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  1. Default Road trip to New Mexico from Phoenix

    Hi What's the best route to cover on a road trip from Phoenix to New Mexico and what all places are must to cover and fun for family ? We possibly would like to include El Paso, TX on our way back. If someone can advise on Albuquerque, Santa Fe and other locations/ attractions along with some good places for food that will be great. We have 7 days in hand.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default A new plan?

    Is this trip replacing the trip to Texas precviously posted?

    One of the best way to find things which will be of interest to your family is to search around the roadtrip attractions and routes, from the green bar above. Good maps of the States mentioned will also give you a wealth of information.

    Albuquerque has a myriad of attractions, but since we know nothing of your interests, it is hard to recomend. The history in that city is a long one, with the attractions to match. Depending on the ages of your children, as per your last thread, they may like the cable car trip up Sandia Peak. Those and many more are on the links above and on all good maps.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Hello!

    What time of year will you be travelling? The shortest, most direct route from Phoenix to Albuquerque begins off the Loop 202 in Mesa (the Country Club exit), and follows AZ 87 northeast through Payson. From Payson, take AZ 260 to AZ 277, then follow AZ 277 to AZ 377, and follow 377 to Holbrook. (I promise, it's not as confusing as it sounds; it's all very well marked). It's a beautiful series of roads, up and over the Mogollon Rim into the vast pine forests of eastern Arizona, and it's more interesting than simply taking I-17 north to I-40. Once you get to Holbrook, it's a straight shot east on I-40 to Albuquerque.

    If you're going in winter, when there might be snow, consider a southern route instead. Take US 60 from Mesa to Globe, then US 70, through Safford to Lordsburg. That route is quite scenic, and it's actually 30 miles shorter than travelling to Lordsburg on I-10 the whole distance (through Tucson). Once you get to Lordsburg, take I-10 east to Las Cruces, and I-25 north to Albuquerque.

    There's a lot to see along either of those routes, as well as in and around Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but as Lifey says, I'd need to know a little more about your interests to make specific recommendations. Does your family include children? If so, what are their ages? Do you like National Parks and Monuments? Scenic drives? Wild West history and Museums? Old churches and Spanish missions? Pueblo ruins? Goofy stuff? Fine art? Opera? Shopping? Hot springs? Good Mexican food?

    I know the area pretty well, as do most of the folks who answer questions on this forum. Just let us know, in general terms, what you're looking for, and we can tell you where to find it!

    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,509

    Default

    An alternative to the routes up to I-40, that Rick gave, is:

    Take the Superstition (US-60) east to Globe, where you head north into Showlow. There, you'll pick up AZ-77 to Holbrook where you catch I-40. The Salt River Canyon is really very scenic, and the area around Showlow/Lakeside/Pinetop is also pretty. Of course, keep an eye on the weather forecast, as Lakeside/Pinetop is subject to snow (they're in the White Mountains of AZ).

    Albuquerque has the tram to the top of the mountain, Petroglyphs National Monument, Rio Grande State Nature Park, and a phenomenal museum about nuclear history. On your way there, along I-40, there is Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. There are ice caves not far off the freeway in NM, too -- Bandera Ice Caves, and the El Mapais National Monument.


    Donna

  5. Default

    Yes, we are planning winter trip. Earlier plan to drive to texas is not going to work out as kids are against it. We never visited NM before and hence would like to see famous & historical places. Good food places suggestion will be great. Not planning to go for hiking etc due to some health reasons but reasonable walking to perfect.

    Albuquerque, Santa Fe and must and any other great places you can suggest. Also on the way back we plan to stop at El Paso at friend's place. So any interesting places, activities on that that route can be considered.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,328

    Default History Abounds

    While it's not emphasized in most elementary or high school history classes, New Mexico's recorded history goes back at least as far as that of most of the original thirteen colonies. Santa Fe, after all, was founded in 1610. And its more complete tale of human events is even more ancient. So there will be no shortage of historic sites. Obviously there's the Palace of the Governors and associated buildings in Santa Fe, and Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, but you might enjoy some of the lesser-known and less-visited historic sites even more. Among one's that I've enjoyed are: Aztec Ruins National Monument, Kit Carson's home, the Taos Pueblo, Chimayo on the High Road, the Salinas Pueblo Missions, the Very Large Array, and the Pancho Villa and the Railroad Depot Museum.

    And those are just some of the ones that would fall more or less on a nice circuit From Phoenix through central New Mexico, El Paso, and back home.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,509

    Default

    Something that intrigued me, when I was about 9 years old, was a circular staircase in a church building in Santa Fe. I had never seen one before. It is located inside the Loretto Chapel. This may be something that interests your children, as well.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    158

    Default

    When you go to El Paso from Albuquerque, you should consider making a slight detour to White Sands National Monument, northeast of Las Cruces. It's a beautiful area, and great fun for the kids: they sell waxed plastic snow saucers in the gift shop, which can be used to sled down the sparkling gypsum dunes.

    DSC04397.jpg

    Another possibility, a little bit out of your way, but well worth seeing: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a spectacular underground fairyland that's like nothing you've ever experienced. Very little hiking is required, because they actually have elevators that take you all the way down to the main cavern. Between Carlsbad and El Paso, you can drive through Guadalupe Mountains National Park, also well worth seeing.

    DSC04278.jpg

    Rick

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