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  1. Default First Road Trip to AZ & NM

    I plan on going sometime around September or maybe next year around Feburary. From Oklahoma driving to New Mexico and Arizona and back. Stopping at places like, The Grand Canyon, Aztec Ruins, Montezuma Castle, White Dunes, Walnut Canyons, Tuzigoot and Petrified Forest. Possibly more places. All advice on anything is welcome and appreciated! Ive never been to any of the places but have done minimum research online. Also if anyone knows how to get brochures on different places in NM or AZ, please let me know. Thanks!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default research

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The best place to get brochures and the like is usually from the State Tourism departments. Most of them will happily send you lots of stuff like that. Otherwise, once you're on the road, those things are all readily available at most any rest area, gas station, or motel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    About how much time will you have for your trip? That is a vast area with a lot of potential for exploration. If you go to no other place, visit the Grand Canyon.

    As far as getting brochures for different places, you could look up the place online and see if they can send you the information, or contact the chambers of commerce in the areas in which you will be traveling for more information. Most of the larger cities will have a chamber, and the state tourism board should be able to help out as well.

    The Arizona site is located at this link. New Mexico's is at this link.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Time and timing !

    Hi there,

    The amount of time you have for your trip will help determine how many of the great places you can visit in the area. Personally I would go in Sept/Oct any day over Feb, given the choice that is !

    The National parks site is great for researching the area and you might notice that some of the great parks of Utah such as Zion and Bryce canyon are not to far from Grand canyon. Also use the search button to look around the forums, it's full of great info, and when you have more questions and ideas for your trip let us know and we can help you put it altogether.

  5. Default Thanks!

    Thanks everyone for the help and advice!

    So I plan on going for a week at least. Maybe a couple extra days. But these are the places I plan to stop and visit, kinda in order. Any suggestions on places I missed that are a must see? Or any places I listed that I shouldnt skip or ones that I wouldnt be missing much if i did skip? Any towns to avoid staying in or good ones to stay in? Any hotels to stay at or pass over? Cheap places to eat at with decent meals? Or ones to stay away from?

    Aztec Ruins
    4 corner thing (dont know the name)
    Petrified Forest
    Walnut Canyon
    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
    Grand Canyon
    Montezuma Castle/Well
    Casa Grande Ruins
    White Sands

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Narrowing the options...

    If you have particular likes/preferences you want to share it may help drive some suggestions.

    For example: are you a hiker? a photographer? foodie? any kids coming along (ages?).... anything you think might help trigger some "oh yeah, I should tell about this place" thoughts.

  7. Default

    Im not much of a hiker, but I do like to walk along trails without steep hills. I like to take pictures, of everything, animals, nature, landscapes, places Ive been, went, saw, anything that cathes my eye. Im going solo, leaving my 3yr old at home with his dad, so I would like to get neat souvenirs to take them. foodie? Im not sure exactly what that means, but Im not much of a breakfast person, I dont really try many different foods, but I love a good burger or pizza, and I love Mexican food. I like interesting places, like the ruins. I love history and museums.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Busy, busy !

    I think you will need those extra couple of days !
    With just 7 days you would be driving for around 7-8 hours a day plus any detours in to the places you want to see so you are going to be extremely busy. I think that it would be easier to cover the ground without the Four corners and Zion leaving you with more time to enjoy the other places, the Grand canyon especially.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Trying to break this down...

    I need some feedback from the experts on the below: is this insane?
    Assuming you live in Oklahoma City, it's about an 8 hour drive to Albuquerque (longer from Tulsa).

    If you wanted to maximize your time in NM and AZ, by doing a long drive at the beginning and end of your trip, you're looking at a 5 day loop starting/ending in Albuquerque (or possibly Santa Fe, or better yet starting at one and ending at the other).

    A hectic five day loop (Starting Albuquerque/ending Santa Fe) might look something like this (assumes about 5 hours driving max per day):

    Day 1: Drive to Albuquerque
    Day 2: Albuquerque -> Acoma pueblo, Petrified Forest -> Flagstaff (5 hour road time plus sightseeing... long day)
    Day 3: Flagstaff -> Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, Wupatki: stay in GC at Yavapai Lodge or the like (two hour drive but lots of sightseeing)
    Day 4: Morning at GC, 4 hour drive to Monument Valley (or Kayenta)
    Day 5: Morning tour at MV, 6 hour drive to Taos
    Day 6: Morning in Taos, 2 hour drive to Santa Fe, afternoon in Santa Fe
    Day 7: Drive back home


    I'm trying to help you visualize what a loop might look like; you need to decide how many days you have, and how to break up your time. There are other loops you could do (I would recommend trying to go out one way and come back another), and the choice of what you want to spend time seeing on a particular loop is the next set of choices you have to make.

    I picked these because they are either iconic, or fun, or just because I like them. I believe this trip is doable. Lots of scenery for taking pictures of, some Native American options (Acoma, Monument Valley... make sure you get some fry bread and Navajo Tacos somewhere along the way), and spots where there are a ton of easy walks.

    I would suggest your next move is to decide how much time you have, and target your loop... then we can help you further with specific options.

    Final note (and this may be controversial): for a female traveling alone, trying to maximize what you're seeing, I would recommend pre-booking your reservations. You probably don't want to find yourself at the end of a long day looking for a place to sleep.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-11-2009 at 07:47 PM. Reason: I think that first line was a quote???

  10. Default Short time

    This is kinda what I was planning day by day.. but nothing permanent yet, Im in the beginning stage of planning the trip.. The main places I want to see are the grand canyon and the white sands, while i want to see everything else on my list and more, i know i wont have time to in such a short time.. So this is kinda what i was thinking.. Again Ive never been on a roadtrip that Ive planned, and i dont know how long it takes to get from one place to the next. I like in Tulsa by the way.

    1 Tulsa to Albuquerque
    2 drive up to see Aztec Ruins and 4 corners then I maybe head towards the grand canyon to stay the night closer
    3 Grand canyon in the morning then down to see the walnut canyon or sunset crater then down to flagstaff to stay the night
    4 Drive down to see Montezuma stuff and Tuzigoot in the morning and maybe stopping at casa grande later in the after noon and spend the night somewhere around Tucson or Phoenix.
    5 Drive down to see Tumacacori or Chiricahua in the morning then drive to las cruces and spend the night
    6 Spend the morning/afternoon at white sands, then head up to albuquerque to stay the night
    7 Albuequerque to Tulsa

    Now none of this is definate, I may spend extra time at the grand canyon or somewhere else, but i can add a couple days if i need to, I dont want to rush through everything. Again I dont know how long it takes to get from anywhere to anywhere, so Im not sure about all that.

    I also havent gotten all my guides and brochures in the mail yet, so places will change as I get them probably.

    Ive been looking up some of the places you mentioned (CalOldBlue) and they look pretty interesting.

    Ive been looking at the google maps and trying to figure out the best way to go and what roads to take.

    Also a week is the least time I want to spend and the most time would be maybe 10 or 11 days.

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