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Best route from Dallas to northern Utah

John and Cathy

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Hey folks,


New full time Escapee here. Taking first trip from Dallas to Ogen Utah in early September. Will be hauling 39 ft 5ver with Ford F350 DRW Diesel.

Any advice on best route to take. Plan on travelling 300-400 miles a day.

Also need advise on good places to stay (do not have generator) and places to refuel. I have aux fuel tank so may only need to refuel once.

Look forward to hearing from you good folks.


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Best route, as in most beautiful scenery? Less challenging mountains? Fastest travel? Do you want to enjoy the trip or just get there in the most timely manner?


For fastest, least challenging route I would take US287 to Amarillo, IH40 to Albuquerque, IH25 north to US550 to Durango, US160 over to Cortez, US491 to Monticello, US191 north to US6 in Northern Utah.

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Fuel is available in Moriarty on the east side of Albuquerque and in Bernalillo on the west side just after getting on US550. Bloomfield and Aztec both have plentiful fueling spots. Colorado fuel will be a little higher priced.


Amarillo has numerous campgrounds/RV parks. My only suggestion is to stay on the west side so that you don't have to deal with the next morning rush hour. There are at least two large RV parks on IH40 just west of Amarillo city limits.


Tucumcari, NM has about four RV parks very accessible to IH40. Santa Rosa has the Santa Rosa RV park, which I have stayed in several times and is easy to find in downtown and very acceptable.


There are three or four RV parks just east of Albuquerque on IH40, but if you stop there for the night you will have to wait for Albuquerque traffic to clear the next morning. Upon entering Albuquerque from the east, be prepared for a steady 20 mile downgrade into the city. It's very doable, just use your gears and exhaust brake and keep your speed down.


Campgrounds and RV parks west of Albuquerque on US550 are limited. However, if you stay in Santa Rosa overnight, you will have no problem making Durango or even Cortez for the next stop. I prefer Cortez, not so congested and better rates. Just make a reservation in one of the three Cortez RV parks. I am not a fan of KOA's, so I would stay at La Mesa or Sundance. I think La Mesa may be a Passport park, if you have that membership. There are also a couple of RV parks across the highway from Mesa Verde, which is 10 miles before you get to Cortez.


Monticello has one RV park, nothing special but does have hookups. Moab has numerous and is a nice area. North of Moab, I don't have much experience, perhaps someone else will chime in on that.

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Amarillo has multiple places to camp and fuel up and is around 350 miles for a first day. Tucumcari is too far. At Amarillo you can decide to take I-40 west and follow the route chirakawa gave or continue on US287 to I-70 to Denver. If you go to Denver, take I-25 north to I-80 west and then take I-84 to Ogden. You should have little trouble with fuel stops either way.

On the I-40 Albuquerque or Bernalillo (north of Albuquerque) would be 300+ miles from Amarillo and both have campgrounds. Cortez CO, Monticello UT, Moab UT and Green River UT all have campgrounds, but Moab is a tourist town and the prices are higher. All of them would put you a day's drive from Ogden.

Going north on US287 I am not familiar with the route, but there is a KOA in Limon at about the right distance. Then a good day's trip will put you in Rawlins WY, where there are multiple campgrounds and you will be able to travel to Ogden the next day.

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September will be a perfect time for your voyage. This is the route I'd recommend and we've done it with a 40' motorhome. There are no issues and it's RV-friendly.


It's 1300 miles - approx. 4 days according to the miles you want to drive daily.


Out of Dallas, get on 287 and take it to Amarillo, TX. Pick up I-40 west to Albuquerque.


Take I-25 north a short distance to Bernalillo, NM and pick up 550.


Take 550 north to Farmington, NM, then 64 west to Shiprock, NM to 491 north to Monticello, Utah


Take 191 north to I-70 west at Green River, Utah then pick up 191 north again and take it to UT6 and over to I-15 at Spanish Fork, UT


Take I-15 north to Ogden.


You won't have problems finding RV parks along this route. When you're about 100 miles from your stopping point, start checking ahead for RV parks. Use your Good Sam directory (available at Camping World) or online at RVParkReviews.com You don't have to look for a 'resort-type' park if just for overnight.


If you want to make some 'quality' stops, you might consider Mesa Verde National Park at Cortez, NM or Arches National Park at Moab, Utah. September would be perfect weather for visiting these parks. I'd allow an extra two days minimum for each.


You're full-timers now so no need to rush. :) Take your time and explore areas along the way.

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Slow down and stop and smell the roses. 400 miles in a day is a lot especially 3 days in a row.


Pick something you would like to see en route and stop there for a day or so. EG If you have not visited Mesa Verde then that would be my recommendation.


You can stay in the park itself at the Morefield Campground with full hook ups [ Booking essential as there are only a few sites with h/u ] Take one or more of the ranger lead tours.

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I would not take US-550 from Abq to the Farmington, unless you just want a scenic route. It is hilly and quite a few curves. Nothing bad, the road is a good road, it is just a bit of a slow drive. We did drive the US-550 route in June. We boondocked at Angel Peak scenic area (BLM). http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/farmington/Angel_Peak.html


A faster & easier drive is to take I-40 to Gallup and then N on US-491 to Shiprock, NM & Cortez, CO. US-481 is almost level and almost no curves.


There is less than 20 miles farther to go through Gallup than to take US-550.


We have taken the Texas-Gallup-Cortez-Moab-SLC route about 12 times (6 in each direction) in the last 5 years.


I also recommend the US-287 from Dallas to Amarillo route.


By the way, we have always gone through Abq from about 9:30am to 3pm and were alway running about the speed limit. Just don't go through during rush hour.

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In 2011 and 2012 they did a lot of improvements on the highway, some 4 lanes, wide shoulders. This was mostly in the 30-40 miles going south from Shiprock. I don't remember any bumps of any importance from Gallup to Shiprock. There was some bumps from Shiprock to Cortez but nothing that really concerned me or would cause me to take another route.

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As new Full timers - join the 2 2 2 club


drive 200 miles a day

stay 2 days

off the road by 2 PM


Then you get to watch the 5 o'clock follies, without becoming part of them. (Watching people park after work on Friday is especially good). In the mean time, you got there before them, got a better choice of campsites, and any ehm... challenges that you had parking go unnoticed (they weren't there to see them).


Unless of course, you REALLY need to make some time. when pushed hard, we CAN do 500 or so miles and have 2000 miles between truck fill-ups. You arrived worn out, beat up, and take several days to rejuvenate to 100%, so it has to be a good reason.


As full timers we try to never go more than 350 miles in a day without good reason, it's a lifestyle not a vacation JMO

Greg knows - LOL - we have traveled together more than once.

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