San Jose to Denver Road Trip Guide


San Jose in west-central California lies alongside the Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek. San Jose is often referred to as the heart of tech in California. While home to Silicon Valley, this place isn’t just about work. You can grab an RV for and head out an epic week-long road trip starting from this very city.

The cohesive neighborhood, the rich culture, nature escapes, and delicious diverse cuisine makes it the perfect place for road trippers to explore its best-kept secrets as well as get a taste of Californian wilderness.

The landscape of the city is predominantly a broad floodplain that slowly shifts into rugged terrain as you drive towards the east and south. The weather here is almost always sunny and mild, and hardly ever unpredictable.

To head to Denver, we suggest you choose the US-101 as multiple adventures will greet you along the way.

The end destination of this trip is far different from the departure point, yet just as exciting. The city of Denver in Colorado is often called, the Mile-High City, where you can find a juxtaposition of urban sophistication and alfresco adventures.

Denver also has a reputation of having one of the most walkable downtown areas anywhere in the nation. All you need to do is find a suitable parking spot for your RV, trailer or motorhome and enjoy the city like the locals.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 7+ days
Recommend rig: any
audience: friends

Point of Interest

Salt Lake City

There are some things that you just can’t ignore, and Salt Lake City in Utah is one of them. If you have already been here or if you think it is not exactly an RV destination, then allow us to convince you otherwise.

Salt Lake City has hidden depths to it and despite being super populated, there are quiet corners where you can retreat for a day or two. While you’re here, don’t forget to grab a cup of the world-famous coffee found in this city.

If you want to get a vantage point of just how massive and magnificent this city is, hike the three-mile long Living Room Trail to witness city life from an aerial perspective. This trek makes for a good workout, especially if you have been sitting in your vehicle for hours.

At the top, there are several flat rocks that have been arranged to look like armchairs, hence the distinct name. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Red Butte Garden if you have a love for botany and vibrant exotic plants.

Humboldt State Wildlife Management Area

Humboldt State Wildlife Management Area is a natural habitat for many native as well as migratory bird species. This Wildlife Management Area provides access to wildlife viewing and gives you some great content to photograph.

This Wildlife Management Area also allows you to get some hunting done during your trip. On the hunting grounds of this wilderness area in Nevada, you can test your skills hunting migratory game birds, furbearer, upland game birds, and deer.

You can set camp here amongst the lakes, meadows, and marshlands and observe the beautiful wildlife and abundant vegetation. RVs as long as 44 feet can stay here.

Virginia City

Another few hours of driving will take you to the beautiful town of Virginia City, Nevada. This town is historically very significant and one of thebest-preserved mining towns in the West.

If mining is not exactly your area of interest, don’t go canceling it off your list just yet, because it is also an interesting stopover point for various other reasons.

The town itself is rich in culture and art. You’ll find an endless number of options here with art centers and museums placed around almost every other corner. In fact, one of the nation’s most famous performance venues and vintage theaters, Piper’s Opera House, is located here.

If you are here with friends, you could seek some harmless paranormal experiences, as Virginia City is supposedly one of the most haunted towns in America. There are guided ghost tours as well as haunted locations in the town to test your nerves and bravery.

The roads are wide with plenty of space for you to park your RV and motorhomes and walk to all the fun places in the town.

Tahoe National Forest

After leaving Sacramento, drive for a solid three hours before making a stop at the unmissable Tahoe National Forest. This forest is located exactly on your route to Denver, and it would be a shame to drive by it. In fact, numerous highways including interstate Highway 80 as well as State Highways 20, 49, 89, and 267 provide direct access to most parts of the Forest.

Settle down in your RVs at any one of the many campsites in the Forest and enjoy the clean air of high Sierra. This entire place is wild and majestic and so full of life, forests, water bodies, and imposing mountains.

Tahoe is a Washoe Indian word, which means “Big Water”. Everything about the Tahoe National Forest is rugged and natural, untouched by humans. Outdoor recreational opportunities here are endless and you can cover pretty much everything during this road trip.

