I am traveling this November. I have 4 full days. I land/ depart Phoenix. I was hoping to see saguaro NP and white sands. What else you’ll you suggest?
Old Mesilla (Las Cruces area) is a pleasant place to check out.
If you are interested in caves, Carlsbad Caverns are the best in the US IMO. It is about 3.5 hours southeast of White Sands.
White sands is too far. Instead do something like this
Day 1 saguraro to Wilcox
Day 2 chicahua NM then to Tucson
Day 3 am saguaro, pm to organ pipe, night ajo
Day 4 am organ pipe, pm Sonoran desert no, to phx
So nothing really in Phoenix?
With your planned amount of time ( 4 full days ) it will be tight to see any more than Tuicson, Saguaro N.P. and White Sands. The drive from Phoenix to White Sands will require almost a full day without planning any major stops along the way. All your listed stops are along or just off I-10 so you could do them all with some overnights along the way. It all comes down to how much time you want to spend in each location. Perhaps, take a day to spend in Tucson and then on the second day, do Saguaro for a few hours and then drive to White Sands for a few hours before spending the night in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Make a stop at Texas Canyon Rest Stop along I-10 between Benson and Willcox, Az. Other stops could be Casa Grande Ruins Nat'l Mon. outside of Casa Grande, Az. and Mesilla, New Mexico next to Las Cruces, New Mexico for some great Mexican food and culture, the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Nat'l Mon. outside of Las Cruces, or some of the pistachio stands in Alamagordo. Another hour north of Alamagordo is Ruidoso in the rolling hills. There is little to see or stop for between the Texas Canyon Rest Stop and Las Cruces.
Scenic Overlook Rest Area (74JM+G8 Las Cruces, New Mexico) has good views. Saguaro NP West is beautiful. We didn't have time to visit Saguaro East last summer.
Probably too late to change flights ...Into El Paso, makes more sense ... Happy trails ... carracar
Ugh, I never thought of that. I does make more sense!
So, what are you going to do? The long drives to fit is lots of miles and see the scenery, or do you want a more curtailed road trip, but time to explore the sites - yes, there are some - much closer to Phoenix?
I can suggest some northern AZ options, and even urban sights in metro Phoenix/Valley of the Sun area, but no point if you are sticking with the high mileage trip.
Likewise, knowing some more info about what you’re looking for may be good to know - you’re going to an area that is a bit of a Mecca for hiking, and at a good time of year, but that may or may not be your thing. Really, you can have endless opportunities if you can part with White Sands, but if that’s nonnegotiable it’s good to know - you will be more limited but it’s crrtainly doable.
I am open to anything. Love national parks, hiking, scenery. Not so much a city person, but am open to it. Been to Sedona and Grand Canyon twice. Soooo looking for any options. Thank you all so far for your help:)