Sacramento to Santa Fe Road Trip Guide


Thinking an RV road trip just might be in order? Consider taking seven days to travel the route from Sacramento, California to Santa Fe, New Mexico. You'll have an amazing time!

Sacramento, the capital city of California, is situated at the meeting point of the Sacramento River and the American River. The city is divided into several districts. Old Sacramento is a nostalgic place to visit with its old-world charm that is reminiscent of its days as a center for the Gold Rush.

Sacramento has many wonderful attractions for RV campers to enjoy on a visit to this sunny city. The Old Sacramento Waterfront is one of the city's most beloved destinations. Comprised of over 28 acres of property, this spot is a rich haven of history for those with an urge to learn more about the city and its origins. Many RV campers flock to the region for its excellent shopping and live entertainment.

For those that enjoy outdoor recreation, both the American and Sacramento Rivers offer the ideal locale for RV campers to do some unwinding. Among the most popular activities here include boating, swimming, beachcombing, and even waterfront dining at some of the finest restaurants in the state.

Sacramento is well-renowned for its pleasant climate that makes it an excellent place to visit year-round. The city is easy to navigate in an RV; however, Sacramento is also home to an excellent transportation system for families wishing to park their rig at their campground or a public parking lot outside town and explore the city on foot.

This charming metropolitan center offers many different campgrounds that are suitable for RV stays. Several of the most frequented spots include SacWest RV Park and Campground and Placerville KOA.

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

Point of Interest

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

An additional 129 miles leads RV campers to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, a spot of great historical significance to the region. This facility pays homage to the art, culture, and traditions of the 19 Pueblos found in New Mexico. The vast majority of the art collections found here are permanent exhibits.
After enjoying some time exploring the artwork and rare artifacts, families can enjoy a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant known as Pueblo Harvest. Pueblo Harvest is both a restaurant and a bakery whose primary focus is the production and preservation of what is called the New Native American Cuisine. This unique type of food strives to blend the traditional flavors of Pueblan cooking with more modern tastes. Each menu item is handcrafted from locally sourced ingredients.
Also found on the grounds is a shopping area where Native Art can be purchased.
Enjoy an overnight stay at one of the area's most popular campgrounds. Two family favorites are Albuquerque KOA Journey and Coronado Campground.

Red Rock Park

188 miles from Holbrook is Gallup's Red Rock Park. This incredible recreational area is aptly named for the red soil, sand, and cliffs that are believed to have been formed over 200 million years ago.

For families looking to enjoy outdoor recreational activities at a spot where they can also park their RV for the night, Red Rock Park is the place to be. The campground found at this public facility offers both power and water hookups as well as picnic areas, bathrooms, and showers. To add an additional element of comfort, a convenience store and post office are also found on the grounds. Reservations are required for RV stays at this popular camping facility.

This public park is also home to the Red Rock Arena, a venue that consists of 5,000 seats and that hosts many different activities including rodeos and live concert performances.
Throughout the year, many different annual events occur on the ground including the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial and the Red Rock Balloon Festival.

Bucket of Blood Street Route

At only 85.7 miles away from Walnut Creek National Monument, it is worth stopping by to see Holbrook, Arizona's famed street known as the Bucket of Blood. During the late 19th century, the town was a cesspool of raucous behavior which included excessive drinking, gambling, prostitution, and general debauchery. As a result of this activity, gunfights became the norm.

One bar in town became the preferred locale for regular fights: Terrill's Cottage Saloon. In 1886, a gunfight broke out that was so violent that the floors appeared as though they had been smeared with a "bucket of blood." Legend relates that the fight of that evening took place between two enemy cowboy groups. The scene is believed to have played out much like what is frequently glimpsed in classic films about the Wild West.

Terrill's Cottage Saloon was still in operation in the 20th century and was a popular stopping point on the iconic Route 66. The bar has since been demolished, but the street it once took pride of place upon remains.

After a day checking out a piece of local history, spend the night at Holbrook/Petrified Forest KOA Journey.

Walnut Canyon National Monument

After a good night's rest, the 42.6 miles to Walnut Canyon National Monument will just fly by. This property was declared a national monument on November 30th, 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson. The primary purpose behind the designation was to provide protection for cliff dwellings believed to be of ancient origins.

Walnut Canyon National Monument consists of over 3600 acres. Found on the grounds are many different pieces of great archaeological significance. The property bears evidence of earlier civilizations that made this region their home. It is believed that Archaic people groups once dwelled in the canyon found on the premises.

The deep canyon found on the grounds measures twenty miles in length and has a depth of 400 feet. Experts purport that Walnut Creek is responsible for its development, a process that may have occurred up to 60 million years ago.

After a day spent exploring this incredible natural wonderland, park the RV at Canyon Vista Campground or Bonito Campground.

Bearizona Wildlife Park

The 118 miles to Williams, Arizona, will just fly by with an amazing attraction as Bearizona Wildlife Park to look forward to. The brainchild of Mr. Sean Casey, this bear-focused park welcomes visitors from all across the country.

Bearizona bears the distinction of being the only drive-through wildlife park in the state. This popular recreational spot has been in business since 2010 and has had over 300,000 people through its doors since its inception.

