Salt Lake City to Mustang Island State Park Road Trip Guide


For families craving the adventure of hitting the open road in their RV, the seven-day trek from Salt Lake City, Utah to Mustang Island State Park, Texas will not disappoint.

Salt Lake City, the capital of the state of Utah, is a metropolitan city with much to offer RV campers. A city that resembles the hipster vibe found in Seattle, Salt Lake City is chock full of trendy eateries, excellent shopping, sporting events, and outdoor recreational activities but in place of Seattle's rainy season offers bountiful sunshine.

For families that enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, Salt Lake City has lots to offer. From beautiful state parks, beaches, and more, this metropolis has got it all. The city itself rests in what is referred to as a "mountain bowl" at an elevation of 4,300 feet. Among the most popular outdoor activities to enjoy here include skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, and camping. The much-loved Great Salty Lake is also a great place for getting in some boating, floating, and even some swimming.

But Salt Lake City also delivers big when it comes to fun cultural events. The city is home to many large scale concert halls which can house up to 20,000 people. In addition to its excellent artists' community, Salt Lake City also has a thriving foodie culture with many popular pubs, eateries, and fine dining restaurants to choose from. Other activities commonly found in the area include ballet, opera, and orchestral events, museums, malls, and such professional sports as hockey, basketball, soccer, and baseball.

No trip to Salt Lake City would be complete without a visit to Temple Square. This popular attraction is the main base for the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormonism). The buildings found in the square are quite imposing to behold with their Gothic architecture and granite construction.

Traveling through Salt Lake City in an RV is not a difficult chore. However, many RV campers prefer to leave their rig in a public parking lot or at their campground and to make use of the taxi or bus system to travel into town to explore this great city on foot.

Among the best places to enjoy an overnight or extended RV stay in Salt Lake City are Salt Lake City KOA Holiday and VIP Campground.

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

Point of Interest

Bridal Veil Falls

44.5 miles from Salt Lake City is the incredibly beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. This stunning natural waterfall is found within the much-loved Provo Canyon. Just outside the entrance to this scenic attraction is a large parking lot with ample room for RVs, trailers, and other vehicles. The trail which leads to the waterfall can be accessed from this point.

Bridal Veil Falls are open for the public to enjoy year-round; however, during the winter months, the trail can be difficult to navigate after a heavy snowfall. Not far from the trail, RV campers will find the Bridal Veil Falls Park, an excellent spot to enjoy such a picnic lunch. This popular recreation area is home to picnic tables and grills for the public to use. The park is found along the banks of the Provo River, providing a picturesque backdrop for the families to enjoy.

Though the property was once home a tram, it has since closed. The tram ceased operations in 1996 due to damage from an avalanche in the region.

There is a second access point from which RV campers can get to the trail that leads to the falls. This second parking lot is found just outside a footbridge which traverses the Provo River and leads directly to the mouth of the trail. This section of the park sees frequent use from walkers, cyclists, runners, and longboarders, meaning it can be quite congested.

Bridal Veil Falls does experience a number of avalanches in the winter months. Most are too small to cause much concern, but on occasion, large ones do occur.

After a fun day hiking and enjoying the falls, an overnight RV stay might be just what the doctor ordered. Consider spending the night at Lakeside RV Campground or Springville/Provo KOA Journey.

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Just 117 miles from Provo's Bridal Veil Falls is Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. This popular attraction has been expanded to include an additional amount of property that brings the total park size to 850 acres. The quarry is a part of the recently appointed Jurassic National Monument.

A visit to the quarry allows RV campers the rare opportunity to view one of the largest collections of dinosaur remains believed to trace back to the Jurassic era. Found on the grounds are more than 12,000 bones thought to have been taken from a minimum of 74 dinosaurs. Each of the fossil remains was excavated on the property itself.

The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry has been extremely instrumental in assisting paleontologists with learning more about the Jurassic period of history. However, there is much yet to learn.

As is common to all areas in the state of Utah, the weather is quite hot in the spring, summer, and fall months of the year. RV campers visiting the quarry during these times should be sure to bring along ample water, sunscreen, and a hat for protection against the sun's hot rays.

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry is easy to locate in the northern section of what is known as the San Rafael Swell. It is a secluded area that is quite far removed from the amenities of most towns including gas stations, restaurants, hospitals, or mechanics. With this in mind, RV campers should only undertake a trip here with their gas tank full and a map on hand. It is also important to note that during bouts of rain, the swell can become flooded.

