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San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Canberra, Australia
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San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

My partner and I are planning on driving from San Antonio to Las Vegas, CA, as part of our big trip to the US in October 2012. We would like to visit Roswell, NM, and the Four Corners Monument and then spend some time in Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon before ending up in Las Vegas. Because we are trying to fit in as much as we can in just 2 months, we've worked out we really only have about a week and a half to do this leg of the trip, including time to spend in San Antonio and Las Vegas. Does anyone have any advice on places to stay/do along the way and whether our proposed time frame is really going to work?

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Hi, Steph: Before I jump in here I want to see if I understand. You are on a 2 month car trip and for the San Antonio to Vegas leg you only have a week and a half? Have you ever been to San Antonio before and may I know your age perhaps that will help us guide you. Thanks much. Sounds like a great trip.

San Antonio, TX
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2. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

For the Texas leg - SA to El Paso is about 9 hours of driving.

In that area there is Big Bend - you could sort of get a drive through feel in one day.

McDonald Observatory is about half a day more if added to the Big Bend drive through.

Caves of the Sonora is about a two or three hour stop on I-10

Balmorhea is also close to I-10 for a two or three hour stop to go swimming if weather permits (yesterday 85 degrees, last night 40 - you never know.)

I like Las Cruces for shopping, art, antiques - easily half a day.

Roswell - For me the big attraction near Roswell is Carlsbad Caverns three hours to half a day. Roswell sights can be done in a day.

San Antonio - really depends - you can see the Alamo and hit the Riverwalk in one day. Again for me - Art and Antiques another day. Live music one or two evenings.

Aubrey, Texas
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3. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

I recommend two nights at Grand Canyon to give yourselves a full day to explore. If you're in moderately good physical shape, you should hike part way down Bright Angel Trail, the most popular and convenient trail from Grand Canyon Village, for a different perspective of the canyon. Stay in the park at the South Rim.

So two nights at GC, two in Las Vegas and two in San Antonio leaves three or four in between SA and GC. There is much to see in West Texas as Octoboy says, but I don't think you have time. From SA I would drive straight to Carlsbad which has a good selection of hotels and restaurants. If you have half a day to spare, visit Carlsbad Caverns. Make Roswell a stop on your way to Santa Fe which in my mind is America's most unique city, very attractive and historic, with good hotels and restaurants. From Santa Fe, drive to Monument Valley and stay at The View hotel. Four Corners to me is not very interesting, but I understand the novelty and it is only a short detour from your route. Then on to GC entering the East entrance. Desert View will be your first look at the canyon which is spectacular.

knr
Houston, Texas
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4. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Early October in Albuquerque, New Mexico will have their annual Balloon Fiesta. This is a site to see and you only need a morning and night, on same day, to see the best. That would be the morning mass ascension and the evening balloon glow. http://balloonfiesta.com/

While in Vegas, be sure to splurge on the Cirque du Soleil "O" show. It is worth every penny and will be the most well spend money in Vegas!

Welcome to Texas!!

Uden, The...
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5. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

It would help if you tell us a bit more about your plans for a 2 month trip. You also can try the Road Trips forum for that.

We make 2-3 month long cross country trips on a regular base. Actually we are now in our week 8 of our cc trip startin New York and ending Phoenix. We mostly also travel september, october, november.

We have crossed Tx all different ways, this year from NE Tx to Galveston and Corpus Christi and via San Antonio to Carlsbad Caverns. Never miss the caverns and the bats fly out at dusk. They still were mid october. It already took 4 days just for the driving through Tx not to mention the time for the visits but, of course, you can do faster than that but ith a 2 month visit please take your time.

Last year we started in Florida, went up yo Philadelphia and crossed the country to San Diego. At this moment we are relaxing at the pool in Coachella Valley (85F right now). I must say, we have been to all NP's before so we didnot spent much time this year for them but f you have never been before the NP's are the highlights of your trip. Big Bend is just awesome in october and one of the least visitede NP's in the USA. Strongly recommend to add it to your trip.

Tet

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Four Corners is a complete waste of time and totally not worth visiting. However, Cortez, CO is less than 50 miles away, and houses Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde is unreal; you can tour through some amazing stone-age ruins built into the side of mountains about 1300 AD. Walking along through the ruins at Balcony House with the big kivas is pretty awesome; there is also a nice view into the valley 500 feet below the balcony. Here's a shot of Balcony House (that ladder you have to climb is about 30 feet, but isn't too bad if you don't look down).

…winona.edu/tgrier/…20100-6231.jpg

Check this shot of Cliff Palace too:

citypictures.org/data/media/124/Cliff_Palace…

The main road through the park has some really nice views down into the valley below too. It's an amazing place to spend a day in if you have any interest whatsoever in Native American history or natural beauty. To me it's a no-brainer to pick seeing the amazing stone-age Native American engineering and great natural views at Mesa Verde over buying a couple of Native American trinkets at Four Corners.

Edited: 29 October 2011, 02:42
San Antonio, Texas
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7. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

It just blows me away seeing people build 4 story structures on the sides of mountains with only stone-age tools.

San Antonio, Texas
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8. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Penn & Teller is a great show in Vegas too. The shows by itself is awesome; they show you how they do a couple of the tricks and then have others that look like they're impossible (I don't want to give them away). On top of that, once the show is over Penn, Teller, and Mike Jones (their piano guy and a great musician in his own right) run out to the exits to visit with every single person who came to the show. They'll take pics, sign autographs, shoot the breeze, etc.

Canberra, Australia
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9. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Thanks for all the suggestions! It's our first trip to the US and we really want to fit in as much as possible. We're both in our mid 20s and fairly active so we mainly want to get outdoors and do some hiking and seeing the land but at the same time we would like to spend time in some of the cities. The plan so far is to visit Alaska and then head down to Canada and spend time in Vancouver, Lake Louise, Quebec, Montreal and Niagara Falls. Then we will head down to New York then onto Philadelphia where we will pick up the car and drive to Miami. Still not too sure where we will be stopping along the way but we know that we want to spend time in Savannah, Charleston and Orlando to visit the theme parks. From Miami we will drive to New Orleans then on to San Antonio and Las Vegas. We will eventually end up in Los Angeles and fly home from there stopping in Hawaii for a week on the way.

I had originally planned to do the entire trip in 3 months but we will most likely have to cut it down to 2 months which means we are probably going to have to cut a lot from the trip unless I can figure out a way to fit everything in!!

San Antonio, Texas
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10. Re: San Antonio to Las Vegas road trip

Have you considered Grand Teton, Yosemite, or Yellowstone yet? As someone who really loves hiking, these are the biggest can't-misses in the lower 48 for me (though I haven't yet done Glacier, which a lot of hikers consider the best in the country). I'd definitely want to go do any of those parks earlier than later in that 2 month trip though to keep from dealing with snow. Big Bend in West Texas has some great hiking too if you're interested in seeing it along the way.