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  1. Default Albuquerque-Monument Valley-Grand Canyon-Phoenix Road Trip

    Hi, My husband and I are trying to plan a road trip this fall (mid Oct) We are thinking we would fly into Albuquerque and out of Phoenix. We want to see Monument Valley, Canyon Des Challe (sp?) and Grand Canyon. We have seen but enjoy the scenic drive from Santa Fe to Taos and plan to do that again, and the stop in Sedona. My questions are:
    -How long do we need to do this trip?
    -If we are thinking 6 days, is that enough or do we need to cut something out?
    -How long do you recommend for Monument Valley?
    -For Grand Canyon?
    Thank you for your advice! Robin

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


    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Do you mean 6 full days on the ground or is that to include flights ? You could cover the distance in a couple of long days behind the wheel but of course that doesn't account for any stops. I would want a couple of nights around GC giving at least a full day to explore it, but some people drive through and are happy with a couple of taking a couple of pictures. Monument valley is a place you could just stop at for a couple of hours or you could book a Jeep tour and spend several hours, there is no simple answer to how long for anywhere. If I have extra time available I try and use it, if not you make do with what you have and make the best of it. As you have done the scenic drive from Santa Fe to Taos it's certainly a place you could drop from this trip, there will be no shortage of great scenery and if you decided to do that it might be worth doing a loop from Phoenix if you check the costs of flights and car rental from one spot. If Albu wasn't a 'must see' you could have a relaxed 6 day trip between Canyon de Chelley, Monument valley, Grand canyon and Sedona.

  3. Default

    Thank you! After a lot of thought and back and forth we booked a round trip flight to Albuquerque. We decided to cut out the grand canyon. So far we have Canyon de Chelley and Monument Valley hotels booked for the beginning of our trip and plan on Taos and Santa Fe at the end. So now we are looking for advice on route and stops between Monument Valley (leaving on Monday sometime) and Taos (arriving Weds or Thurs) so we have 2-3 days and 2 or 3 nights to play with. Any suggestions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default To Close the Loop

    Given the points you've already decided to include on your loop RoadTrip out of Albuquerque, there are a few other sites that might make sense to include between Monument Valley and Taos. Continue north on US-163 after Monument Valley, to UT-261, Make a left and then another left onto UT-316 to Goosenecks State Park. Retrace your route back out to US-163 and continue north to US-191 north for a few miles to UT-162 east into Colorado and CO-41 down to US-160 east (a left) and follow that to the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. Return to US-160 east to Pagosa Springs and take US-84 to US-64 which will take you the rest of the way to Taos.

    You might also want to consider a couple of scenic byways on your way back to Albuquerque, the High Road between Taos and Santa Fe, and the Turquoise Trail from Santa Fe to Albuquerque.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Another scenic drive.

    Much will depend on how much time you want to spend in one place and how much you enjoy driving. As suggested by Buck, Mesa Verde is a pretty cool place but it does take time to visit as you need guided tours for the main attractions where some require you to climb ladders. An alternative to visiting Mesa Verde [and perhaps Goosenecks] would be another awesome scenic drive, the 'San Juan Skyway' which also incorporates the section of road known as the 'Million Dollar Highway' on US550. Basically, from Cortez head through Dolores and take a brief detour to the mountain town of Telluride. [The Fall colours can be wonderful along this stretch] You then loop around the top via Placerville and Ridgway and then south on US550 through the lovely mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton back to Durango.

    After Monument valley you could visit the 'Tacky tourist trap' that is Four Corners to grab that photo of one limb in 4 different States, the only place this is possible in the US.

  6. Default Mountain driving I-40 East to West through New Mexico, Arizona, up to Monument Valley

    Southwest Dave:
    What can you tell this Midwesterner about mountain driving on the Title route? I drove that route many years ago and don't recall specifics about what I need to remember for an upcoming drive mid-late October. My concern is how best to operate my vehicle on the ups and downs of it!

    Thanks -

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Hello MK and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The drive you describe should be of no real concern to you or your vehicle and mid to late October is a favourite time of year for me to visit those parts. Of course the weather is unpredictable at the best of times so keep an eye on forecasts closer to the time. If there is anything specific you would like help with then just ask, but you should be just fine.

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