All The Wrong Reasons Lead RVers To Fort Stockton Texas

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All The Wrong Reasons Lead RVers To Fort Stockton Texas

Fort Stockton, Texas, is not high on anyone’s list of fabulous RV stops. Certainly, most RVers hit the road dreaming of stunning locations and picture-perfect campsites as they crisscross the nation.

However, on occasion, we experience a few destination “duds” that help us appreciate the more scenic and engaging places along the way. And let us be clear, Fort Stockton is probably the most popular dud among all RVers.

But the historic frontier town of Fort Stockton serves a purpose for drivers tired of the unending West Texas wind and dust. So we feel it deserves our thanks for opening its arms to welcome us.

Let’s dig into why you should stop in Fort Stockton!

Sierra Blanca and Davis Mountains visible from the I-10 highway headed into Fort Stockton, Texas.

Why Are RVers Headed To Fort Stockton?

It’s a long way from El Paso to San Antonio, two larger Texas cities that connect the Lone Star State’s Hill Country to the West Texas desert.

It’s a good nine-hour drive through arid topography and miles and miles, and miles, of empty terrain. There’s nothing on that section of asphalt that would grab a driver’s attention. Nothing that is, except Fort Stockton.

Pro Tip: Here’s how long it takes to drive through all of Texas.

The Benefits of Stopping in Fort Stockton

Fort Stockton is conveniently located about halfway between El Paso and San Antonio. It offers respite to tired RV drivers, truckers, and anyone needing relief from brutal sandstorms and desert heat. The town is really nothing more than a way station for travelers. When it comes into view, most cannot pass it by, needing a break from the monotony of the day’s journey.

Most RVers are familiar with the gas stations in this old army post, as they haven’t seen one since filling up at the New Mexico border. Stopping here is required to keep the coach fueled up for the trek toward The Alamo.

So campers collect in the one and only Walmart parking lot. They stock up on goods and groceries or grab a bite at one of the fast-food joints close by.

Travelers may even choose to park overnight here, waiting out a Texas dust storm. But wait for morning to breaks. Every trucker, tourist, and RVer hops back on the interstate in hopes of reaching old San Antone by mid-day.

Why Fort Stockton is Only Good For A Quick Stop

Because of its not-so-photogenic location, Fort Stockton is not a mecca for vacation lovers. The town grew around a fort built to protect travelers on the Great Comanche Trail to Chihuahua.

And much like today, the town provided shelter, water, and food to weary sojourners. Travelers now, as then, don’t find a lot to do or see here, except for the original fort and one of the world’s largest roadrunner statues, named Paisano Pete.

What Services Are Available?

Fort Stockton offers several services to the itinerant traveler, including fuel, food, and rest. Almost all their traffic is derived from people driving down Interstate 10, so businesses are thrilled when customers walk in. You’ll find many gas stations and a couple of truck stops close to the highway. In addition, half a dozen motels provide overnight accommodations to those traveling by car. 

You won’t have any problem locating sustenance, either. Many restaurant chains are well-represented in Fort Stockton. You’ll find most of these on the I-10 business loop through the center of town. Mechanics have shops scattered throughout the area. You’ll also find a few hardware stores and RV parks for those who need to stick around for repairs.

Is Stopping In Fort Stockton Worth It? 

It should be a prerequisite for all travelers in West Texas to stop in Fort Stockton. It’s definitely a necessary rest stop strategically placed to give tired drivers some time off and rigs a well-deserved break.

The Walmart is very welcoming to RVers, allowing overnight parking. Most of the fuel stations are easy in and easy out. In addition, it’s gratifying to spend some cash on services in a town that seems to exist purely to cater to travelers’ needs.

There Are Good Reasons to Stop in Fort Stockton

Although it’s not on a scenic byway or overlooking an idyllic backdrop, Fort Stockton serves an important purpose for those of us who travel. Like many towns along our way, it provides support for rest, relaxation, and fuel for our rigs and bodies. And if those aren’t good enough reasons to pause in this old western town, there’s always the hallowed roadrunner to visit!

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5 comments

  1. We overnighted at the I-10 RV Park at the N Front St / 18 off ramp last fall. A young enterprising east Indian couple had just bought it and were scrambling to perform the deferred maintenance and upgrades it so desperately needed from the neglect of the previous owners.
    He was working an 8 to 5 job to get funds to support his family and fix things up while she and their young daughter kept watch over the park.
    It appears from Google Maps photos the electrical pedistals have been upgraded which they sorely needed. I applaud this couple and wish them well.
    The park is quite noisey from the interstate vehicles passing by. But for an overnight stay it was well worth the $20.

  2. Nothing special in that town more like little Mexico. Also after a good rain stay away from there! The roads flood they have no irrigation systems so if you enjoy driving in a few feet of water to make it across town have people who lived in town their whole life and act like this is the first rain they have ever seen then enjoy

    I lived 70 miles south of this town in Alpine only reason we went up there was for the Walmart! Want beautiful drive towns that are charming go I-90 instead! Alpine is just breathtaking, Fort Davis has an awesome park high up in the mountains. Marfa is Okay been overrun by outsiders and it has made it very hard for families that have been living there for 3 or 4 generations to live sad really.

  3. Didnt mention the I Hop I love those steak and egg omelets and harvest grain pancakes with honey. Also love that little town because my beautiful, lovely wife was born there and I have many wonderful briothers and sisters I Christ I know there.

  4. I have visited Fort Stockton one week a year for the past 15 years, and always said I would never move here, but 3 years ago my husband and I moved to Fort Stockton, and today there is no other place I would rather live.
    The people here have accepted us, as a gay married couple, feel, not only welcome, but as a part of their family. I have never felt so welcomed. It’s a hidden gem cloked in an old store of it merely be the last stop for gas a a quick bite before heading down the road, which is completely misrepresented this jewel of a town.

    The opportunities here are abundant, and people are starting to take advantage of them. Over the past 2 years, the Historic Downtown area has started to blossom. The Spring Hurst hotel, a mid 19th century structure is heading for a 6 million dollar renovation that will begin within a year. The hotel will treat its guests with a boutique experience while providing a rooftop terrace and a high-end restaurant.

    There is a piano/Jazz club about to open, the Old 76, a beer garden has opened this year, along with the Clasic Man, a cigar bar, and the Grey Mule, a wine bar, serving wine from a local Vinyard has been a favorite spot for locals for sometime now. The Community Theater underwent a 2.2 million dollars renovation, and has an active play schedule, chunkArts studio and gallery opened two years ago, and is open by request due to covid, which showcases regional artists as well as local artist, and owner Steven M Walker’s works. (828) 301-9655.

    If you love tamales, you have to stop by Comanche Tortilla and Tamale factory, which is celebrating 75 years being in business. Oh, tamales are fresh and hot on Thursdays and if you want to some, you better call in your order early for pick up. Also, Comanche will be featured on Texas County Report in early November 2021. (432) 336-3245.

    For many, FS is their destination, making day trips to places like Marfa, Alpine, Fort Davis, Marathon, and Sanderson easy, fun and worth the one hour trip that leaves plenty of time to enjoy those outlying towns before heading back to Fort Stockton for the nightlife and a great meal.

    What more could you ask for?

    So next time you head through this part of the country, plan on staying for a few days, you won’t be disappointed, I promise.

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