Provo to Ozark National Forest Road Trip Guide


For families looking to enjoy their next RV road trip, a seven-day journey from Provo, Utah to Ozark National Forest, Arkansas is sure to delight.

Provo is a metropolitan city found in the heart of Utah. One of its most popular attractions is Brigham Young University, a premier educational facility that attracts students from all across the world. In addition to its excellent quality post-secondary learning centers, Provo is also a haven for those who love both history and the arts. The region is home to many esteemed museums including the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, the BYU Museum of Paleontology, the Crandall Historical Printing Museum, and the BYU Museum of Modern Art.

Provo has earned the distinction of being the oldest metropolis found within its county. Its population makes it the third-largest city in the state. A city with a thriving population of youth, there are lots of attractions for families to enjoy during their visit to this picturesque city. With 27 public parks to choose from and a pleasant climate year-round, outdoor recreation is the name of the game in Provo. Families can enjoy such outdoor activities as swimming, hiking, cycling, picnicking, camping, and more.

Many famous people were born and raised in Provo. These include Donny and Marie Osmond, Jack Dempsey, and Bert McCracken (lead singer for the band The Used).

Traveling through Provo in an RV is fairly simple to do. However, for families that prefer to not have to search for suitable parking for their rig, it is equally as easy to leave their RV at their campground and take a taxi or bus into town. Among the most popular spots to do some RV camping in Provo are Springville/Provo KOA Journey andRock Canyon Campground.

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Road trip length: 7+ days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: family

Point of Interest

Provo Canyon

Before heading out en route to Ozark National Forest, it is worth taking the time to explore the popular Provo Canyon. This much-loved route is a highway that connects the two cities of Provo and Heber. Found along US 189 and SR 113, this stretch of road meanders through the incredibly scenic Provo Canyon then through Bridal Veil Falls and Deer Creek Reservoir before culminating at the stunning Heber Valley. The route runs the length of the Provo River, a body of water that is well renowned as an excellent fly fishing locale.

There are several side trips that can be taken from this main route including the Alpine Scenic Loop and U-92. Each of these routes offers families the opportunity to stop and explore the Sundance Resort, the Uinta National Forest, and the Timpanogos National Monument.

Found at the pinnacle of the canyon is Deer Creek Reservoir State Park. This facility is highly prized for its abundance of outdoor activities including fishing, sailing, boating, and windsurfing. Located not far from this recreational area is Soldier Hollow State Park, a spot that was used for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum

Just 84.8 miles from Provo Canyon is Utah State University's Eastern Prehistoric Museum. In an area that is rich with fossil remains and museums proudly displaying their bounty, this one is not to be missed.

Located in the town of Price, Utah, families will discover this jewel of a museum in the heart of an area that was once a prosperous mining and college city. It is easy to find at the midway point between Salt Lake City and Moab.

Though this museum is not large, it offers much for families to see and do during their visit. The first sight to greet visitors upon entering the facility is a Utahraptor, the dinosaur-like creature that was the inspiration behind the raptors seen in the classic film Jurassic Park. Other dinosaurs families can see here include the Allosaurus, the Stegosaurus, and the Chasmosaurus.

Another thing that sets USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum apart from others of its kind is the fact that all bones found within the facility are genuine. Most museums make replicas of the originals and place those in their exhibits for the public to view.

Also found in the museum is a section devoted to archaeology. Here, families can learn more about what human history may have been like in the region during prehistoric times.

For hours of operation, tour schedules, and any associated fees, check the museum's website.

Thinking a good night's rest is in order before heading off on the next leg of the journey towards Ozark National Forest? Consider an RV stay at Avintaquin Campground or Price Canyon Recreation Area.

Colorado National Monument

The next stop en route to Ozark National Monument is just 168 miles away. Colorado National Monument is the perfect spot for families looking for a place to stretch their legs while taking in some local history and culture.