You can experience cross-country skiing, hiking, swimming, snowboarding, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, bicycling, and much more.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is another beautiful adventure that awaits in the heart of Sacramento. This fort is all that remains of the hard work and vision of the Swiss immigrant John Sutter.

When Sutter received a land grant, he built it into an agricultural establishment and named it New Helvetia, which translates to New Switzerland. However, the land was overrun by miners during the Gold Rush and this fort is the only remaining trace of what could have been.

Sutter’s Fort has been named a California Historical Landmark, as well as a National Historic Landmark. The museum tells tales of all those who once called this place home such as the Mexican Citizens of Alta California, American Pioneers, emigrating Europeans, and Native Americans.

After your tour is over, we recommend you explore the nearby Funderland Park and Folsom Lake State Recreational Area.

California State Capitol Museum

After three hours of driving from San Jose to Sacramento, CA, you deserve a break. Fortunately, Sacramento has lots to offer. If you’re stopping just for an hour or so, we suggest you head straight to the California State Capitol Museum.

This museum has been the home of the legislature since 1969 but went through some major changes and renovations to make it appear more like the original version. You can also be a silent observer here as the legislators debate over a bill or cast their votes.

Here in the museum, you’ll find a Civil War Memorial Grove, a life-sized statue of Father Junípero Serra, and a memorial place for California’s Vietnam Veterans.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to take your big vehicle everywhere with you. Sherwood Harbor Marina & RV Park is just an eleven-minute drive from the museum and Cal Expo RV Park is just 15 minutes away.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is one of the most popular attractions of San Jose, and you can't leave the city without paying a visit. This museum has artifacts that date back thousands of years. In fact, this museum has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts anywhere in North America and even has displays of mummies − cat mummies, anyway.

Sarcophagi and replicas of rock-cut tombs are just some of the artifacts amongst the collection of over 4000 Egyptian objects displayed at this very museum.

This unique and educational museum is a treasure trove and worth the visit. You can leave your RVs at any of the numerous campgrounds nearby. Sanborn County Park is half an hour away and so is Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA.

Castle Rock State Park

Nestled along the Santa Cruz Mountains, 20 minutes from San Jose, lies Castle Rock State Park that is often termed as a hiker’s paradise thanks to its glorious network of nature trails.

These renowned trails allow hikers to witness mesmerizing views of canyons, rock formations, waterfalls, and flora such as the famous California Coastal Redwood and giant fir trees. One can also look out at the San Lorenzo River Valley from various viewpoints along the trail.

Hiking isn’t the only activity you can participate in, as you can also enjoy horseback riding along some of these trails.
A large number of rock climbers can be seen frequenting the park to climb the craggy tufa formations. If they end up high enough, they can even catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean shrouded in fog.

Then again, if you aren’t a hiker, a rock climber, or a horseback rider, then you can just do what most people do here: find a nice spot and enjoy the view of the magnificent green forest, rivers, and looming mountains in the distance.
The state park has several campgrounds with spacious campsites, so parking your RVs, motorhomes, and trailers won’t be a problem.


Denver in Colorado is essentially a massive resort that is built like a city. Make sure you time your trip so that you end up in Denver during the colder months as it allows you the chance to ski and snowboard. Take the Winter Park Express Ski Train to get high up in the mountains and enjoy plenty of winter-based recreational activities.
You can park your RV at the Flying Saucer RV Park, Prospect RV Park, or at the breathtaking Cherry Creek State Park and walk around in the beautiful Lower Downtown (LoDo) area of Denver. The entire city also has a bike-sharing system which makes mobility easy and enjoyable.
Do not forget to check out the sprawling green of Denver City Park which is also home to Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The City Park is miles and miles of manicured lawns with tow scenic lakes that gives a calm and serene vibe as you gaze upon the city’s skyline and catch a glimpse of the magnificent Rocky Mountain National Park.

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