Among the amenities found on the grounds are picnic tables and drinking water. Dogs may join their owners in all outdoor areas of this facility so long as they remain leashed.

Tired out after spending the day exploring Jurassic National Monument? Why not enjoy an RV stay at San Rafael Bridge Campground or Cedar Mountain Campground?

Arches National Park

If a day of outdoor adventure sounds like the perfect way to spend the day, RV campers won't mind the 128-mile drive to Arches National Park one bit. A park often affectionately referred to simply as "the Arches," this popular recreational area is characterized by its rich red rock landscape, a sight that is quite breathtaking to behold.

The park's topographical features are quite diverse with their eye-catching array of colors, unusual landforms, and varied textural elements. Arches National Park takes its name from the one unique feature that is found throughout the grounds: its abundance of arches comprised of natural stone and numbering greater than 2,000 in total.

The Arches is found just outside the small town of Moab. The park is massive in scope, consisting of over 76,518 acres for families to explore at their leisure. There are many unique viewing areas and hiking trails for RV campers that enjoy both hiking and photography. park’s viewpoints and hiking trails.

Also found on the grounds is a visitor center that provides interesting material and interactive displays for families to enjoy. There is also a theatre with 150 seats and a gift shop which sells such items as guide books, maps, postcards, and more.

Had a ball exploring the Arches but really need to catch some zzz's before the next leg of the journey? Consider an RV stay at Slickrock Campground or Up the Creek Campground.

Frontier Museum

The next leg of the journey towards Mustang Island State Park is a short one at only 59.3 miles. This scenic drive will bring RV campers to Frontier Museum, a great place to spend the day learning more about local culture and history. Found in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, this beloved museum is home to many different events throughout the year including the extremely popular October Ghost Walk.

Families can enjoy spending the day meandering through a recreation of a pioneer home, learning more about what life was like for those residing in the region in years gone by. The region was once a prosperous ranching and mining community, and RV campers can take in some of the artifacts and information on display that records what a day in the life of the men working in these fields entailed. Other exhibits at the museum pay homage to the original inhabitants of the land, a people group known as the Ute Indians.

The grounds which house the museum are also home to many hot springs. Once the springs were developed, the region became a popular draw for the elite and the wealthy, bringing to its healing waters such people as entrepreneurs, presidents, outlaws, gangsters, and movie stars. Among the most famous residents in the region were Doc Holliday, Theodore Roosevelt, Kid Curry, and Buffalo Bill Cody.

After a day of fun exploring this unique museum, RV campers just might enjoy a good night's rest in Glenwood Springs. Among the most popular places for an RV stay are Elk Creek Campground and Glenwood Springs West/Colorado River KOA Holiday.

Mesa Verde National Park

Just 70.3 miles away from the Frontier Museum is Mesa Verde National Park. This family favorite recreational area was founded in 1906 with the primary purpose of bringing attention to the way of life of the Ancestral Pueblo people who dwelled on the land from 600 to 1300 A.D. The property is home to over 5,000 unique archaeological points of interest, 600 of which include cliffside homes. Mesa Verde National Park has earned the distinction of being the facility with the best-preserved ancient artifacts in the country. Mesa Verde National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

The name Mesa Verde is a Spanish term which translates to "green table."

RV campers can easily spend an entire day exploring the grounds at Mesa Verde National Park. Since temperatures are quite high here in the spring, summer, and fall months, adequate water and sunscreen are an absolute must.

Other popular activities here include hiking, picnicking, and photography.

Has a day of fun in the sun left you feeling tuckered out? Spend the night doing some RV camping at Cortez/Mesa Verde KOA Journey or Morefield Campground.

Guadalupe Ruins

217 miles from Mesa Verde National Park is Guadalupe Ruins, one of the region's most interesting attractions. RV campers will enjoy spending the day exploring this singular mesa which rests almost 200 feet above a valley. The roof of the mesa is protected by walls on each of its sides. Access to the cliffside dwelling is through a narrow trail.

The view from the mesa is breathtaking to behold. RV campers will want to be sure to have their camera on hand to record the incredible sights. Among the landscape features surveyed from the pinnacle of Guadalupe Ruins are the deep canyons, weathered mesas, and dormant volcanoes which line the scenic Rio Puerco Valley.

A large dwelling, the mesa contains 39 rooms that are rectangular in shape. Also found on the grounds are seven semi-buried kivas; two of which are safe for exploration.

