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Early planning stage-NM trip

Sacramento...
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Early planning stage-NM trip

Thinking of visiting NM sometime in the next year or two. Probably fly in and out of ABQ or El Paso if we're only doing southern NM. Right now the main thing i want to see are the Calsbad Caverns and White Sands NP. Hubby and i are more interested in unusual or unique natural sights as opposed to man-made things such native american ruins or cities. I mainly like to photograph these areas and physically can't hike far. We recently visited AZ including GCNP, Sedona, Monument Valley, and Antelope Canyon (Page) and really enjoyed it. What would you recommend in NM that is similar to these AZ sights? Where should i start my online research?

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White Sands
White Sands
New Mexico
Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Coronado Historic Site
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Monuments & Statues
Santa Fe Cathedral Park and Monument
Sacred & Religious Sites, Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
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1. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

I should also point out that my husband loves Westerns and all things cowboy. So any sights or towns that have a historical leaning that way would be welcome.

Silver City, New...
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2. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

My town, Silver City, might be some of what you're looking for. We're three hours from El Paso, three hours from Tucson, and four hours from Albuquerque, so any of these airports will get you relatively close by. We've got some nice old buildings, a museum with the world's largest collection of Mimbres-era pottery, and we're the town where Billy the Kid pulled his first robbery (a Chinese laundry). Nearby is City of Rocks State Park, which features big stone blocks standing in a flat plain-- sort of a natural Stonehenge. As for creature comforts, we've got 30+ art galleries, some of the best restaurants anywhere, all kinds of accommodations to choose from-- and excellent weather. You can read more at http://www.silvercityacd.org.

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Silver City
Silver City
New Mexico
Tucson
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Albuquerque
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City of Rocks State Park
City of Rocks State Park
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WestSlope,CO
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3. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

Not too far from White Sands, you'll find Lincoln, the old-west town not changed much since the days of Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett & the Lincoln County War. This is now a state monument, including 17 historical buildings with several open as museums. The Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso might also be of interest. These are just two of the stops along the Billy the Kid National Scenic and Historic Byway. http://www.nmmonuments.org/lincoln

http://www.newmexico.org/scenicbyways/btk.php

http://www.hubbardmuseum.org/

http://www.billybyway.com/introduction.html

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The Historic Taos Inn
The Historic Taos Inn
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Taos, NM
Jenks, Oklahoma
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4. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

Tent Rock National Monument is a very unusual natural site!

blm.gov/nm/…kasha_katuwe_tent_rocks.html

WestSlope,CO
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5. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

Here are a couple of websites you could look at for ideas. Maybe Valley of Fires or El Malpais.

www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation.html

http://www.americansouthwest.net/new_mexico/

Taos, New Mexico
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6. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

Because of the vast distances to cover, unless you want to be driving, driving, driving, it's best to think of New Mexico as "2 trips" with the southern part of the state containing some of the most famous natural landmarks in the U.S. White Sands stands out as does Carlsbad Caverns. A trip over to Silver City and a jaunt up from there into the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Incredible trips within a trip.

In the Northern part of the State are the Southern Rocky Mountains, the Rio Grande Gorge, the Four Corners region and many other natural formations to keep anyone busy for days and days. Being from that part of the state, we also focus on the incredibly rich history of the region dating back to the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the U.S. at the Taos Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo. Taos Pueblo is the only inhabited World Heritage Site in our nation and it serves as a central attraction to the community that is also known for its artists and eco-tourism (white water rafting, skiing, hiking, backbacking, hot air ballooning, etc.). Most people use Santa Fe or Taos as their base or starting point and then traverse around to different destinations on day trips or overnighters to the other nearby communities.

Finally, it's never mentioned enough -- especially by me -- but Ghost Ranch and the Abiquiu area are amazing places in the northwest-central part of the state. It's our favorite spot in the entire state for its incredible beauty and overwhelming spirituality of the landscape itself. Georgia O'Keefe called it home for good reasons. They have all kinds of activities there especially in the summer months at Ghost Ranch itself. Lots of the scenery has been included in many huge hit movies, but you literally have to see it to believe it.

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Sacramento...
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7. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

Thanks so much for all the tips so far. I have more questions:

'm leaning towards a southern NM trip this time around due to all the driving and most likely we'll need to keep it to just a week. If so, should we fly in/out of El Paso or is ABQ ok?

Is the south better in Spring or Fall rather than hot summer?

I know Chaco has probably the best native ruins in the north, what would be the "best" in the south? Gila Cliff dwellings or something else?

Also, my hubby liked the idea of seeing Billy the Kid sights which aren't far from White Sands and in Silver City. Any other "western" or old west iconic sights in southern NM? Is it too far to drive over to Tombstone AZ as part of this trip?

Thanks in advance!

Susan

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8. Re: Early planning stage-NM trip

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