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South West road trip

New Plymouth, New...
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South West road trip

Starting to plan ahead for out next US road trip (2015, after 4 trips in last 4 years are now having one last one before retirement), this time we are looking at the South West, mostly New Mexico &Texas. Have listed our route which is not necessary a stop over but just our initial thoughts on the route to take. We have picked out some scenic, historic areas we want to see but would appreciate any advice on what should not be missed. This is not a hard and fast route and are prepared to detour to cover any areas of interest, also have not laid out any time frame as yet.

1. Fly into Las Vegas

2. Cameron

3. Mesa Verde

4. Albuqurque

5. Santa Fe

6. Amarillo

7. Witchita Falls

8. San Antonio

8. Carlsbad

9. Alamogordo

10. Las Cruces

11. Bisbee

12. Tombstone

13. Phoenix

14. Palm Springs

14. Rancho Cucamongo

Have already done, Grand Canyon, Cottonwood, Sedona, Tuscon, San Diego, LA. on one of our other trips.

Perth, WA
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1. Re: South West road trip

2015? whoa, your really making my planning for my upcoming trip seem very rushed.

We did a similiar journey that your planning last year, about 28 days on the road, 5000 miles, figure 8 route starting and ending in vegas, we added a bit through Utah as we found ourselves ahead of schedule

www.mapquest.com/?version=1.0&hk=8-Q0AE3AuL

Not sure what your interests are, but the white sands missile range museum near las cruces was pretty awesome (if your into that sort of thing)

BBQ trail in texas.

Old route 66 sections were spectacular, even the old run down derelict hotels/Gas stations

hmm I could go on, was such a brilliant trip.

One regret was that I didnt get to see Mesa Verde. will have to return for that one day. Cortez was a town I could have spent a couple more days in.

New Plymouth, New...
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2. Re: South West road trip

Thanks Sandman, we did Death Valley, utah, colorado last year on our way to Florida, National parks were awesome, which took in 47 days, so much to take in. Prior to that we did Yosemite, Grand Canyon then down thru Arizona , again awesome scenery.

New Plymouth, New...
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3. Re: South West road trip

That was my wifes reply above.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: South West road trip

Well, you've been around and I'll try to give you some places you have not been before (probably).

1. Las Vegas-Flagstaff-Winslow (Stay at La Posada, fantastic place)

2. Winslow-Petrified Forest NP-Chinle

3. Canyon de Chelly NM

4. CdC-Monument Valley. If you already have been to Monument Valley take Buffalo Pass to Shiprock and on to Mesa Verde.

5. Monument Valley via Moki Dugway to Mesa Verde NP (Stay Far View Lodge).

6. Mesa Verde to Durango

7. Durango-Silverton RR Back by bus

8. Million Dollar hw to Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.

9. BCotG (stay Montrose or Gunnsion-Great Sand Dunes NP.

10. Great Sanddunes-San Luis-Taos-Santa Fe.

Several days for Taos, Santa Fe, ABQ, Las Vegas NM

11. ABQ-Amarillo, Palo Duru Canyon SP

12. Canyon to Austin

13: Austin San Antonio. Gruene, Hill Country etc etc. You can spend many days for this.

14. San Antonio-Del Rio

15. Del Rio-Langtry-Marathon-Big Bend

Spend at least 2 nights at Chisos Mountains Lodge.

16. Via Presidio to Davis Mountains, Guadaloupe Mountains NP-Carlsbad.

Carlsbad Caverns are awesome. Don't miss the bats fly out at dusk (also bats fly out of Congress Bridge in Austin TX.

17. Carlsbad-White Sands NM

18. Alamogordo (museum)-La Cruces (La Mesilla) Silver City. Rockhound SP, City of Rocks, Gila Cliff Dwellings NM

19. Silver City-Bisbee-Tombstone (Mines in Bisbee, Boot Hill, Historic museum, Cage theater and OK Corral in Tombstone. SE Az also has wineries. Kartchner caverns on the way to Tucson. Saguaro NP east and west. Mission San Xavier del bac. Arizona Sonora desert museum etc. Chiricahua NM is great as well.

20: Via Kitt Peak to Organ Pipe Cactus NM. Ajo is closest for an overnight stay.

21. To Palm Springs via I8 and Salton see. (Niland, mud volcanos, ladder canyon)

Of course this is not a day by day trip. What time of year are you coming? We have done trips like this several times but we have a lot of time (retired!) We usually take 10 weeks for our trips. Often cross country.

Suggest to take 5-6 weeks for a trip like this.

Tet

New Plymouth, New...
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5. Re: South West road trip

Thanks Tet, great response. We try to do a lot of research prior but without local knowledge and advice from fellow travellers you still tend to miss a lot. At this stage we would probably be looking at going around March April and for about 5 weeks, nothing is set as it is still early days.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: South West road trip

5 weeks will be fine. Weather issues for San Juan Mountains in SW Colorado can occur that time of year. The drive on Million dollar goes over 11.000' You definitely need a reservation in Big Bend that time of year if you decide to go there. Hill Country is wonderful in april with the Bluebonnets and wildflowers.

Jerome, Arizona
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7. Re: South West road trip

I don't think anyone has mentioned the Very Large Array (VLA) in western NM. Radio telescope. Makes for interesting pictures. And, the Catwalk in Glenwood NM.

http://www.vla.nrao.edu/

www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gila/recarea/… closed right now from a fire nearby, spring of 2012. By the time you come in 2015, should be fine!

Uden, The...
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8. Re: South West road trip

Catwalk north of Silver City is a great addition. We once drove from Silver City to it and after that via 78 into Az and to Bisbee. Was a long drive but very scenic. Just north of the Catwalk is the very steep and narrow drive to the artist ghosttown of Mogollon. Not to drive with snow.

VLA is worth the visit indeed. Close to Pie City where you'll find....great pies!

New Plymouth, New...
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9. Re: South West road trip

Thanks for all your replys, certainly a lot to see and do that we hadn't found ourselves.

Houston, TX
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10. Re: South West road trip

I would also recommend Big Bend National Park in Texas. Absolutely beautiful and well worth the time. Unless you intend to camp, there is only one place to stay within the park--Chisos Mountain Lodge, as tet mentioned. March and April are prime visiting months in Big Bend, so if you intend to stay there you must book well in advance. March is especially busy as it is spring break time for most schools in Texas. The lodge books up about a year in advance for that time of year.

There is a small town near to each of the main entrances to big Bend with limited lodging, but the drive from each of these can be off-putting. For example, the drive from Marathon to just the park entrance is at least 45 minutes.