There’s always those stretches than can become mind numbing yet strenuous as you battle both repetitive scenery and strong winds. Driving in west Texas is such a stretch. The I-10 stretch between El Paso and Texas Hill Country is just long and boring.
And then it’ll surprise you!
Fort Lancaster Scenic Overlook
Like most fun finds, you need to get off the interstate. After driving mostly flat stretches, 9.9 miles south of the I-10 opens up, exposing a large rocky valley view.
We pulled in early enough to enjoy a nice, sun warming view while dinner cooked.
- GPS: 30.678, -101.6727
- Easy to locate: Yes.
- Public Land: Yes and free.
- Cell: Verizon = 3 bars, T-Mobile = 1-2 bars, Google fi = 2 bars
- Crowded: not at all. We ran into another Lance truck camper couple on their way to Big Bend National Park. And before dark another overnighter rig showed up.
- Clean: very clean. There were trash cans at each shaded picnic table.
- Would we stay here again: Yes. It made for a quiet, dark restful overnight spot. Easy to level out without unhitching the Jeep. And we had no trouble turning around and positioning with the Jeep connected.
As twilight descended so did large dark looming clouds.
We took a short walk along the bluff after dinner and got caught in the initial downpour. The shot below was just before we hustled back to the rig.
Driving and rest areas
Texas has rest areas (with restrooms, vending, sometimes wifi) that you can locate using mobile apps or visiting their DOT website. There are also picnic areas (no restroom facilities) and also some parking areas that you can just pull off and park for a bit. In most, but not necessarily all, Texas does allow for an up to 24 hours stay at their rest areas. And unless posted as no overnight stays, you can certainly plan one of these into your long haul across the state til you get to your end destination.
This overlook was a perfect roadside pull off.
And, don’t forget the Walmart option
Unless you’re in a big city area, these do come in handy. They can help keep your road fatigue down and it’s a good excuse to cook a pizza!
Not all are great but we’ve found many to have a side of the lot they permit folks to stay overnight, they’re safe, they have staff cleaning up and emptying trash, etc. If I don’t find it called out on one of my main camping databases, I pull up AllStays app and refer to recent posted feedback.
Where to Next?
We’ll continue westward toward Gila National Forest. We’ve never driven through that area and are looking forward to spending an afternoon at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
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