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Best way to get to Taos from Houston

S V
Houston, Texas
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Best way to get to Taos from Houston

Hi,

What is the best way to get to Taos from Houston? Is a nonstop drive recommended or do you recommend a stopover for a night somewhere - if yes, where might that be?

Thanks in advance :-)

S

Albuquerque, New...
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for New Mexico, Albuquerque
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1. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

I would definately make atwo day trip out of it.

The shortest route is I-45 to Dallas/Fort Worth, then US 287 through Wichita Falls, Amarillo, Tucumcari and Santa Rosa. At Santa Rosa, take US 84 to I-25, then west on 25 to Santa Fe, north on US 84-285 to Espanola, and NM 68 to Taos. Please note that in Santa Fe, St. Francis Drive is the second exit to go north.

The second shortest would be I-10 through San Antonio to Fort Stockton, then US 285 through Carlsbad, Roswell to Santa Fe and continue as before.

The third, but maybe the fastest route would be I-10 to El Paso, then Las Cruces on I-25, and stay on this all the way to Santa Fe. This would be interstate highway all the way to Santa Fe.

Route one about 840 miles, route 2 about 950 miles, and route three approx. 1100 miles.

As far as stay-overs, it all depends on how far you want to drive each day. Wichita Falls, Carlsbad, El Paso would be suggestions.

S V
Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

Thank you very much, sandiaman; really appreciate the details! I'll surely take the first option and probably stay overnight in WF.

I might have more questions about the usual "what-to-see-where-to-stay" areas :-) and I hope to find equally gracious members willing to help out someone that'll be traveling to NM for the first time.

Regards,

S

Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

After consulting my Texas, and New Mexico maps, I would recommend Sandiaman's first suggestion, until the end at least.

Houston to Dallas to Fort Worth on the Interstates.

Fort Worth to Wichita Falls on US287...much of this is 4-lane divided, so you can make good time.

Wichita Falls to Amarillo.

From Amarillo northwest through Dallhart to Clayton, NM

Clayton to Springer, NM

Springer to Cimarron via NM-58 (This is a short-cut, but paved)

You are now entering the very scenic Sangre de Christo Mountains: Continue through Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire, to Taos/Taos Pueblo.

This is a very long trip...897 miles, so unless you are "on something" to keep you awake, I would also strongly recommend a day and a half each way.. Houston to Amarillo is 601 miles, which for me at least would be a long day...or, long enough at least. (If it is more than one day anyway, why kill yourself the first day?)

Amarillo would be my recommendation for lodging enroute. It is the largest town you'll be going through after Wichita Falls. If you tire before Amarillo, Childress is large enough to have a choice of motels/hotels.

So, 2/3 the miles the first day, and 1/3 the second. I used to drive San Antonio to Albuquerque a few times, and I never did it in one day either. Just don't listen to some of the mapping websites. They usually want to keep you on the interstates, which can add many more miles.

You now have several choices to choose from. With variations at the end, Sandiaman's and mine offer you the best IMHO.

Enjoy your trip! Take home some "enchantments" of your own from New Mexico.

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

After consulting my Texas, and New Mexico maps, I would recommend Sandiaman's first suggestion, until the end at least.

Houston to Dallas to Fort Worth on the Interstates.

Fort Worth to Wichita Falls on US287...much of this is 4-lane divided, so you can make good time.

Wichita Falls to Amarillo.

From Amarillo northwest through Dallhart to Clayton, NM

Clayton to Springer, NM

Springer to Cimarron via NM-58 (This is a short-cut, but paved)

You are now entering the very scenic Sangre de Christo Mountains: Continue through Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire, to Taos/Taos Pueblo.

This is a very long trip...897 miles, so unless you are "on something" to keep you awake, I would also strongly recommend a day and a half each way.. Houston to Amarillo is 601 miles, which for me at least would be a long day...or, long enough at least. (If it is more than one day anyway, why kill yourself the first day?)

Amarillo would be my recommendation for lodging enroute. It is the largest town you'll be going through after Wichita Falls. If you tire before Amarillo, Childress is large enough to have a choice of motels/hotels.

So, 2/3 the miles the first day, and 1/3 the second. I used to drive San Antonio to Albuquerque a few times, and I never did it in one day either. Just don't listen to some of the mapping websites. They usually want to keep you on the interstates, which can add many more miles.

You now have several choices to choose from. With variations at the end, Sandiaman's and mine offer you the best IMHO.

Enjoy your trip! Take home some "enchantments" of your own from New Mexico.

S V
Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

Thank you, NM_Photojournalist! Your points are well taken. I followed your route plan and I think it does make sense to have an overnight stay in Amarillo And the clincher is that we get to go through some gorgeous scenic spots.

Again, I appreciate your feedback, sandiaman and NM_Photojournalist.

Wife wants us to take our two dogs along but I think it'd be a bit too much for them - undecided on that at this point :-)

S

Vail, Colorado
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6. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

If you do take the dogs along the Drury Hotel in Amarillo is very nice for a mid level hotel and they allow 2 dogs of any size for no extra fees.

S V
Houston, Texas
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7. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

Wow, that's great info - thank you, dogmama :-)

We've never taken our two rescues on such a long trip before. Any tips on what to keep in mind to ensure their comfort?

Also, any tips on dog-friendly hotels in Taos would be wonderful!

Thanks, everyone, for such cool tips and suggestions.

Sesh

Vail, Colorado
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8. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

We travel a lot with our dogs, they love the car and somehow manage to remember their manners on vacation. A few things we do:

Make sure the tags have a cell number.

We stop every few hours for a potty break and to drink some water.

Our dogs are pretty active so we try to take to find hotels with some good areas to walk around in the morning and evening, Google Street View is very useful for checking out neighborhoods.

Bringfido.com is great for finding dog friendly places to stay and play.

Remember that things like elevators, automatic doors, toll booths, and valets are strange new experiences and can be scary.

I also keep some basic doggie/human first aid things with us. Aspirin, Children's Benadryl, Band-aids, neosporin spray and cream, gauze and tape.

Last time we stayed in Taos we were at El Monte Sagrado, if you can get a good price it's a nice place to stay. Otherwise I'm sure the Taos DE's can give some good advice.

Taos, New Mexico
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9. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

We just drove a round trip to San Antonio and back taking the route through Santa Fe because of a business stop there. You can take an hour off your trip by driving up US 84 from IH 40 to Las Vegas and then SH 518 to Taos.

We timed the routes going and coming and found the westerly route out of San Antonio to Ft. Stockton faster and more comfortable. From there we drove up to Roswell, then up to Vaughn, and took the little jog over to IH 40 and US 84.

When doing the long haul from Houston, some of our guests take the Dallas route, then stop in Amarillo because of the larger availability of rooms and restaurants there. Others find they can push all the way to Tucumcari where there are a surprising number of options because of the Interstate's propensity to be closed there during winter storms -- not a problem in the summer.

As an additional note, we found the map software on our iPads and iPhones were incorrect on the drive times because they overestimated actual behind the wheel times by underestimating speed. Actual highway speed limits on IH 10 west of San Antonio are 80 mph and most interstates in New Mexico have posted limits of 75 mph. Traffic moves faster than those speed limits.

Edited: 13 June 2012, 14:54
Vail, Colorado
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10. Re: Best way to get to Taos from Houston

TaosBandB brings up a good point about actual drive times. I usually find that the mapping software is about a 10% overestimate for me. I generally drive about 10mph over the speed limit and don't take long breaks, so a 10% savings can really add up on a 12 hour drive.

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