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Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

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Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

Visitng the SW in Sept. Planning to take Amtrak to Albuquerque and and see the area for a few days and then drive to Sedona and Flagstaff. Is this a pretty drive? Does it make sense to see both in one trip or would it be better to combine areas closer together?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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1. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

There is beautiful scenery along I-40 around Gallup, but once you're past that it isn't scenic until you hit Flagstaff. However, there is some amazing scenery off I-40 in AZ, such as Painted Desert.

It's a long drive from Albuquerque to Sedona. There's so much to see in north central NM - much of it very scenic - so it seems like a better option is to visit Santa Fe, Taos, Abiquui and Ghost Ranch, etc. and save northern AZ for another trip.

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

Unless it's a round trip you'll incur a drop charge on the car by picking up in Albuquerque and dropping in Az. There's plenty to see between Alb and Sedona-Acoma Pueblo, Gallup with its pawn shops and El Rancho hotel, Petrified Forest NP and Painted Desert, Wigwam Village motel at Holbrook, standing on the corner at Winslow (Eagles), Meteor Crater.

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3. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

If you do decide to go to Flagstaff and Sedona, you must see the Grand Canyon also. But this does seem like two different trips: Albuquerque/Santa Fe area and Sedona/Grand Canyon/Monument Valley/Page area another time. You didn't say how much time you have though.

4. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

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Uden, The...
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5. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

There are many places for R66 on that route if you are interested. You easily can take 2 days between ABQ and Sedona. Also, instead taking I40, you could drive nm53 via El Malpais, El Morro and Zuni Pueblo.

Albuquerque, New...
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6. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

One place not mentioned so far is the La Posada Hotel in Winslow. All the rooms have been restored to the period when it was a Fred Harvey Hotel. If nothing else, ask to see a couple of rooms, have lunch or dinner in the restaurant. Food is excellent.

Near the Flagstaff area, Wupatki/Sunset Crater Nat'l Monument, Walnut Canyon Nat'l Monument are two interesting sites to visit. Wupatky/Sunset Crater are on a circle route so you can visit both, see some beautiful country, and it doesn't take all day. A 2 or 3 hour visit would cover both. Wupatki is a pre-history pueblo, with lots of interesting information on the people who lived in this area. Sunset Crater has some trails you can walk, as well as places to stop and photograph the cinder cone. No trail to the top anymore.

Walnut Canyon is a bit strenuous, with a 350 foot descent to the small island in the canyon, where you will find numerous small caves lived in hundreds of years ago. Just remember, you have to climb back up to the Visitor Center. Since you are from a lower altitude, this might be a place to visit after spending some time in the high elevation of Flagstaff. I also agree that the Grand Canyon is a must see.

Albuquerque, New...
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7. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

All responses good, but I appreciated recent sentiments of Style's and Tet's that Sedona, if you've never been and express interest in, would be worth day drive if you have the time, and that you could take longer to get there, split up the drive, and see interesting places off I40. I've heard many recommend 53; when I've been off I40 it's been on the north of I40 in Indian Country. As a one day trip, I'd recommend an early predawn start with a good cup of coffee, and pick up the NPR station out of ABQ. You'd be in Gallup by breakfast time. Beautiful red mesas around Gallup. Stop at Painted Desert at Exit 311, an oasis off the highway, for rest, a small museum, cafeteria, etc. Pick up NPR station out of Flagstaff. Have lunch in Flagstafff downtown. Downtown is near the depot and is not a hard detour off I40 if you map it out beforehand. Then short drive to Sedona. Pretty, forested, and then views of Sedona on 89A. There are other stops along I40 along the way but also good to get the miles in, too, if you're trying to make it in the day. It's a southwest cross country drive, with miles of sky and clouds and your own thoughts. On other hand, plenty to see in easy drive around ABQ, particularly heading north. You should, however, get yourself to Santa Fe on this trip, no matter what you do. If you are interested in Sedona, you're sure to want to visit Santa Fe.... Now I see you originally posted this some time ago but I just saw the last two recent posts. Maybe you have your plans made already.... Ah, another recent post also just added. All good ideas.

Edited: 22 August 2014, 18:18
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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8. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

I guess it depends on how much time you have for this trip, and how much you want time you want to spend in New Mexico. With only a week, I'd stay in New Mexico. If you have 10 days to 2 weeks, then add on Sedona, Flagstaff and Grand Canyon.

9. Re: Drive from Albuquerque to Sedona

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