Colorado National Monument serves an important role in protecting one of the most important areas in the history of the American West. The landscape is awe-inspiring to behold, consisting of immense monoliths in the midst of rich red rock canyons and flatlands. One of the most incredible things to experience during a trip to this recreational area is a drive along Rim Rock Drive, a stretch of road renowned for its winding curves. Along the journey, families may be treated to such rare sights as bighorn sheep and eagles.

Families can enjoy driving through the grounds, hiking, or biking; Colorado National Monument is well-suited to all.

The property consists of 31 square miles in total. Colorado National Monument is a very serene place, making it an excellent spot for quiet reflection or relaxation.

Tired out after a day hiking the grounds? Park the RV for an overnight stay at Saddlehorn Campground or Grand Junction KOA Holiday.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

The 106 miles to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will just fly by when thinking on the fun that awaits at this popular destination. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is unique in that it is the only amusement park found atop a mountain in the entire country.

But the fun doesn't start when families arrive at the park. Traveling up the mountain is a thrill in itself. Park the RV in the on-site lot and careen on up the mountainside in the Glenwood Gondola, a mode of transportation that transports families from the valley to the pinnacle where the park rests. The view from the top is incredible, so bringing along a camera on this adventure is an absolute must.

At the top of the mountain, families will discover a viewing platform and a popular restaurant called the Lookout Grille. Other activities found at the amusement park include rides, cave tours, children's activities, live entertainment, eating establishments, and much, much more.

Had a ball but need to catch a few Zs before heading out for the next leg of the journey? Plan to do some RV camping at The Hideout at Glenwood Springs or Glenwood Springs West/Colorado River KOA Holiday.

Molly Brown House Museum

For families looking for a truly unique experience, it is well worth driving the 157 miles to visit the Molly Brown House Museum. This property represents what life was like for the prosperous few in the 1900s in the city of Denver.

During this time, the wealthy built their homes in a region of the city known as Capitol Hill. Among the families that settled here were Isaac and Mary Large who made their millions in the silver mining industry. Their home was built at 1340 Pennsylvania Avenue. Designed by prominent architect William Lang, the home was a showpiece that combined elements of the Classic Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque styles. An unusual feature of the time, the home at 1340 Pennsylvania Avenue was furnished with all of the most modern amenities including electricity, indoor plumbing, heat, and a telephone.

When the Larges lost their fortune, the home was sold to James Joseph and Margaret Brown. The Browns modified the home to suit their own tastes. The house was later transferred exclusively to Margaret's name. When the couple traveled, Margaret allowed others to use her home as a hotel for the wealthy. Some of its most well-known guests included Governor James Orman. During the Great Depression, the house became a boarding house.

After Margaret passed away in 1932, the house went up for sale. The new owners renovated the home drastically. It later was sold to Art Leisenring, a man whose goal was to restore the home to its original state when it belonged to Margaret to pay homage to her role in history as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown," survivor of the Titanic.

With a long drive ahead the next day, it might be a great idea to enjoy an overnight stay in Denver. Consider doing some RV camping at Denver City/Central West KOA Holiday or Cherry Creek State Park Campground.

Rolling Hills Zoo

425 miles from Denver is the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Zoo. A property once known as the Rolling Hills Refuge, the zoo is found in the small town of Salina, Kansas. The property consists of 60 acres in total and is nestled next to the popular Rolling Hills Ranch and Museum, affording families several places to enjoy during their visit.

There are many different animals that can be seen at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Zoo. Among the most popular are the brilliantly hued pink flamingos.

Many recommend stopping by the Rolling Hills Zoo in the spring or fall months as the animals are more active during these times, allowing families to see more of them. The zoo houses more than 80 different types of animals, some of which include apes, lions, rhinos, and white tigers. The zookeepers regularly roam the grounds and are available to answer visitors' questions.

After a long day of driving and exploring, why not park the RV for the night to get a little shut-eye? Among the most popular campgrounds in the area are Salina KOA Holiday and Covered Wagon Campground.

