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  1. Default December winter road please!

    Hello everybody!

    Me and my partner are planning (a sort of a honeymoon) road trip this end of November.

    We love nature and want to focus on that...

    We have about 3 weeks, we will rent a car and sleep at motels..

    We thought about flying in Arizona (its not as expensive to fly in as other towns in that time for some reason), head to new mexico, colorado and maybe cross utah for the flight home..

    What do you think? Good plan for nature or should we plan different routes?

    We don't have a lot of knowledge about these places, but it seemed like a nice place to travel nature in the winter time...

    Would love your help!

    P.S - i'll be 4.5 month pregnant, if that matters in anyway to figuring out a travel plan of any sort ((-:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Winter in the Four Corners States

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Not surprisingly, the view most people have of the desert Southwest is that it is, well, desert. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't experience winter. Indeed winter comes early, hits hard, and stays long at the higher elevations of northern Arizona and New Mexico, and southern Utah and Colorado. What you will see if you visit the National Parks of southern Utah is a lot of snow and not much wildlife. Note that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon will be closed as will Cedar Breaks National Monument. The Zion Nature Center will be closed and the rest of the park facilities will be on reduced hours. Bryce Canyon will have similarly shortened hours and roads are subject to closure during and after snow storms.

    On the flip side, if you stay to the south of say the Colorado Plateau there are some great opportunities to see the desert when it's cool and inviting. Remember that 'desert' simply means that there is more potential evaporation than actual rainfall. It doesn't mean endless sand dunes. The Sonoran Desert in particular is full of plants and animals that have adapted quite well to the arid conditions here. With that in mind, let me suggest that you head south from Phoenix and do a loop through southern Arizona and New Mexico, and complete that loop back to Phoenix through Albuquerque and the central part of those two states.

    Along such a route are the following nature sites:
    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    Saguaro National Park
    Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
    San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
    Kartchner Caverns
    Chiricahua National Monument
    White Sands National Monument
    San Andres National Wildlife Refuge
    Elephant Butte Lake State Park
    Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
    Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
    Petroglyph National Monument
    Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge
    Petrified Forest National Park
    Boyce Thompson Arboretum


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you're looking for nature, It's hard to beat the 4 corners region, with its numerous National Parks. You could certainly see a lot of wonderful sites with 3 weeks to work with.

    Having said that, I should point out that many of the areas you are looking at are at a pretty high elevation, and it is quite likely you'd be seeing wintery conditions. Some parks will have more limitations than others, but it is likely to be a factor at some point. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy these places, but you should factor that into your planning.

  4. Default

    Hey AZbuck!

    Thank you for your answer!
    last year we visited Colorado for few days in February and it was amazing, but yes, It was totally different ball game..I do like mountains and water and mountains are my favorite scenery..I don't know much about the wonderful nature sites you enclosed but will have a look now! I come from a very hot country so for me the winter is special and wonderful...
    Would you consider adding the southern part of CA as well and do a ring with it? (if we land in Phoenix - it's still flexible, we plan on buying flight tickets this week. we don't live in the US).

    Thank you very much for your help!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-09-2014 at 09:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Why Not?

    You have plenty of time to include southern California in your RoadTrip plans. Easily accessible from Phoenix and includible in a loop drive through southern Arizona and New Mexico would be Mojave National Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park as well as San Diego and the Pacific coast. The other place that you might want to include would be the South Rim of the Grand Canyon if you haven't seen it yet. In winter, you can practically have some of the lookout points to yourself, and if the weather cooperates the views will be stunning with the low sun angle and a frosting of snow.

    I apologize if I misinterpreted the nature of the 'Nature' that you and your partner enjoy. I took it to mean wildlife rather than scenery. However this trip will provide an abundance of both, so never fear.


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