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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

The Best Dallas to Denver Road Trip Stops

The Best Stops on a Dallas to Denver Road Trip - Alpacka My Bags

One of the best road trips in the southwestern USA is from Texas to Colorado. Admire views in Palo Duro, stop at the iconic Colorado welcome sign, visit state parks and more on this Dallas to Denver road trip.


If you’re making this drive, add a little excitement and some much needed breaks by stopping at a few of the following locations. I’ve added a star to the best stops along a Dallas to Denver road trip.


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Dallas to Denver Road Trip Overview



At 739 miles, the road trip from Dallas to Denver and vice versa is about a 12.5 hour drive. If you plan to stop a few times, especially at places like Palo Duro where you might want to add in a short hike or overnight stay, expect to spend two days doing this drive to enjoy the journey.


While there are a few routes you can take to get from Dallas to Denver, I recommend going through Amarillo and Colorado Springs. You’ll drive through Texas, the tiniest corner of New Mexico, and then into Colorado.


While I generally wing it and get gas when I need a snack and bathroom break, there are some stretches along this drive from Dallas to Denver where gas stations seem to be nonexistent.


If you like having clean, fully functioning toilets and an actual selection of snacks at your gas station stops, I recommend stopping for gas when you find big stations like Love’s or Allsups. 


You don't want to get stuck at a pump-only station, or find yourself 50 miles to the next gas station with only enough gas to get halfway there. 


I also recommend packing sandwiches and snacks, coffee, and plenty of water. It’s best to have too much food and water when going on a multi-day road trip.


The Best Stops on a Dallas to Denver Road Trip


This Dallas to Denver road trip planner includes the best stops to make along the journey. Break up the hours of driving with scenic views or fun activities. While stopping at all of them would add hours to your journey, it’s fun to break up the drive, stretch your legs, and enjoy the view when you can.


Woman and Dog Hiking in Colorado - Denver to Dallas Road Trip

Lake Arrowhead State Park | ~ 2 hours from Dallas


This Texas state park is just south of Wichita Falls off highway 287. You can enjoy fishing and hiking at Lake Arrowhead, or plan to camp here for an adventurous overnight stay. If anything, it’s a nice place to stretch your legs.


You may need to make a reservation in advance for Lake Arrowhead State Park as they only allow a certain number of people in each day.


Turquoise Coffee Stop in Chillicothe | ~ 3 hours from Dallas


A unique place to stop for coffee is in the unassuming town of Chillicothe, Texas. Turquoise Coffee Shop has some of the best coffee in Texas, but you might never guess it based on the tiny town.


You’ll be driving past anyways as you make your way to Denver, so why not stop for some coffee and a snack. There’s also Valley Pecans just down the road in Chillicothe where you can buy everything from pecans and fudge to candles and pottery.


Palo Duro Canyon State Park | ~ 6 hours from Dallas ⭐️


If you rarely visit this part of Texas, I recommend planning a visit to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It’s an incredibly scenic state park offering miles of hiking trails and nice campgrounds. If this is your only chance to visit, you don’t want to miss Palo Duro!


Make sure you book your entrance and any campsites ahead of time as they often fill up quickly.


Hiking in Palo Duro Canyon - Dallas to Denver Road Trip Stops

Capulin Volcano National Monument | ~ 8.5 hours from Dallas ⭐️


This national monument is dog-friendly and the only place worth stopping in the corner of New Mexico you’ll drive through. It’s a dormant volcano you can hike around and even see into the crater in the center.


If you’re a national park geek, this stop might be a must as you drive from Dallas to Denver. There is an entrance fee, but you can also use your “America the Beautiful” national park annual pass.


“Welcome to Colorful Colorado” | ~ 9 hours from Dallas


If you’re one for a fun photo op, stop for a picture at the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign along the I-25. There isn’t much of a pull off for parking, so you can have your camera ready and snap a photo as you pass, or try to park on the dirt shoulder.


Fishers Peak State Park | ~ 9.5 hours from Dallas / 3 from Denver


About 30 minutes past the Colorado sign in Trinidad, CO is Fishers Peak State Park. This is another great place to stretch your legs and admire the views. If you feel up to it, add a short hike to your road trip stop.


Enjoy 13 miles of open trails at Fishers Peak, take some photos of the peak itself, and maybe stop for a picnic meal in the park. There are also electric vehicle charging stations in Trinidad, Colorado if you’re needing one.



Historic Arkansas Riverwalk in Pueblo | ~ 2 hours from Denver ⭐️


Before you hit Colorado Springs, you’ll pass through the charming town of Pueblo. This city offers restaurants, hotels, shopping, etc. but the most iconic thing to do in Pueblo is stroll down the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk.


The riverwalk is a 1.3-mile loop; you can learn about the history of the flood that changed the location of the river as well as enjoy shops and restaurants along the way.


Colorado Springs | ~ 1 hour from Denver


Another great place to visit in Colorado is just over an hour south of Denver. Colorado Springs is a fun addition to a Dallas to Denver road trip.


The city is quite large so you’ll find tons of dining options and other fun activities, but the most famous part of Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods. This huge park is free to visit and dog-friendly, and the nature views are some of the best in the country.


 Road Trip Planning: Dallas to Denver



Colorado is the perfect state to plan a road trip. If you’re eager to explore outside of Denver, plan to visit the iconic Estes Park with a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, the university city of Boulder with tons of activities and nature views, and smaller towns like Fraser and Winter Park. If you enjoy hiking, mountain views, good food, and scenic drives, Colorado is the place for you.



Mountain in Colorado - Dallas to Denver Road Trip Planner

Driving From Denver to Dallas


These road trip stops offer a nice break while you drive from Dallas to Denver and vice versa. Enjoy the views at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, stop for photos at the Colorado welcome sign, and explore a little of Colorado Springs. 


While West Texas and southern Colorado aren’t exactly known for their beauty, if you know where to look you can find incredible views and fun activities. Now you can plan an epic Dallas to Denver road trip!


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aboutME

Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 

 

I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.

 

I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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