Los Angeles to Dallas road trip, looking for recommendations

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Lacajun25

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I flew out to LA to visit family and to pick up my Christmas present, a 2013 Raptor with 40k miles.

I’m heading home to Dallas with my 8yo daughter and was hoping for some recommendations for any scenic side trips that I should make. I’ve done the trip from LA to New Orleans a few times but that was always a straight drive without any side excursions and none in an off road vehicle. I’ve usually taken I-20 and I-10 for those trips.

I’m hoping to do the trip over 3-4 days to make it enjoyable for my daughter instead of a boring nonstop highway drive with stops for gas and food.

What route would you take?
Are there trails or side trips you liked and would do again?
Any gear that you recommend I get for this trip?

I don’t have any experience with off roading and am flying by the seat of my pants with the the truck. Any and all tips, opinions are appreciated.

Thanks,
Joe


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zombiekiller

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I guess you could go from LA and hit Johnson Valley before heading east, but unless you have a pal to go with you, I don't know that I'd go out there alone, let alone with an 8-year-old in tow. ( and probably with minimal equipment). This is where the king of the hammers takes place and there is PLENTY out there that will jump up and bite you ( and will break your truck).



It is a pretty drive if you swing down towards San Diego and take 8 west. you'll roll through the imperial sand dunes and also cruise through the Dateland area ( which has some neat little oasis type places).

Imperial Sand Dunes
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Also, while not offroad, taking the old west highway instead of 10 heading east from phoenix is a really beautiful drive. It actually doesn't take that much longer either. I'm always glad that I have something on my trailer because there are TONS of classic cars and trucks all over the place sitting in yards. You weave through some canyons going towards globe and then cross a res, where I usually see ponies trotting along the side of the road.


In the general Globe, AZ vicinity on the old west highway.

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Not sure which Res it is that you pass through, but PONIES! ( These 3 tried to punk me by standing in the road. Thankfully my switchpros in the raptor is Bluetooth accessible and I was able to scare them to the side with the siren.)

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Just after you jump back on 10 from the Old West highway.
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I don't know that I'd send you to any of the offroad spots that I'd stop and rip around at since you'll be a solo truck with an 8-year-old, but things like the Geiser loop (AZ) are really easy to get to and are along the way.

I'm always tempted to pull off and get my truck off the trailer in west texas, but then I usually decide that I'd prefer to stay out of jail. That and aluminum ain't so bulletproof if I mistakenly wander onto a ranch.

I usually do San Diego to Tucson, Tuscon to Las Cruces, and then Las Cruces to Dallas. My drive also includes dropping my truck in Dallas at TMX ( usually) before I head home to New Orleans.

This is the wagon train that I'm usually piloting.

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(random gas station pic at sunrise in New Mexico, not too far from El Paso.)

There are some really cool museums in and around Las cruces that mostly have to do with dinosaurs, but I'm sure your kid would love them.

I do this drive 6-12 times per year, depending on how many runs I do to Baja in combination with U.S. based adventures. make sure that you don't let your DTE get below about 80 miles. There are a few stretches where the next fuel is 100ish miles.

I would also skip staying in El Paso. Raptors tend to disappear for good there. ( they end up in mexico with new owners).
 

GCATX

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Border Patrol museum in El Paso is pretty cool. Maybe not for an 8 year old, but she will probably be ready to stretch her legs.
 
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Lacajun25

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Thanks guys, much appreciated. I’ve done the drive on the 8 a few times but never really took my time to appreciate the drive.

Will definitely try to hit up some of these places along the drive.

I didn’t know about the old west highway and will definitely look into taking that route.




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MH23

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If you take the northern route I'd highly recommend Amarillo & the Palo Duro Canyon. Wife and I live in Dallas/McKinney and did it years ago and are planning to take the kids in a year or so. Big Texan steak restaurant, Palo Duro Canyon, Buffalo, Jeep Wagoneer tour rides in the canyon, Cowboy breakfast.
 

metalwhiz

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Not exactly off-roading, but this place is pretty cool and just off the I-10 close to Benson, AZ. Either tour is great but looks like they're kinda booked up the next couple days. Several motels/restaurants around Benson.
Enjoy you're trip!

https://azstateparks.com/kartchner/
 
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Pegmikeski

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If you take Rt 10, approx 30 mi W of Phoenix in town of William's right off hwy is Bearizona. Drive thru bears, wolves, mnt goats, bison, ect. Your daughter will love it (& you too probably)
 

metalwhiz

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If you take Rt 10, approx 30 mi W of Phoenix in town of William's right off hwy is Bearizona. Drive thru bears, wolves, mnt goats, bison, ect. Your daughter will love it (& you too probably)

That's off the I-40, no where near Phoenix or I-10. Cold as hell right now too.
 

mp_tx

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First, stop by all the race shops in Cali and Arizona and pick up a bed load of fiberglass panels and pre-runner parts for my Bronco. Then, proceed back to Texas, at your leisure. Then call me, and I will take it all off your hands.

I don’t have any recommendations, other than avoid the interstate since you have the time. Hit the old Route 66—I am sure the off the beaten path routes would keep an 8 year old interested. Enjoy the trip!


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