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Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

New Boston, New...
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Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

The Jemez Mountain Trail - I figure by the time we get our rental and head out it will be 2:30 ish it doesn't get dark till 7.

So should we take the long route to Santa Fe via this interesting sounding scenic byway? To us on a trip sometimes the journey to get to you destination is part of the trip.

Perhaps I will have my daughter pick up sandwiches in Chicago at the airport before she boards the plane and we can picnic up on the byway somewhere.

What do you all think?

Driving doesn't bother me, I just want to get there by dark for the first night any how.

Belmont...
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1. Re: Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

I'm not sure if you've mentioned already how long you are going to be here. If it's a while, I'ld skip the Jemez route, it's a long drive and not one I'd want to do after getting off a plane. Jemez/Jemez Springs, Bandalier, Los Alamos...pretty drive but what if one of your planes is delayed and you don't arrive at 1:30, you get in at 3? Then it's late to get the car, etc.

Here's what I'd do. Pick up the car and drive to Bernalillo. Have lunch at The Range or Flying Star. If you really want a taste of NM, stop at La Hacienda express for a burrito.

When you leave the restaurant go north to HWY 550 and take a left. See Coronado St Monument. Maybe stop at Jackalope and browse. Then get back on I-25 and make your way to SF. Check in to your hotel, spend some time walking around the plaza, have a relaxing dinner, adjust to the altitude and relax.

Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

I agree with Karmathecat. Bandelier and the Jemez mountains are worth the better part of a day. You aren't that far from Bandelier while you are in Santa Fe, so maybe give yourslf that day and go up the the Monument, then on to the Valles Caldera, and if you want to, on down into Jemez Canyon, and the little village of Jemez Springs where you can get a great burger at Los Ojos bar and restaurant. Then turn around and go back to Santa Fe, or if it is your last day in Santa Fe, do this trip only continue on Hwy 4 through Jemez Canyon through Jemez Pueblo. The scenery along the canyon is magnificent, and lots of places for pictures along the way.

Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

You definitely want to be in your hotel by dark. Santa Fe is not the easiest city to maneuver around, even during the day. I would strongly recommend you bring a good map with you. Or, once you are there, Walgreens and WalMarts have them for sale.

I would do one of two things after your arrival. Drive north to Bernalillo and eat at The Range...then on to your hotel in Santa Fe to make sure you are settled in for the night. If you have some time left before dark, take in the historic plaza as the lights come on. Our sunrises, and sunsets are about 20 minutes later than yours. Sunset tonight for Santa Fe is 6:01...so I think it will be dark before 7:00pm when you arrive.

Or, the second option, take the Turquoise Trail (NM-14) north from I-40 at Tijeras, NM to Santa Fe. In the first few miles, there are 4-5 burger places/restaurnants. Pick up something to go (Burger Boy has good hamburgers, sandwiches, etc.), continue north 4-5 miles, to the turnoff to the left onto the Sandia National Scenic Highway. Then drive 2-3 miles west from NM-14 to the forested picnic grounds (turn off at the Sandia Peak, Sandia Ski Area sign). This highway continues on up to the Sandia Ski Area (now closed), and eventually in about 14 miles...to Sandia Crest. (The highway is an optional way besides the tramway to get to the top of the Sandias for the great views, albeit a couple of miles farther north on the crest.) Return to NM-14 after your picnic, and continue north on to Madrid (Mad-rid), where there are many arts and crafts shops to easily kill another hour or so. Then, on to Santa Fe.

You'd need a full day for the Jemez Trail drive, especially if you stop for Bandelier National Monument, and/or Los Alamos. Because of the mountainous roads (nothing severe however), you'd be only averaging about 40-45mph, at best. Very scenic however. A good Day Trip out of Santa Fe.

New Boston, New...
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4. Re: Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

NM Photojounalist - I printed out the sunrise / sunsets for the week we will be there - and it says 7 - you all do change your clocks this weekend right? I know this is messing me up here as it seems so early for doing this.

I guess we will just head right up to Santa Fe stopping at the Range or Burger Boy once we decide which way to head up.

Perhaps on Sunday when we head back down to Albuquerque we will take the slow road down the Jemez Trail and take our time meandering back down with lots of stops along the way and lunch packed with us so we can just stop where we want to eat.

Thanks everyone for you suggestions.

5. Re: Enroute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe should we side tour to.

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