stop and stare (and yes even take pictures). You’ll definitely want to stop by and see this before you head further out west.

If you want to spend the day in Topeka, there’s plenty of other places to check out. And if you set up shop in Topeka the night before, give yourself an extra night to spend in the capital city of the Sunflower State.

Mile High Steps at the Colorado Capitol Building

Ever wondered what it would actually be like to go a mile above sea level? You can. Yes, Denver is known as the Mile High City, but you can literally go a mile high just by climbing the Mile High Steps, which are located on the grounds of the Colorado State Capitol building.

If you are looking for RV parks in Denver, there’s a lot of them. The Prospect RV Park is conveniently located on Interstate 70 and is just off that stretch of road that will lead you to Aspen.

Arapaho National Forest

In the last stretch towards Aspen, you’ll be deep in the heart of the Arapaho National Forest. You’ll be surrounded by mountains and hundreds of hiking and skiing trails. Plus, it’s also one of the best places to go whitewater rafting if you are up for the adventure. There is no shortage of what you can do in this very vast forest that covers nearly hundreds of thousands of acres.

There are nearly 25 RV parks and campgrounds in the area. If your RV is at least 45 feet in length or less, you should be in good shape finding a spot for your rig.


You’ve made it to Aspen! Now you can do all the hiking, skiing, or snowboarding you want (depending on the time of year it is). Aspen is one of the most visited destinations for tourists every year. It gets really busy during ski season, but there is still plenty to see when you are in the area. If you are an outdoorsy kind of person, this might be one of those places where it’s as close as you can get to paradise.

There’s a lot of RV parks and campgrounds that will be located throughout Aspen. But if you want a good campground where you can spend a day or a few, there’s a KOA Campground that is located not far from the city.

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