It is believed that the mesa was built by a Chacoan Outlier. In the 1200s, residents from Mesa Verde took over the building and renovated it to meet their own unique tastes and purposes.

Tuckered out from a day of fun in the sun? Consider an RV stay at Vista Linda Campground or Coronado Campground.

Cibola National Forest

The next stop en route to Mustang Island State Park is 85.9 miles away. Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands is a large property that encompasses and in three states: New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.

The New Mexico portion of this recreational area covers more than one and a half million acres in total. The elevation rises dramatically from a starting point of 2,700 feet to more than 11,300 feet.

The climate found within Cibola National Forest differs according to its elevation. Lower levels enjoy the hot, dry warmth of desert-like conditions with lands at higher elevations experiencing far cooler temperatures. The months of July and August are well-renowned for an abundance of rain in the afternoons.

There are many things for families to do during a visit to Cibola National Forest. Hunting is permitted in season with elk, antelope, and turkey the most popular game.

Bluewater and McGaffey Lakes are excellent spots for doing some fishing as are several different creeks. The area is also rich in many different ancient ruins, former lava flows, and pueblos.

Families visiting the area should remain aware that both bears and cougars can be found throughout the forest year-round.

Ready to hit the sack after a day exploring Cibola National Forest? Park the RV for an overnight stay at Cedro Peak Group Campground or Turquoise Trail Campgrounds.

O.C. Fisher Lake

An interesting spot that is well worth the 499-mile drive to get there, RV campers will enjoy a visit to O.C. Fisher Lake. O.C. Fisher Lake received a lot of press for an unusual phenomenon that caused their normally crystal clear water to turn blood red. This change caused the lake waters to begin to recede while killing any life within its depths.

Long a topic of speculation, a group of scientists have recently unearthed the reason behind this odd change in the quality of the water. It is believed that a small piece of the space shuttle Columbia fell within the lake, leaching chemicals into it. As the waters began to dry up, the remains of the portion of the space shuttle were discovered.

The area underwent a drought which affected up to 3/4's of the state. All of the reservoirs in the region were negatively impacted and the fish supply completely depleted. O.C. Fisher Lake has long been a popular locale for those who love to enjoy the sport of angling. Though this was no longer possible for a period of time, the drought has since passed, and the waters have been restored to their clear state.

Many visitors traveled to this region to catch sight of the rich crimson water which is reminiscent of blood. The change in color is attributed to a chemical caused by chromatiaceae bacteria, a purple sulfur which flourishes in water that has less than optimal levels of oxygen. Stagnant water is the ideal breeding ground for this bacteria.

Today, O.C. Fisher Lake is a peaceful place where families can enjoy a picnic lunch, some beachcombing, and catching up on some suntanning.

Thinking tonight is a good night for an RV stay? Plan to spend the night at San Angelo KOA Holiday.

Tower of the Americas

The Tower of the Americas is 226 miles from O.C. Fisher Lake. Nestled in the heart of San Antonio, Texas, this incredible tower stands 750 feet in total height. From the restaurant at the very top floor of the building, RV campers can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the region known as the Alamo City.

The eatery known as the Charter House Restaurant is a revolving restaurant. It contains an observation deck where families can stand and drink in the views. Another unique experience found at this popular attraction is its 4D theatre ride.

The tower first began construction in 1966, taking almost 18 months to finish. The vision of local architect O'Neil Ford, the building's original purpose was a competition piece based on a provided theme for the HemisFair in 1968.

After an incredible meal at the tower's award-winning restaurant, why not unwind at a local campground for the night? Park the RV for an overnight stay at San Antonio/Alamo KOA Holiday or Rustic Oaks Park.


The last leg of the journey to Mustang Island State Park is 164 miles. Families will be thrilled to finally land at their destination and prepare to enjoy an extended RV stay.

Mustang Island State Park offers many activities for RV campers to enjoy. There is a vast expanse of shoreline, affording families the opportunity to stroll along the beach, get in some fishing, or enjoy a leisurely swim. Water sports are also popular here. Whether RV campers prefer building castles in the sand, surfing, canoeing, or kayaking; the sky is the limit when it comes to fun things to do in the water here.

But activities at Mustang Island State Park are not just limited to things to do in the sea. The land has plenty of fun to offer as well including such popular things to do as camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching.

Mustang Island State Park is home to 48 sites with full power and water hookups and 50 sites that are better suited to primitive style camping. Also found on the grounds are drinking water, showers, and toilets. There is also a camp store housed on the grounds that sells convenience items, snacks, and drinks.

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