Botanica--The Wichita Gardens

Only 95.8 miles away from the Rolling Hills Zoo is Botanica, the Wichita Gardens. This incredible property is the seat of Kansas style hospitality and beauty, all housed on 17 acres of pristine property for families to enjoy. Situated in the Riverside section of downtown Wichita, the gardens are near to most highways, making them easy to locate.

The gardens were first introduced to the public in 1987. Their original purpose was to inspire interest in the art of gardening. Throughout the year, activities were held to help educate the public as to the joys of the hobby.

Botanica originally consisted of only four gardens and a library dedicated to books on flowers and plants. Since that time, the facility has expanded to include 30 additional gardens, each with its own theme. There are also many exhibits for families to enjoy. Over 4,000 different plant varieties are found on the grounds, many of which are indigenous to the region.

This stunning property is open year-round for families to enjoy. Throughout the year, the exhibits and gardens change, making it fresh to visitors who frequent Botanica as often as they can. Each season sees a different array of plants and flowers.

After a day spent leisurely perusing Botanica's grounds, why not kick back and enjoy some R&R on an overnight RV stay in Wichita? Among the most recommended campgrounds in the area are Wellington KOA Holiday and Cheney State Park-Heimerman Point Campground.

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

The next stretch of the drive is lengthy at 268 miles, but rest and relaxation await at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Located in the northwestern portion of the state, this popular attraction is a much-beloved stopping point for up to 80,000 travelers each year.

This stunning recreational area is home to twelve different gardens, each of which has its own unique theme. The property is also home to a butterfly haven, the only one of its kind in the area.

One of the main goals of the gardens is to educate visitors about the joy plants can bring to their lives. Throughout the year, the property is home to many workshops, classes, and lectures on a variety of different topics including gardening and conservation efforts.

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks received the honor of being declared the second most romantic destination in the state by the website Best of Arkansas.

Tired out from the long drive and think an overnight stay is in order? Park the RV at Cowpatty Campground or Lake Wedington Campground for the night.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

Another attraction located in Fayetteville, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is only 17.9 miles away from the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. This much-loved destination is considered to be one of the best-preserved Civil War battlegrounds. The property is immense at over 900 acres. It was here that the Battle of Prairie Grove occurred on December 7th, 1862.

During this battle, Union and Confederate troops fought one another in a singular day that resulted in the deaths of 2,700 men. This particular fight was the final major Civil War-era battle in the region.

To truly enjoy the grounds and their history, both walking and driving tours are available. The property also houses the Hindman Hall Museum. Here, many pieces of memorabilia from the battle are showcased for families to see. Each year, on the first weekend in December, a battle re-enactment is staged for the public to enjoy.

Also found on the grounds are a playground, bathrooms, and a walking trail.


The last leg of the journey to Ozark National Forest is only 59 miles. Families will be thrilled to arrive at their destination to have the chance to enjoy some R&R in a tranquil and beautiful setting.

The Ozark National Forest is immense, with over one million acres to its credit. It is situated within the northwestern portion of the state and travels the edge of the Arkansas River Valley to the Ouachita Mountain range.

The name Ozark is derived from the French "Aux Arcs" and translates to mean "with bows." This name is believed to have been bestowed upon the region by a French explorer by the name of deTiene who sought to identify the land by the people that dwelled therein: the Bow Indians.

An incredibly beautiful region, the Ozarks enjoy a consistently pleasant climate year-round, making them an excellent place to visit regardless of the season. The region is particularly stunning in the spring when the area is alive with dogwood and redbud blossoms. In the fall, the leaves on the trees turn colors, displaying brilliant autumn hues.

There are many different outdoor activities to enjoy during a visit to the Ozark National Forest. Among the most popular are hiking, camping, canoeing, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing.

Camp directly on the grounds or consider enjoying an extended RV stay at Redding Recreation Area or Barkshed Recreation Area.

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