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One Week to Wander NM/CO/UT

Oklahoma City...
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One Week to Wander NM/CO/UT

Hi, everyone! I've been perusing the boards for a while and just signed up. I'm going on a solo road trip starting in Oklahoma City this coming Wednesday and ending up in Canyonlands National Park by Tuesday evening, where I'll meet a few buddies on their own road trip. From there, we'll be hitting up Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon before parting ways again. I have 6 nights and 7 days to fill with exploration. I'm more or less free to do what I want, and I'm prepared to camp or find a cheapish hotel/motel. I'm a late 20s guy with not tons of camping experience, but I can make do.

Here's the deal. I'm planning on heading first to Carlsbad (day one) with a stop at Cadillac Ranch on the way. Roswell sounds pretty terrible to me, so I'm planning on skipping it. It's about 9-ish hours with a stop or two to get there. I'll camp or find a cheapo hotel and explore the cave on one of the morning tours (I need to call to reserve still) or in a self-guided tour, then I'll head to White Sands (~3.5 hours) to grab my backcountry permit and then I'll spend the rest of the day there before setting up camp and enjoying the newly waning moon. I've been told it shouldn't be a problem to grab a permit even later in the day.

The next morning (Friday), I think I'll explore El Paso and Anthony, where I have some family history. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do, but I'll make it work. I plan to head to Albuquerque (dinner in Hatch?), where I can stay with some relatives for a night.

Beyond that, I want to see the four corners briefly, camp at Monument Valley, and I'm guessing see Moab, Glen Canyon, and perhaps Capitol Reef? I haven't really done a lot of research on things to do in SW Colorado, but if anything comes to mind, I'm happy to hear it! I've been to Santa Fe as a kid, so I'm not dying to go back, but I might consider Taos as a stop on my way north. I'm worried about finding a camping spot at Monument Valley on a Saturday night, so I might consider going to a less popular place that night and then making my way to Monument Valley for Sunday night. Monday could be Glen Canyon, and Tuesday I'd swing through Moab before meeting the buddies at Canyonlands.

I know it gets vague after Friday night, but if you all have any thoughts, I'm definitely open to it. Any routes that are more scenic than others would also be helpful! I'll be flying elsewhere for a family thing the upcoming weekend, but I'll be back and road tripping for another 10 days thereafter... California coast, here I come (probably).

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: One Week to Wander NM/CO/UT

SW Colorado has a lot to offer, including:

Mesa Verde National Park (ancestral pueblo people/Anasazi cliff dwelling ruins, and great views)

The Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (old time western steam train through the mountains)

The Million Dollar Highway, which forms part of the San Juan Skyway, a loop of highly scenic roads (not for the nervous driver, especially in winter)

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (near Montrose, deep steep walled canyon, very impressive)

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: One Week to Wander NM/CO/UT

given what you want to do....

Wed drive

Thu Carlsbad, Guadalupe PM

Fri El Paso AM, White Sands PM

Sat White Sands--ABQ PM

Sun I-40 west to Canyon de Chelly

Mon Monument Valley

Tue Arches

the other option from ABQ:

Sun Chaco Canyon...night Coretz

Mon Mesa Verde

Tue Arches NP

My opinion...I would hold off El Paso area for sometime in March and do the places around El Paso and Big Band NP on a road trip.

Wed drive to Santa Fe

THu Bandaleir AM Taos PM

Fri Taos AM, PM Sand Dunes National Park and drive to Gunnison, CO for the night

Sat US 550 from Ouray-Silverton-Durango

Sun Mesa Verde.

Mon Monument Valley

Tue Arches

Uden, The...
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3. Re: One Week to Wander NM/CO/UT

Well, that's 9 hours via Amarillo not counting stops, roadworks or traffic and not counting the visit to Cadillac Ranch so you'll prob need longer.

Cheap lodging you'll find in Whites City just 7 miles from the CC visitor center. You'll need some 4 hours for the tour doing it yourself. Down via Natural Entrance and up by elevator. Then it's a 4 hours drive to White Sands via Artesia and Cloudcroft.more scenic than via El Paso. If you want to visit El Paso and Anthony I'd do that from CC first and not detour from White Sands.


4. Re: One Week to Wander NM/CO/UT

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