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  1. Default Southwest Road Trip route help

    My husband and I are planning a roadtrip this May to Arizona and New Mexico for about 8-9 days. We're planning on flying roundtrip to Phoenix and renting a car. Must sees: Sedona, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Taos. We're trying to decide on which route to take. Currently looking to do a northern loop clockwise from Phoenix to Sedona to Grand Canyon, then north around the top to Taos, then Santa Fe and then back west across I-40 and back down to Phoenix. We're not sure on which northern route to take given our time constraints. Have looked at taking 160 through the four corners, Mesa Verde and Durango and then 84 down to Taos or 160 to 64 and 84 to Taos.

    Which route would you recommend (I've never been to this part of the country and my husband has only been to the Grand Canyon area)? We're looking to drive no more than 4-6 hrs per day and stopping for at least 2 days in the Taos/Santa Fe area. Thanks!

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

    Default Looks good.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Given your "must See's" I think your route is fine, but to give yourself just 1 more day would make a difference to your "quality time" given the driving time restraints and places of interest along the route.

    A couple of other points that may be of interest on route are Cameron trading post [0n the 89 when leaving East entrance of GC], Monument valley, Pagosa hot springs, Rio Grande gorge bridge, [On the approach to Taos on 64 there is a rest area and you can walk to bridge, also look out for the "Earthships" close by, or Eco friendly homes to us].
    You can find lots of info on the Taos/Santa Fe area here.

    On the way back there is the Petrified forest on I40 and you might even fancy a night in a Wig Wam !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Agreed

    Would have to agree with Dave, you have chosen a great route. My only suggestion is, that when you get to Pagosa Springs - the hot springs are fantastic - if you have a little time up your sleeve you may like to continue along 160 to Alamosa and then take 285 south to 64. 160 is such a beautiful and scenic highway over Wolfe Creek Pass and through South Fork. And you will still get to cross the Rio Grande bridge over the canyon. Make sure you stop and go for a walk across the bridge. It is great standing on it in the middle, and looking down at the Rio Grande below and contemplate how early inhabitants crossed the canyon before the bridge was there.

    But then, all of that area is unforgettable.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I can recommend a very scenic route from I-40 to Phoenix that is shorter and can actually take less time than going to Flagstaff and then down I-17.

    Get off I-40 at Holbrook. Take AZ-77 south out of town, then turn right on AZ-377. At the end of the road, turn right on AZ-277. At the end of the road, turn right on AZ-260 to Payson. Turn left on AZ-87 to Phoenix, it will take you to the 202 Freeway.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the Advice. Currently the route is:

    Going to Monument Valley (which we also want to do), gets us off the 160 for a while. Would it be better to go to Monument Valley and then back down to the 160 or take the 163/162 (as the map shows)? Is Antelope Canyon worth a 2-3 hr detour? Any other must sees along this route? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Longer.

    With regards to MV, there really isn't much in it time wise and the way you have it would work fine. You could make a stop at the Twin rocks cafe and store in Bluff on route.

    Antelope canyon ? It's worth a detour no doubt, but it would be half a day at least by the time you have taken a tour.

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