Situated on the border between Dallam and Hartley counties, Dalhart is a small city that was founded in 1901. It was established at the site of a railroad junction (which contributed to the town’s growth) and lay at the heart of the Dust Bowl area during the Great Depression.
Today, Dalhart is a great place to rent an RV for exploring the Rita Blanca National Grasslands and the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. It’s an easy day trip from Amarillo’s family-friendly attractions, as well as the impressive university museum in Canyon.
The Great Outdoors
Book a motorhome rental in Dalhart and make the short drive north to the Rita Blanca National Grasslands, which sprawl across the far northwest corner of Texas and across the border into Oklahoma. These native prairie grasslands provide habitat for pronghorn, rabbits, coyotes, and predatory birds, as well as more than 800 different species of vascular plants. It was created during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, with a number of abandoned historic homesteads still visible today that were established during the Western Expansion.
Around an hour’s drive southeast of Dalhart is the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, which centers around a 10,000-acre artificial reservoir. It was created following the establishment of the Sanford Dam on the Canadian River and is a hub for recreation. There are five boat launch ramps and a marina for getting out on the water to go fishing, as well as numerous hiking trails and swimming spots for cooling off during the summer months.
Adjacent to Lake Meredith is the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, which protects a number of quarries that have been a source of flint for thousands of years. Stop in at the Alibates Visitor Center where you can watch a short film about the monument and explore the museum exhibits, then join one of the ranger-led quarry tours. On the one-mile-long walk, you’ll learn about the Native Americans who once occupied the land and how they utilized the stone over the last 13,000 years.
Pick up your RV rental in Dalhart and head to the Corral RV Park where you’ll find more than 40 gravel sites with full hookups and 20, 30, and 50 amp service. There’s a dog walking area and also a children’s playground, as well as a coin-operated laundry and Wi-Fi available throughout the park.
You can also make the 30-minute drive into Dumas and its Walmart where you may be able to set up for a night or two with the manager’s permission.
Exploring the City
Park your RV rental near Dalhart and head to the XIT Museum, which details the history of the Texas Panhandle with a focus on the XIT - one of the most well-known ranches of the American West. See a model of an XIT division headquarters and browse the period artifacts on display, including an interesting collection of guns, vintage cameras, and historic photographs. Learn about life for the county sheriff and discover how the arrival of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad transformed the region.
Dalhart makes a good base for visiting Amarillo, which lies just over an hour’s drive to the south. Head to the eclectic Cadillac Ranch where graffiti-adorned cars are partially buried in a field or learn about one of the United States’ most famous horse breeds at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the local amusement park, which is packed with roller coasters, bumper cars, and water-themed rides.
Combine your visit to Amarillo with a stop in nearby Canyon, which is home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum on the campus of West Texas A&M University. It houses more than three million artifacts that detail the history of life in America’s West, as well as displaying Native American art, vintage firearms, and paleontological exhibits. See the differences for Southern Plains settlers now and in the past in the "People of the Plains: Experiments in Living” exhibit or step back in time to experience the Texas Panhandle's oil boom years in the Don D. Harrington Petroleum Wing.
Dalhart is home to a couple of supermarkets where you can pick up groceries, as well as a good selection of fast food restaurants and eateries if you want to dine out. There are also a few gas stations if you need to fill up your campervan rental in Dalhart.
Whether you’re visiting Dallam County for its sprawling grasslands or fascinating museums, book an RV in Dalhart and start exploring.