Even though winter is for just three months of the year, it can feel like it drags on forever. Unless, of course, you head somewhere slightly warmer. The Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo in Odessa, Texas, is a highlight of many people’s winter for a range of reasons. The temperatures in this part of the country are mild, and those who make the journey get to experience nine days of stock shows, horse shows, and rodeo action.
The Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo has been delighting audiences across the nation since the early 1930s. It started with a stock show in Texas, followed by a horse show in 1940. When the Ector County Coliseum was built in 1954, the indoor rodeo event joined the two shows a year later. Now, over 2,000 participants and 30,000 spectators mark the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo on their calendar as a “not to be missed” event.
The rodeo portion of the event ranks in the top five percent of PRCA rodeos regarding prize money, which means competition is fierce. Those who purchase tickets and make the trip to Texas are treated to saddle-bronc riding, tie-down roping, steer roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, and more. Everything you could ever think of is on the schedule for the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo.
If you don’t fancy attending every day and night for the full nine days in January, then you don’t have to. There are plenty of things to do in Odessa, Texas while RVing in the area.
You can go sightseeing at the Odessa Meteor Crater, a 50,000-year-old hole, followed by paying your respects at the Chris Kyle Memorial at the US Navy SEAL Memorial Plaza. There are also some standout exhibits at the Ellen Noel Art Museum. For those who want to relax and go with the flow, you can go walking at McKinney Park or swimming at Fun City.
Avoid the snowfall and miserable weather by jumping in your RV bound for Odessa, Texas. Let the adventure begin.
If you are starting to plan your RV trip to Odessa, Texas, then don’t forget to start the process by purchasing your tickets for the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo. These are available on the organizer’s website closer to the event’s date and are typically general admission for everyone in the family. Decide which day(s) you want to attend, then plan your itinerary around it.
Odessa is the third-fastest growing city in the United States, which means a lot is happening at any one time. When you set off on your RV vacation, make sure you’re well-rested and ready to tackle any road conditions and congestion that Texas throws your way.
On your travels, you will find that Odessa sits above the Permian Basin on the southwestern edge of the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains) in West Texas. The journey will see you pass through many oil and gas natural reserves and semi-arid conditions as a result, especially along I-20.
If you want to be aware of every possible delay or weather pattern during your trip, tune into a traffic app such as DriveTexas or TxDOT.
The Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo at 218 West 46th Street in Odessa, Texas, boasts paved parking spaces, and plenty of them. These span the block of West 46th and 42nd Streets and Coliseum Road, with the rodeo, horse, and livestock action spread out over one block to the other.
The available parking spaces are marked, but there may be room for motorhomes to park with guidance from parking officials. If you would prefer not to take the risk of not finding somewhere suitable, park at your campsite in Odessa and arrange for public transportation to drop you off and pick you up again.
The public transportation system in Odessa, Texas, is exceptional, with buses running regular routes along Andrews Highway near the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo. Check out the local bus company’s timetable to see if their routes align with the times and days you would like to attend the rodeo and livestock show. If they don’t, you can book a taxi or order rideshare through your phone app.
There is plenty of day parking for a myriad of vehicles, but parking lots are not available for overnight camping. Given the city’s size and the show’s central location, you will find many nearby accommodation providers that are accessible with a large RV. You can then enjoy a short journey to the show’s venue daily.
Whether you are intending on staying for the full nine days of the rodeo, or a mere few, you will have plenty of luck finding somewhere to stay with an RV in Odessa, Texas. You will, however, need to book in advance to ensure you get your first pick.
There are both primitive RV camping and service hookup options, depending on your preference. Some places are parks and resorts, while others are campgrounds that might lack sewer, water, and electricity hookups. Given the prevalence of permanent RV parks in the area, it’s a good idea to do your research to find a business that welcomes RV-goers who are after short stays only.
Once you arrive at the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo, navigation on foot is straightforward. You can park in the lot, enjoy the rodeo on one side of the road, or cross over the road to more shows and displays on the other side. This expansive venue also offers plenty of seating and places to rest to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible during your visit.
In January, in many other parts of the country, you’d be wrapping up in snowsuits with hats and gloves. But in Odessa, Texas, it’s often another story. Average temperatures, while low, often don’t bring a lot of snow. You will need warm clothing, but not to the same extent as other states. It wouldn’t hurt to bring your warmest cowboy boots, shirts, and hats and some extra layers once night falls.
What you pack can depend on what you are doing in Odessa, how long you are staying, and where you are staying. You will need all your camping and cooking equipment, as well as items to keep you comfortable throughout your visit to the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo. Cash and a credit or debit card may also be helpful for purchasing food and beverages each day.
Winter is often the cold and flu season, so make sure you’re thoroughly prepared for any eventualities and illnesses once you hit the road. Bring hand sanitizer, tissues, lozenges, and any prescription medication that might improve your health on your travels. It also wouldn’t hurt to carry extra toiletries and a first aid kit, too. Even though there is unlikely to be snow on the roads, factor this into the equation with snow gear for your camper as well.
Hot cocoa around a campfire, s’mores on a fire pit, and loaded potatoes cooked to perfection, what more could you want on a winter camping adventure in Odessa, Texas? How you prepare your evening meal can depend on the campsite rules, but you can rest assured that, at a minimum, you will be able to use your onboard gas cooker.
You can also stock up on supplies not all too far from the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo. There are markets and grocery stores within a 10-mile radius of the event site.
When you’re in a large city such as Odessa, you will never find yourself too far from a dining establishment. However, you have a new problem instead: too many choices! Even within 10 miles of the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo, there is everything you could think of to choose for a meal. Donuts, chicken, steak, tacos, burgers, pizza, the list just grows. Many of these are also near bus stops, meaning they are accessible by public transport or with your motorhome.
Before you head to the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo, make sure your wallet is stocked with a credit or debit card and cash. By being prepared, you will be able to enjoy an eclectic mix of options to suit even the fussiest of diners. Enjoy traditional rodeo fare throughout the nine days of the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo.
Given that the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo is an animal-oriented event, security will be on-hand to make sure spectators are mindful of what they bring into the venue. Leave behind any weapons, noisemakers, chairs, umbrellas, or large, bulky items. If you’re not sure if an item is permitted, pop it back in your RV just in case. Follow a “less is best” approach to entry for peace of mind that security screening will be speedy.
If you have a problem that onsite security can’t solve, then pay a visit to the Odessa Police Department under four miles from the event site.
Temperatures can be quite chilly in Odessa in winter, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need your snow boots and mittens just yet. Average highs are still around the 58-degree mark, while nighttime temperatures in Odessa in winter drop to around 33 degrees at the lowest.
You will certainly need your heating system to be working at its best, as well as a few blankets, but the climate tends to be cold and dry, as opposed to wet, as is often the case in other states.
It’s never nice to suffer from an accident or injury when you’re on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it alone. Approach a rodeo official who can point you in the direction of the first aid site. You can also dial 9-11 in an emergency or travel to the closest hospital in Odessa, which is under four miles from the rodeo site.