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  1. Default Aussie planning Road trip from Phoenix to New Orleans

    G'day all

    I am a 40 year old Aussie guy planning a 4 week trip to the US in March 2016. I really want to do the off the beaten track road trip rather than the major roads.
    Picking up a car in Phoenix and need to be in New Orleans in 13 days. I would like to go to Roswell and Tombstone but very flexible on the rest of the trip. Don't want to drive more than 4 hours or so a day and happy to stay at interesting place for a few nights. Want to avoid the major city's as I want get the feel of smaller towns along the way. I will be on a tight budget but that's all part of the fun.

    Can people please recommend a few towns I should stay in (low cost but interesting) or at least get out and stretch my legs and have a look around? I enjoy a good beer and whisky, always up for a bit of fun. Would love to go shooting, go to an Indian reserve and check out any interesting things along the away.

    Thanks in advance for your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default First I would head north.

    G'day Paul, welcome to the RTA forums !

    It's a full 3 day drive from Phoenix to NOLA so with 13 available, you have plenty of options to choose from while driving just 4 hours a day. You don't say whether or not you return to Phoenix in the second half of your trip or what you plan to do, so it's a bit of a guessing game. What I would recommend you do is look north of Phoenix and into the 'Four corners' region [AZ,UT,CO,NM ]and although it doesn't fit with Roswell and Tombstone, you have the likes of the Grand canyon NP, Monument valley tribal park, Arches and Canyonlands in UT, the Colorado National Monument and the spectacular Million dollar Highway [US550] with the small mountain towns of Ouray and Durango in CO, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or even stay north for longer to Colorado Springs. This is just a few of many so I would suggest you study a good map and do a little research and see what appeals to you, once you have a few more dots on the map we can make more meaningful suggestions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Or South

    If the specific sites you've mentioned are what you want to see, then so be it. and leaving Phoenix to the south certainly affords you ample opportunities to see back roads and small towns. Once you get out of Phoenix that is. To that end, I'd suggest you leave town on US-60 east past Apache Junction and then take AZ-79 down to Tucson. This is, in fact, the way I routinely go between Tucson and Phoenix and it is much more relaxed than I-10 but still has a 65 mph speed limit. At Florence, you might want to consider a side trip to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge. In Tucson you might also want to ride the loop road (Cactus Forest Drive) in the east unit of Saguaro National Park. That would also set you up to continue south on Old Spanish Trail through Vail and, after a very short stint on I-10, AZ-83 to Sonoita and east on AZ-82 to Tombstone. From there, AZ-80 loops south through the mining town of Bisbee, close to the Mexican border and on into New Mexico. NM-9 provides the next alternative to I-10 and will take you to El Paso through Columbus NM which Pancho Villa invaded in the early 20th century. Next you might like NM-28 up the west bank of the Rio Grand to Las Cruces and then US-70 past White Sands National Monument to Roswell.

    East of Roswell, you've got a lot of arid open country with towns that are few, far between and, depending on the state of the local oil patch, in various states of decay. US-380/US-84 and a bit of I-20 provides the most efficient route to Abilene, but from there you'll probably want to start running a bit farther south so as to avoid the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Again, US-84 is perhaps your best bet in this area taking you through Waco and on eastbound, but it won't be until east Texas that things start to green up. Once you cross I-45 and get to Palestine, US-287 would take you down past Davy Crockett National Forest to Beaumont where US-90 (partially duplexed with I-10) would get you into southwest Louisiana where the Creole Nature Trail provides several routes through Bayou Country and on into New Orleans.

    Specific towns to stop in will depend on the route you finally choose to take.


  4. Default

    Thank you so much for your ideas now I have a few fantastic ideas to start working on. I will come back once I have a better plan based on some of the great ideas you have given me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maps

    Paul, do you have maps on which you are checking all this? You may find that it will be a lot easier on good paper maps, or a road atlas.

    It is not easy to get good maps at home, and since you do not show where your location is, it is hard to advice. Suffice to say the Rand McNally Road Atlas (probably the most commonly used) is available from the store on this site. (You'll have it in a couple of weeks.) However, if you happen to be in Vic, you can also get it from Mapworks in Keilor Road, Essendon. Unfortunately they do not have it listed on their website, but I do know they have it for about $27 plus postage.

    You'll find everything mentioned above and ever so much more marked on these maps. They are invaluable during the planning stages and essential when you are on the road.


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