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April vacation

Chillicothe, IL
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April vacation

Thinking of flying into Albuquerque, April 23-30. Is this a good time, to visit? Would October be better? Planning some scenic drives, Turquoise Trail, Jamez Trail, Enchanted Circle. We love moderate hiking 3-7 mi. Have not planned that yet. Would we be

better to move around, or stay in one place? We have visited many NP's in the last 10 years. We really loved that. Love the good ideas, others share on TA. We would love more?

Albuquerque, New...
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1. Re: April vacation

You have some good ideas of what you want to do, and looks like you have the days to accomplish them. April can be windy, but days are warm and comfortable. October is beautiful, especially the first of the month when we still have some fall colers. And, October also has the balloon fiesta, which is a spectacular event. It starts the first Saturday of October and continues the following week to end on Sunday. Be advised, rooms are getting short, and prices are higher than they will be in April.

The Enchanted Trail from Albuquerque is a long drive if you are planning one day. I might suggest overnight in Taos or Red River and then return the next day.

Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: April vacation

With seven days you have some time to venture outside Albuquerque a bit. You might consider a three day roundtrip to Chaco Canyon, Durango, and Mesa Verde.

The Enchanted Circle drive out of Taos is indeed a beautiful one. Taos Pueblo, and the Rio Grande Gorge are also highlights in the area. You could take in both the "High Road" (Chimayo, Truchas, Penasco, Rancho de Taos) through mountain side, Spanish-era villages; and the "Low Road" to Taos from Espanola, through portions of the Rio Grande River's canyon, coming and going.

Along with April's Spring winds come our dust storms on some days. If you are planning outside activities, the morning hours would be best. The balloon fiesta in early October is really an incredible event, with hundreds of balloonists from around the world participating. Temperatures in both April and October are nice. Our so-called, rainy "Monsoon Season" is July, and August, so September into October is New Mexico's greenest period. (Well, as green as it gets in New Mexico.) Prices for accomodations should be lower before the tourist summer season begins, along with it also being less crowded. But...the balloon fiesta is something to behold. :-) I do not think you could go wrong with either month for a visit.

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Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: April vacation

Forgive my bluntness, but October is WAY better.

Taos, New Mexico
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4. Re: April vacation

The typical 7-day journey to Northern New Mexico includes using Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos as the "bases" of your activities. We recommend that you start in the northern destinations and then work your way back south. When we arrange week-long vacations for our guests, they include 2 nights in Taos, 3 in Santa Fe and the end of the trip in Albuquerque.

The choices abound: in Taos you should look into the Wild Rivers Recreation Area for day hikes and an adventure activity such as rafting the Rio Grande, the Llama Trek, Horseback riding or a balloon trip. All of these things will be perfect to do near the end of April.

As I always warn, however, we get most of our snow in March and April. Your activities, therefore, will be limited by the altitude -- the snow will be higher up. Plan on "lower elevation" things that are below 8000 feet.

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Santa Fe
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Albuquerque, New...
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5. Re: April vacation

I have to agree about October between the two seasons. Fall is beautiful here, as it is in most places that have seasons. And there's the balloons. Spring is usually mild and sunny but wind is a factor. Mornings are typically nicer. Many moderate hikes available. Bandelier is a national monument near Santa Fe, and I'd put that on your must-do list for hikes, etc. In ABQ, short, moderate hikes include the bosque at the Rio Grande Nature Center and the petroglyphs on the west side. My favorite hiking trails are in the foothills open space and wilderness area at the base of the Sandias. You might also consider taking the tram up to the top. There are many moderate trails you can take from there for ever how long you want or just hang at the restaurant and catch the view. Though the trails are moderate, it is over 10,000 feet in elevation, so you want to factor that in. I would choose the Jemez drive over the Turquoise. Jemez pueblo has a visitor's center in a beautiful red canyon, there's a winery nearby, Jemez Springs is nice for a lunch stop, I like an easy trail near the Jemez Falls campground in the East Fork, and the short hike to the falls can also be nice, etc., etc. Enchanted Circle would be good, but by all means take High Road from Santa Fe to Taos and stop at the Santuario de Chimayo. Jemez and High Road would be my first two "scenic" drives choices. Then base as much as you can in Santa Fe, Taos and ABQ, in that order. Lots of other options, so keep coming back.

I do like the Durango excursion, too, but that will change your focus from central/northern New Mexico.

Edited: 22 February 2011, 14:35
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Taos, New Mexico
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6. Re: April vacation

How true -- lots of week-long excursions to this region include a night or two in Durango. We sometimes call it the New Mexi-rado Swing.

Edited: 22 February 2011, 16:32
7. Re: April vacation

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