Planning an RV road trip adventure from Kansas City to LA? If you are looking for a pre-organized trip that will keep the whole family happy, this could be the perfect option for you. Taking you through the heart of the continental USA, this exciting road trip adventure promises to be a blast.
If you were to drive this route directly, it would take around 1, 618 miles as the crow flies, which is around 23 hours and 7 minutes driving time. However, this trip will take the I-70, as this route is said to provide the most scenic option, taking you through some of the most beautiful spots in the country, including popular ski destinations, majestic mountains, and crystal clear rivers and lakes. Moreover, the points of interest on this trip have been carefully planned and organized to provide a fun-filled adventure, with everything from unique roadside stops, overnight RV camping stays in some of the most stunning State Parks in the country, a visit to see the animals at Denver Zoo, the chance to explore the Grand Canyon, and so much more!
If you are traveling in the summer, the driving conditions on these roads are usually quite good, but some parts of this journey may be subject to closure in the winter. We advise that you check the forecast on the day of travel, as well as the current driving conditions. We would also recommend letting someone know your itinerary and where you plan to stay- just to be on the safe side.
As the first stop on our Kansas City to Los Angeles trip, this unique roadside attraction provides the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs. The geographic center of the contiguous United States is marked by a historic marker located in a small park- just off US Route 281 and around two miles east from the small town of Lebanon in Kansas. Whilst there are some questions as to the accuracy of the marker, this has become a popular Instagram spot, and you will definitely want to leave behind your name on the board.
While you are in the area, you may also want to visit the world's largest ball of twine. There are currently four balls of twine which are competing for the top spot. However, as of 2014, it is this one in Cawker City which has been declared as having the largest circumference. Originally started by Frank Stoeber, the town now holds an annual Twineathon each August to add more to the ball.
Providing the opportunity to explore Burlington, Co, the next stop on our trip is the Old Town Museum, just off interstate 70. This museum is open year-round from 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The 21 fully restored buildings are filled with antiques, artifacts, and interactive exhibits, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about pioneer life on the eastern plains. If you are visiting between Memorial and Labour Day, don't forget to head to the saloon to watch traditional can-can dancers or even witness a first-class reenactment of a classic Wild West shootout.
You may also want to explore the town of Burlington whilst you are in the area, with this cow town oozing small-town charm and quintessential Colorado character. You could also take a ride on the Kit Carson County Carousel, with intricate hand-carved wooden giraffes and lions, as well as the traditional horses. Plus, you can learn more about this traditional wooden attraction and its significance to the town at the nearby museum.
Consisting of 415 square miles of picturesque mountain scenery, the Rocky Mountain National Park has over 100 peaks within its borders. First established in 1915, this 265, 461 acre-park welcomes more than 4,4 million visitors each year. With first-class fishing, horseback riding, and so much more, there is a wealth of recreation available in the area, including 300 miles of hiking trails amongst the truly spectacular scenery. You may also wish to visit Lulu City, a ghost town that was abandoned in 1886. The spooky remnants of this once-thriving mining town contain several log cabins and foundations, as well as the opportunity to learn more about the mid-West gold rush.
Alternately, check out the historic village of Estes Park for shopping, dining, museums, and more. This small village is also home to the infamous Stanley Hotel, which is reported to be one of the most haunted buildings in the world and even inspired Stephen King's The Shining. If you would like to spend the night at the Rocky Mountain National Park, there are five campgrounds across the park, three of which are to be reserved in advance and then, Longs Peak and Timber Creek Campgrounds are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. With minimal light pollution and clear skies, this location offers the opportunity to spend the night marveling at the cosmos and checking out the glow from the milky way.
Whether it is spotting the Zoo’s newest arrivals or just the chance to spot your favorites, a trip to Denver Zoo promises to be a great day out for any animal-lover. Home to more than 3500 animals, this 80-acre zoological garden was amongst the first to remove the cages and fences. Instead, they use rocks, trees, and other such natural items to separate the animals from the visitors. Meet the big cats at Predator Ridge, touch and feed stingrays and sharks at Stingray Cove, or meet some of the zoo’s most famous residents, the Komodo dragons.
The Toyota Elephant Passage is a particularly popular attraction, and this was actually the largest artificial elephant habitat in the world when it was first erected. Fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Denver Zoo was first founded in 1896 when an orphaned black bear cub was gifted to the mayor of the city. Today, Denver Zoo is a not-for-profit organization, with funds going to help look after the animals and support wildlife in their natural habitat; including over 600 conservation and research projects from around the world.
