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Need Road trip help from an expert!

Sydney, Australia
5 posts
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Need Road trip help from an expert!

Hi all,

Would love your thoughts on a road trip I have planned for late October (I am not a local so any tips would be greatly appreciated!). Starting LA - Gil bend (1 night); Tucson (1 night); El Paso (1 night); Marfa (2 nights); Carlsbad caverns (1 night); Santa Fe (2 nights); stop over suggestion (1 night); lake Powell (2 nights); Sedona (1 night); stop over suggestion (1 night); Palm Springs (1 night); back to LA.

A few other questions... Is the road from Santa Fe to Lake Powell okay this time of year not too steep/lonely/dangerous?)? Are there any better routes for the trip and other roads i should avoid/include. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

By the way I will take a trip to grand canyon on route to Sedona and include Oak Creek Canyon on route to next stopover.

Thanks in advance!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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20,848 posts
52 reviews
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1. Re: Need Road trip help from an expert!

I think it is a bit much. I would consider taking out Marfa TX and adding a few more days at Tucson, Grand Canyon or Sedona. There are a couple of routes from Santa Fe to Page AZ, That part of the country is mostly Navajo Reservation which is isolated, but not steep or dangerous. I would try to drive before dark.

Here's a plan that could work.

Day 1 LA to Gila Bend. Just curious, why Gila Bend? I'd head all the way to Tucson.

Day 2 Tucson.

Day 3 - Tucson

Day 4 - Tucson to Alamogordo. See White Sands Nat Mon.

Day 5- To Carlsbad Caverns.

Day 6 - Carlsbad to Santa Fe.

Day 7 - Santa Fe

Day 8 - Santa Fe to Cortez CO - 5 hour drive or so and then visit Mesa Verde National Park

Day 9 - Cortez to Page AZ

Day 10 - Page AZ (Lake Powell)

Day 11 -To Grand Canyon (try to get lodging inside the park or in Tusayan)

Day 12- GC to Sedona

Day 13- To Palm Springs

Day 14 -To LA

Taos, New Mexico
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644 posts
38 reviews
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2. Re: Need Road trip help from an expert!

The previous suggestions from CasaAzul are good ones. There really isn't a "road from Santa Fe to Lake Powell." It's hundreds of miles of various roads, none of which can easily be described unless you've got a specific location on the Lake you're shooting for. We recommend that you use the well-marked US Highways and don't automatically try any of the "shortest route" recommendations of any software. Research them. Watch the weather and if any of your road choices are unpaved, then consider alternative routes should any wet weather be predicted.

Edited: 07 October 2011, 03:22
Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for New Mexico
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1,971 posts
127 reviews
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3. Re: Need Road trip help from an expert!

CasaAzul has a good itinerary. I also wonder why Gila Bend. It isn't that much further to Tucson with many more hotel and restaurant choices. This would pick up a day for you. I would go from White Sands to Carlsbad through Cloudcroft; a beautiful drive. Stay overnight in Carlsbad, then give yourself most of a day at the Caverns. Overnight again, then to Santa Fe.

I also think you should try for at leas half a day in Grand Canyon. A lot of folks drive in, look over the edge and drive out. It is worth the extra time. Then down to Sedona.

I think you are doing a lot of driving, so maybe CasaAzul and I can cut that down a little.

Have a good trip!!!

4. Re: Need Road trip help from an expert!

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