But Bearizona features far more animals than simply bears. This wonderful zoo offers families the opportunity to glimpse such creatures as wolves and bison in their natural habitat.

The property is home to two restaurants where families can enjoy hearty meals. Canyonlands is 6,000 feet in size and features an incredible waterfall measuring 25 feet in height. Another selling feature of this eatery is its viewpoint which provides impressive views of the jaguar exhibit.

Also found on the grounds is a gift shop where souvenirs can be purchased.

For a spot to park the RV for the night, consider a stay at Kaibab Lake Campground or Grand Canyon/Williams KOA Journey.

Desert Diamond Distillery

For a truly unique stop en route to Santa Fe, it's well worth the long day of driving to explore the Desert Diamond Distillery. 340 miles from the California Living Museum, Desert Diamond Distillery is a brewery that is the oldest of its kind in the state of Arizona.

This craft brewery first opened its doors for business in March 2008 near the Kingman Airport Industrial Complex. The distillery was the vision of the Patt family who worked tirelessly to ensure their business' success.

RV campers stopping by can enjoy watching the brewing and bottling process and sample locally produced craft beers.

For hours of operation, tour schedules, and menu items, contact the distillery's website.

After a long RV journey, the no longer thirsty traveler might benefit from parking the RV for a good night's rest in Kingman. Among the best spots for an overnight here are Wild Cow Campground and Windy Point Campground.

California Living Museum

The next stop en route to Santa Fe is 216 miles from Yosemite National Park. The California Living Museum, a space sometimes referred to simply as CALM, is a property that is home to both a zoo and a garden. The premises at CALM are incredibly picturesque to behold. The paths on the grounds wind through exhibits displaying many different animals and species of plant life that are indigenous to the region.

There are over 250 animals housed in the zoo. Most of these cherished creatures would be unable to survive in their natural habitats due to injuries or physical limitations. Over time, they have bonded with their caregivers and express many tame behaviors.

CALM is also a haven for several plants and flowers that are considered both rare and endangered. Also found on the grounds is an exhibit known as the Cats of California which is home to both a mountain lion and a bobcat.

For more information about hours of operation, tours, and any associated fees, consult the museum's website.

With a long drive in the day ahead, an overnight stay might be the perfect ending to the perfect day. Consider parking the RV at Kern River Campground or Breckenridge Campground for the night.

Yosemite National Park

Just 167 miles from Sacramento is all it takes to reach one of the region's greatest treasures: Yosemite National Park. Yosemite National Park rests in the heart of a cavernous valley.

This recreational area first became a protected site in 1864. This park is well-renowned for its stunningly beautiful waterfalls. A property that spans over 1,200 miles in total, there are many interesting topographical features to discover here. These include vast meadowlands, giant sequoia trees, and an immense expanse of wilderness.

Located in Mariposa County, Yosemite National Park remains picture-perfect throughout all four seasons. Families should bring along a camera to capture the amazing sights they will encounter while exploring this national treasure.

Other popular activities here include hiking, picnicking, and the viewing of wildlife.

After an invigorating day exploring the grounds at Yosemite National Park, an overnight stay might just be in order. Several area camping facilities offer sites suited to RV camping. Two of the most highly recommended include Yosemite Creek Campground and White Wolf Campground.

Old Sacramento Waterfront District

Just minutes from the starting point, RV campers will discover the treasure that is the Old Sacramento Waterfront District. An area that has been declared a national historic landmark, there is much to see and do at this popular attraction. This property is home to museums paying homage to the Wild West, train trips, carriage rides, cobblestone roads, and much, much more.

One of the most beloved activities is the opportunity to take a Sacramento River Cruise. These large ships are available for rental for such occasions as birthday parties and corporate events. However, river cruises are also available on a daily basis for passengers looking to enjoy a day out on the river. The on-board amenities include such activities as fine dining, wine tasting, casino-style gaming, and even dancing.

Another popular stopping grounds is the California State Railroad Museum. Thi building is associated with the Smithsonian and offers a comprehensive glimpse into the history of the railroad system within the region.


The last leg of the journey from Sacramento to Santa Fe is short at only 63.7 miles. Upon arrival in this metropolitan center, families will be quite delighted to find a place to park their RV for a few days, so they can begin exploring the region in earnest.

Santa Fe is located in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo foothills. The area is best known for its unique architecture as well as for its thriving artists' community. The city was first established as a Spanish settlement in 1610. The center of the town is a Plaza, a feature commonly associated with Spanish culture. The area which surrounds the Plaza consists of winding roads that are littered with novel adobe landmarks. Among the most frequented spots is the former Palace of Governors, a building that now houses the New Mexico History Museum.

A city renowned for its hot, humid climate, families that enjoy outdoor recreation in the sun will find what they are looking for in Santa Fe. An area with its own unique style and cuisine, RV campers will enjoy learning more about this city's customs and laidback way of life during their visit.

Santa Fe is easy to navigate in an RV. However, transportation to and from campgrounds is limited primarily to taxis. When it comes to places to enjoy an RV stay, families are spoiled for choice. Some of the most popular camping facilities include Black Canyon Campground, Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground, and Santa Fe KOA Journey.

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