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  1. Default Las Vegas to Albuquerque in 3 Days

    Hi. I've only recently discovered this forum while researching a spring trip and this is my first post so I'm really looking forward to your advice. We're an English couple who fell in love with the USA many years ago and we have been lucky enough to visit many times since.

    In April this year we will be in the SW USA for about our 20th vacation in the USA. Our trip is in 3 parts:
    - a 3 day drive across Arizona into New Mexico
    - about a 7-10 days in New Mexico
    - another 7-10 days to get from New Mexico back to Las Vegas - probably via Utah visiting Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion and maybe Grand Canyon North Rim (although I suspect GCNR won't be open.)

    My query here is on the first part of the trip across Arizona and I'm looking for advice on interesting places to stay. We land at Las Vegas about 8pm on a Saturday evening and pick up our rental car. We then have until noon on Tuesday to get to Albuquerque, NM. These dates are fixed and so we really do only have 3 days to make this part of the trip.

    The first night we'll stay somewhere reasonably close to the airport - maybe Boulder City - as we'll be pretty tired after the long journey from the UK. Then on to Kingman, AZ where we'll pick up the old Route 66. We'll stay on Route 66 as much as we can but I know we'll have to use I40 for some of it. We have 2 more nights. I've found these 2 places that look interesting to spend a night but they're too close together to use both of them:
    - La Posada, Winslow, AZ
    - Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZ

    For the last night maybe El Rancho in Gallup, NM before the quick drive to Albuquerque.

    In such a short time I know we cannot find the time to visit Sedona or Grand Canyon South Rim - we've there before and both are magical places but sadly we cannot fit them in this time. But what do you think of the places we're considering for our 3 overnights? Have we chosen well or are they awful? Is there something else you'd suggest? Looking forward to getting your comments.


  2. #2


    I am not too familiar with the areas that you choose to visit, so I cannot offer advice on where to stay. I can tell you, however, that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (in my opinion the most scenic rim) will be closed. It is at a high altitude and it does not open until later in the season. You will love the National Parks, that are on your itinerary. I have been to all and since I am from the New York City area (east coast), I was just amazed at the natural beauty in those Parks. When you are in Albuqueque, be sure to visit the old part of town, it has both charm and history. Have a good trip.

  3. Default Winslow to Holbrook?

    Hello HilaryH -- and welcome to RoadTrip America forums!

    Hmm... There isn't an amazing amount to see between Winslow and Holbrook, at least in my opinion. I would have recommended something slightly differently? You said you had all day Sunday, Monday and half-day Tuesday to get to Albuquerque.

    if I may offer an alternative or two?

    Alternative One --
    Sunday -- Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, South Rim. This is doable in a day's drive (about 6 hours drive), which with a relatively early start will put you at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon by mid afternoon and let you enjoy dinner and sunset at the Grand Canyon. You do have the alternative of staying in Flagstaff, about an hour to 90 minutes outside the park or skipping the park -

    Monday -- Grand Canyon to Holbrook, stopping in Winslow and at Meteor Crater.

    Tuesday -- Speed run to Albuquerque. It's about 4 hours to Albuquere from Holbrook.

    This has the advantage of Grand Canyon, possibly visiting Wupaki and Sunset Crater National Monument to Holbrook, but misses Petriefied Forest.

    Alternative Two --
    Sunday -- Las Vegas to Flagstaff (or you can continue to Winslow). Not amazingly exciting, unless you take the old Route 66 detour through Peach Springs, in which case Flagstaff is probably your best destination.

    Monday -- Flagstaff to Holbrook, with a plan to drive the loop through Petrified Forest/ Painted Desert National Park with the night in Holbrook.
    Gallup is about 90 minutes past Holbrook, so that is an option as well, depending upon time and what you want to see (Meteor Crater instead of PEtrified Forest, for example)

    Tuesday -- Speed run to Albuquerque.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default My suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by HilaryH View Post
    The first night we'll stay somewhere reasonably close to the airport - maybe Boulder City
    I like walking around Boulder City, but I wouldn't choose it for any of the motels herein. Not when there are literally hundreds of far-better choices within 10 minutes of the airport. Two reasonably-priced hotels that I can recommend without reservation -- The Tuscany on Flamingo and the South Point (formerly known as the South Coast)on the southern end of the Strip.
    Then on to Kingman, AZ where we'll pick up the old Route 66.
    Since you are bypassing the Grand Canyon this time -- I would suggest a couple more sidetrips.... Instead of taking US-93 across Hoover Dam (which would be a shame -- I never tire of that view) take US-95 south down to the Laughlin exit (NV-163) and go east to the Christmas Tree Pass Road exit and take the short drive to the petroglyph parking lot. Believe me, it is a stunning display -- click here for our photos and info.

    Return to SR-163, cross the Colorado River and then take AZ-95 south to Courtwright Road (County road 227) and follow that to Route 66 and then go north on Route 66 over the famous Sitgreaves Pass, stopping to pay toll to the "burro police" in Oatman and then on to Kingman...

    I don't know when in the spring this trip is going to be -- but one of the most amazing sites I have ever witnessed was sunrise at Bosque de Apache (south of Albuquerque). If the birds haven't left for points north -- I would strongly suggest visiting. For some of the sites to be seen along Route 66 --- take a look at this site. Great photos and ideas.

    For northern Arizona and New Mexico ideas -- you might enjoy reading the field reports that Gerald "Mr. RoadTrip" Thurman filed for this area. Plenty of photos and ideas about places to stop and explore.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-23-2007 at 08:44 PM. Reason: added a link

  5. Default

    Thanks for the comments – really helpful and informative.

    So the GC North Rim is definitely closed. I feared as much. South Rim is tempting but El Tovar isn't available. Maswik Lodge and Yavapai Lodge are available so does anyone have comments on them?

    All we're looking for first night is a quiet room, a clean bed and a working shower for the morning. I fear that a Las Vegas hotel on a Saturday night will be too high energy after the long flight. I loved the photos of the petroglyphs Editor – it is amazing how ancient graffiti excites us while modern graffiti appals us.

    Here’s the current thinking:

    Saturday night - we’ll stay in Boulder City (boring but quiet).
    Sunday – up for an early start but I know with the time zone changes we will be awake and raring to go by 5am! It will fell like late morning to us. Drive to Kingman then old Route 66 through Peach Springs. On to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
    Sunday night – in one of the GC lodges.
    Monday – We should be up in time for dawn at the Grand Canyon and spend the morning there. Leave after lunch and drive to Winslow.
    Monday night – at La Posada in Winslow. There’s just something about it that appeals to me.
    Tuesday – another early start and on to Albuquerque on I40. I think that’s about a 4 hour drive so we’re unlikely to be able to see the Petrified Forest but that’s the price we pay for the Grand Canyon side trip.

    I’ll go and read some of the earlier posts and ideas for the other 2 parts of our trip.

    Thanks again.

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