With some of the world’s best skiing, this snowsports mecca is infamous for its winter fun. However, Aspen is a great place to visit year-round, with so much to see and do up in the Elk Mountain range. The view from the summit of Aspen Mountain is truly spectacular, with the chance to admire the majestic picture-perfect scenery that surrounds this area. The best way to reach the peak has to be via the Silver Queen Gondola which is in operation throughout the year. There are miles of trails to be explored, including the picturesque Roaring Fork Valley which is home to an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife native to the region.
Whether you prefer paragliding, ballooning, rock climbing, rafting on the Roaring Fork river, or just relaxing, this stop has something for everyone. As well as luxury accommodation options, there is also an array of public and private campgrounds nearby, so you can pick the best one to suit your needs.
This area is filled with so many points of interest and beautiful spots of nature that would make excellent stops on your journey, but the Arches National Park is a one-of-a-kind location. Located in Moab, Utah, this red-rock park is situated on the eastern Utah-Colorado border. With over 2000 natural stone arches, it contains the highest number of natural arches found anywhere, with towers, pinnacles, and balanced rocks also dominating the landscape. The colors here are truly spectacular, with contrasting hues forming the basis of the scenery.
In the park itself, there are miles of hiking trails, with an array of viewpoints to choose from. However, if you prefer you can also spot some of the most famous sights from the comfort of your RV on one of the scenic drives available in the region. It should be noted that it can get busy here, with traffic congestion being particularly bad in the summer months. However, the scenery is truly worth the wait!
Teddy Roosevelt once said that every American should see the Grand Canyon at some point in their lives, and it would be a shame not to stop at one of the most famous and one of the most visited landmarks in the USA whilst you are in the area. At up to 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep, this immense canyon is often considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world and it was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979.
Although it has recently celebrated its 100th birthday as a park, scientists believe that parts of the Canyon could have begun forming over 70 million years ago. The colorful hues of the canyon walls frame an expanse of peaks, plateaus, and gorges that includes over 350 miles of established trails and over 375 miles of river. The changes in elevation and the unique geography of this region means that the weather can vary significantly in different parts of the park. We advise wearing layers and making sure that you pack waterproof clothing in case of rain. However, it should also be noted that it can get super hot here in the summer, especially June till August.
One of the most famous water dams in the world, the Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam, which was constructed between 1931 and 1936 to provide water and hydroelectric power to the developing southwest. This force of industry was originally known as the Boulder Dam but it was renamed in honor of President Herbert Hoover in 1947. At the time of being built, it was the largest in the world and to date, it is considered one of the top 10 construction achievements of the 20th century.
Today, it welcomes more than seven million visitors each year, with people from all over the country and the world stopping to tour this incredible attraction. There are various tour options available, including the Guided Dam tour, the Powerplant tour, and the self-guided Visitor Center tour. Hoover Dam is open from 9 am to 5 pm, every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Straddling the California- Nevada border, the final stop on this epic adventure is the Death Valley National Park. As well as being the largest national park outside of Alaska, it is also the hottest, driest, and lowest of all the parks in the country.
For a scenic drive, check out the nine-mile one way Artist’s Drive road, which will take you through the vivid Artist’s Palette area. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife that is at home in this arid and isolated landscape, with the chance to see kangaroo rats, coyote, and so much more. You may also want to check out the Furnace Creek Visitor Centre to learn more about the area, speak to the rangers about where it is best to explore and check out the exhibits about the geography and history of the area. There are thousands of hiking possibilities situated throughout the park, but if you are looking for a short but scenic route check out the 1.5-mile trail that follows the rim of the Ubehebe Crater.
This beautiful landscape also provides the perfect place to spend the night, with nine campgrounds across the park, some of which should be reserved in advance and others that are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. If you are planning on spending the night here, head to Zabriskie Point before daybreak for a phenomenal sunset; painting the Panamint Range vivid shades of pinks and purples. This is also a particularly popular camping spot for stargazing, with the evening bringing about one of the darkest and clearest night skies in the country.
As you arrive at the City of Stars, you will hopefully be looking back on a top-quality vacation and will have made plenty of happy memories along the way. However, there is lots to do when you arrive at your destination. Whether you would prefer traditional Disneyland fun, thrills, and spills at Universal Studios, a trip to the iconic Hollywood sign, or even just a tour of the celebrity neighborhoods, you'll find it here. With must-see attractions, educational and engaging museums, world-class restaurants, and so much more, we hope you enjoy your stay!