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Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

New Haven...
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Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Hello all!

I just booked a flight to ABQ from 3/31 - 4/8.

Some of the things Im hoping to check out are -

Bandelier Monument

Kasha Ketuwe tent rocks

Carlsbad caverns

White sand desert

Petroglyph national monument

ABQ botanical garden

** Basic Itinerary:

- Arrive ABQ mid afternoon, perhaps check out Old Town? Find a place to stay for the night - OR check out Tent Rocks that day (3pm'ish) and head straight to Santa Fe (thoughts..??).

- If staying in ABQ first night, then drive to Santa Fe early am, check out the Kasha-Ketuwe Tent Rocks on the way. Spend two OR three nights in Santa Fe.

- Take the turquoise trail south from Santa Fe towards Carlsbad. Stay one night (in Roswell??) then check out the Caverns next day (based on time they are open and when we would arrive)

- After the caverns, same day (is that nuts??) drive rt82 to rt70, check out the white sand desert - what is this 'sledding' thing I hear about?? - afterward continue onward back to ABQ.

(Is it worthwhile to spend another night in the Carlsbad area, to allow for a full day at the caverns?, and go to the white sand desert the next morning, then drive back up to ABQ? If so, then I will have to take a night out of Santa Fe OR definitely get rid of the first night in ABQ after arrival…)

- Drive back up to ABQ area, spend two nights at Los Poblanos Inn - it looks wonderful.

Check out Petroglyph Natl Monument and the ABQ botanical garden, and more of ABQ, BUT also allowing time to enjoy the farm.

- Head to airport…morning and early afternoon will be free this day for a bit more ABQ (possibly for botanical garden?)

* As this is my first trip to NM I have some questions:

- Are my driving times and points of interests do-able?

- Any suggestions for things to see, places to eat/stay? In addition to or in place of anything mentioned above.

- Is there a reasonably priced place to stay in Santa Fe that may be similar to Los Poblanos feel?

I saw a place called Crystal Mesa Farm, but can not find any information, it seems it may be closed?? tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60958-d1165690…

** Thanks so much!! I really look forward to hearing back from everyone **

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Hi

It's 2 hours to drive from Roswell to the Caverns. You'll need at least 3-4 hours for the main cavern hike down through the main entrance and elevator up and after that it's a 4 hours drive from the Caverns to White sands so no, that won't be feasible imo. You also can drive directly from Santa fe to Carlbad with a stop at Roswell (won't take long..), see CC next morning and drive to White Sands in the afternoon but I would not drive to ABQ after that same day. White Sands easily ca take 2 hours.

Tet

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2. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

With 2 nights at Los Poblanos, I would probably head to Santa Fe the first night. We would love to stay at Los Poblanos (lucky you!) as my husband tells stories of playing there as a child when it was Simms farm.

As you are looking for something similar in the Santa Fe area, you might want to look at Bishop's Lodge about 3 miles out of town on Bishop's Lodge Rd. toward Tesuque:

http://www.bishopslodge.com

Haven't stayed there either, but have driven by a zillion times & it's a beautiful area.

Edited: 07 February 2014, 17:24
Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Good idea to just drive to Santa Fe date of your arrival. Tent Rocks could be a couple of hours for you one of the days you are in Santa Fe. Same with Bandelier.

I don't recommend NM 14 from Santa Fe going to Roswell, as this is two lanes and slow driving. US285 is much better, with 4 lane traffic all the way from I-40 to south of Roswell. I also agree that driving straight through to Carlsbad is better, and will give you more time in the Caverns. However, I don't consider a half day enough time. Get an early start from Carlsbad, do the main entrance and the Big Room, make reservations for the Kings Palace for the afternoon guided walk. Some of the most beautiful parts of the caverns are on this tour. You do need to make reservations for this ahead of your trip.

After your full day at the Caverns, return to Carlsbad for the night, then on to White Sands. You will need to check the weather, as the road between Artesia and Alamogordo could be snowy. The high mountains can still get snow into March. If so, then I would go south to El Paso, then back up to White Sands, A longer trip, but better weather-wise.

After White Sands, go on to Las Cruces for the night. Visit Old Mesilla, very interesting community, with several very good restaurants. Next morning, head for Albuquerque, stopping at the El Camino Real Museum just north of T or C.

This might mean cutting a day or two in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but making it easier to cover the areas you want to visit.

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Sorry, I did mean to say April for snow, but usually there won't be any much after March.

West Chicago...
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5. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Absolutely agree with Sandiaman re: Carlsbad. Do the Natural Entrance, Big Room, and King's Palace Tour (best in that order). If you're going to drive all that distance, don't shortchange your cavern experience!

However, you could head to Alamogordo immediately following your King's Palace tour. This is what I did in the fall of 2012. It was too late to go to White Sands that evening, but set me up great for photography. Generally the best light for photography at White Sands is during the 'golden hours' right around sunrise and sunset. My friend and I arrived before sunrise and got some amazing pics that way.

Keith

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6. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Also I'd recommend, like the others, to head towards Santa Fe immediately. But I would do as you suggest, do Kasha-Katuwe on the way. That will help you maximize your time in NM!

Keith

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7. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

Tent Rocks could have snow and or mud at that time of year; so be prepared for that possibility.

The Botanical Gardens can be seen in a couple of hours; perhaps do a combo ticket and visit our wonderful zoo as well.

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

If you are in the White Sands area driving North on 54 there is a Petroglyphs place near Oscura that is better than the one in Abq. From there, you can go north to Valley of Fires, and then go west to the Buckhorn Tavern for the best green chili cheese burger in the world in San Antonio, New Mexico. From there you can get to Abq in 2 hours, Sfe in 3 hours or the Very Large Array in about one hour.

Charlotte, North...
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9. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

I really really enjoyed and appreciated the tour of Acoma Pueblo. I can also recommend the walking tour of Old Town offered by the history museum in ABQ.

I would chose those over the Botanical Garden as lovely as they were. I think they are more a relief from the aridness of the area and I definitely can see h

Edited: 16 February 2014, 02:35
Charlotte, North...
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10. Re: Early April trip to NM - thoughts and ideas!?

I really really enjoyed and appreciated the tour of Acoma Pueblo. I can also recommend the walking tour of Old Town offered by the history museum in ABQ.

I would chose those over the Botanical Garden as lovely as they were. I think they are more a relief from the aridness of the area and I think if you are from someplace where lush gardens are more common place you might enjoy the uniqueness of some other activities.

Sorry for the double post!

Edited: 16 February 2014, 02:38