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  1. Default 7 day loop from Albuquerque in January suggestions

    We are a family of 5 from Australia , after visiting friends in Salt Lake City we are catching the Southwest Chief train from LA to Albuquerque and then will hire a car and have 7 days for a road trip. I was after any suggestions for a loop that is comfortable and what is best to see. Santa Fe, White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns , we are just beginning our planning so any suggestions would be great. We have previously had an RV trip through Las Vegas, GC, Bryce, Zion, Yosemite, Sequoia etc in summer which was wonderful. We like outdoor activities as well as some cultural and historical visits. I am not sure how easy the driving in January is re cold and road conditions. Or we would also consider doing a one way roadtrip back to LA or San Diego we would have 8 days in total before we fly home from LA.

    This forum was fantastic in helping us plan our trip last time so I am hopeful of some great ideas for this trip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A good way to start.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great Amkerican Roadtrip Froum.

    By far the best way to start your planning is to get hold of some good detailed maps of the area. If these are not available locally, you could purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store (on the blue bar at the bottom of this page). If you order it now you will have it in a few weeks.

    Alternatively, if your friends in SLC are members of the AAA, ask them to get you some (free) maps and send them to you. I would ask for maps of the four corner States, which will be the States you will be visiting. [Many of us travel with both an atlas and the maps.]

    The following paragraph was posted recently, with probably the best advice on starting your planning ....

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    The above mentioned maps have a wealth of information which you will never see within the confines of a little screen.... natural attractions, historical, touristy and more, including hilighting scenic routes and grading all other route choices. Good maps are invaluable during the planning stage, and essential when on the road.

    As you develop your route encompassing the sites which are of interest to your family, feel free to ask whatever questions arise.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Dots to Start With

    The area north and west of Albuquerque is full of any number of attractions that could be included in a great loop RoadTrip starting and ending in that town. My wife and I have taken our grandsons on one such RoadTrip, but there are certainly other sites reachable from your 'base camp' including (in no particular order!) Taos Pueblo, Bandelier National Monument, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, the Grand Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

    To be honest, White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns are in the other direction and would not make a good combination with the above, but there are additional worthwhile destinations to the south and southwest including Petroglyph National Monument, Tombstone, Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (more of a zoo than a museum, the Salt River Canyon, and the Heard Museum.

    Indeed, your problem is not going to be finding enough places to visit, but in keeping the number you do decide to see small enough that you can devote the time to each of them that they deserve, and keeping them tightly bunched enough that you're not spending all your time just driving from one to another.


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