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  1. Default Edmonton, Alberta to New Mexico and back again

    Team, good afternoon

    At the end of march I plan on driving from Edmonton, AB, to New Mexico and back again. I have 9 days to complete this trip and want to do whatever I can to avoid covering the same ground twice. Internet searches have shown many great things to see along the way there, but these are mostly the well known tourist sites, most of which I want to avoid. So my first question is; what are some sites that are relatively unknown but still mind blowing in their own way that I may encounter along this route?

    As for the trip back I am considering cutting across from Fort Sumner to Flagstaff and up through Monument Valley, Utah and Idaho, but I drove the I-15 last year to Vegas and back so again I don't want to cover known ground. This leads me to the second question; is there another route north that offers its own brand of amazing things to see?

    My final question, are there any historical sites of military significance along the proposed routes, ie, historical battlefields, museums, memorials etc?

    I am well used to long drives and sitting for extended periods of time (still serving infantry), so I am not phased by long days behind the wheel. That being said, I am somewhat of an amateur photographer so I also love to see new things, even if it means stopping frequently.

    Thanks for whatever info you may be able to provide, it is all appreciated.

    Kiwi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,104

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Where in New Mexico?

  3. Default

    Fort Sumner to see the grave of Billy the Kid for sure, but from what I understand the entire State is riddled with great reminders and artifacts from the days of the Wild West, and seeing as much as i could would still not satisfy my curiosity. Not to mention there is still gonna be snow on the ground in Edmonton during that time and New Mexico is about as far as i can go in the time I have to get away from it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,097

    Default Some Moderate to Lesser Known Sites

    Edmonton to Fort Sumner is right around 1,700 miles (2,750 km) by the most direct route, so it's three solid days of driving even before adding stops and detours. But fortunately for you, that most direct route is NOT on I-15. Instead, look at using some of the high plains roads such as AB-16/SK-16 to Saskatoon then SK-11/SK-2/SK-39/SK-35 to enter the States in North Dakota and basically follow US-85 south for a while. That would take you by Theodore Roosevelt National Park and close enough to Deadwood, Spearfish and Rapid City SD to see a few of the many attractions there such as Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Manorial and Devils Tower. Continuing south to join I-25 in Colorado would give you a shot at Rocky Mountain National Park, Buffalo Bill's grave outside Boulder, and Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico.

    By the way, you do know that there are two competing Billy the Kid Museums AND two competing Billy the Kid graves in Fort Sumner, right? Take your pick or see both of both of them.

    Then if you plan to return home through Flagstaff and Monument Valley, you can plan on making US-191 the backbone of your route. There are lots of great places to visit in and around Flagstaff including Walnut Canyon, Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments, as well as the Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered. Then heading north in US-191 through eastern Utah, look at taking a small detour to Goosenecks State Park for something a bit off the beaten path and Arches National Park for something more well-known. If you have the time and can stay on US-191. the drive through Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is both scenic and is marked by roadside signs keeping you informed as you drive through hundreds of millions of years of geologic time. US-191 will also pass through the western edge of Yellowstone National Park before finally delivering you to I-15 for the last bit home.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-07-2018 at 08:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default

    Hello:

    If you're interested in Billy the Kid, consider heading south from Fort Sumner to Roswell, and then west to the little town of Lincoln. The Lincoln Historic Site is very nicely preserved, and includes most of the original buildings from the time of the Lincoln County War--including the courthouse where Billy made his escape after being sentenced to hang, and the cemetery where some of the Kid's victims are buried. A little further west, you've got White Sands National Monument and the White Sands Missile Range Museum. The missile range is the largest military installation in the U.S., and it's the location of the Trinity Site, where the first atom bomb was tested during WWII.

    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,097

    Default So Close

    Normally, I wouldn't tell you about something you couldn't see. But on the off chance that you can shift your RoadTrip dates by a few days or a week, or that someone else will be planning a similar trip around the same time you are and looks here for ideas...

    I must note, since Rick mentioned the Trinity Site, that it will be open to a guided tour for one of only two days this year on Saturday, April 7th. This is a unique opportunity(?) to stand at the site of the first atomic explosion. The closest I ever came was standing in the bomb bay of the Enola Gay and that was enough to send shivers down my spine.

    AZBuck

  7. Default

    Team

    thank you for the great answers so far. I had no idea about the two contested graves for the Kid and had completely forgotten about Roswell.

  8. Default

    Team,

    just got back and had a wonderful time. Driving through the States is always a great experience, and I love, just love, the highway etiquette displayed by all other drivers that I encountered. Friendly people everywhere, wonderful scenery, great food and accommodation and nothing but smiles.

    Kiwi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,662

    Default Nice to know.

    Thanks for dropping in with an update, it's nice when we get to hear back. Glad to read you enjoyed your trip and if you want to share a few more details and possibly a couple of photos that would good, or we have a Roadtrip Field reports section if you wanted to do full report.

    Dave.


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