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  1. Default What is the best map or guide to unpaved roads-sight seeing New Mexico

    Hi,--
    I have the "Book"---Arizona new Mexico 25 scenic side trips. As good as the maps are-There is no detail if we wanted to explore nearby roads.

    So we would like to connect the sights and go a step further and stay on unpaved roads without getting lost---We would take a cell enabled GPS and either delorme or Benchmark. Which is best? or is their another?
    we have a stock Jeep 4 dr wrangler.

    Any ideas?

  2. Default

    We also plan to see national grasslands----i think its in 3-4 sections -not connected. Are they all the same ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,197

    Default Free, Customized Maps!

    Quote Originally Posted by scout159 View Post
    Hi,--
    I have the "Book"---Arizona new Mexico 25 scenic side trips. As good as the maps are-There is no detail if we wanted to explore nearby roads.
    Wonderful news that you have the book!

    Did you know that we've created RTA Custom Maps for all of Rick's routes? These maps are zoomable and editable. You can download them and customize as much as you want. Here is the list of the maps with links to each one.

    For paper maps -- no question in the western states -- Benchmark is the way to go. DeLorme is basically out of business and they are not maintaining or updating any of those maps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    287

    Default

    Hello, and welcome to the RTA Forum!

    We deliberately excluded additional details from the maps in Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips, because we wanted those maps to focus on the routes as described in the narrative. They're really more of a visual aid, and we recommend backing them up with good paper maps. Since you have the book, you know that some of the routes in New Mexico include sections of dirt road, but unpaved roads are never a primary focus.

    Personally, I like the Benchmark map series, and I used their New Mexico atlas when I created the routes that are featured in the book. I don't know of a specific guide book for unpaved roads in New Mexico, which is not to say they don't exist. You might want to contact BLM, as well as the Forest Service, to see what resources they might have that would help you stay out of trouble. You'll definitely need to be careful on Tribal land, because some of those roads are restricted access.

    It sounds like a great trip that you have planned. Be sure to bring plenty of water and emergency supplies, because you're likely to end up in some extremely remote countryside!

    Rick Quinn

  5. Default Grasslands

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Wonderful news that you have the book!

    Did you know that we've created RTA Custom Maps for all of Rick's routes? These maps are zoomable and editable. You can download them and customize as much as you want. Here is the list of the maps with links to each one.

    For paper maps -- no question in the western states -- Benchmark is the way to go. DeLorme is basically out of business and they are not maintaining or updating any of those maps.
    Benchmark it is---i will go over RTA maps as well---Have we been to either unit of KIOWA? What about Rita Blanca and Comanche grasslands ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    287

    Default Kiowa National Grassland

    Hello again!

    When I created the routes for Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips, I started with a very long list of attractions that I wanted to include, and then I went about the herculean task of stringing everything together in a logical fashion and parsing it into 25 discrete routes. Each route had to begin and end at an Interstate Highway, and each of them had to be (theoretically) drivable in a single day, with minimal overlap between routes, and no backtracking. There was a lot of adjustment required to make everything fit!

    The original set of routes was extensively rearranged, and in the course of that process, a few things, sadly, had to be left out. The original SST (Scenic Side Trip) #25 started in Raton, traveled up and across Johnson Mesa on NM 72, turned south at Folsom, stopped at Capulin Volcano National Monument, and then followed a zig-zagging series of county roads--through the Kiowa National Grasslands--to Fort Union National Monument, finally ending in Las Vegas, NM.


    Capulin Volcano, east of Raton, NM

    While doing my field research for the book, I drove that tentative route, and after going through the tiny town of Capulin, just south of the volcano, I asked Siri (on my iPhone) to take me to Kiowa National Grassland. I knew there was no visitor center, no infrastructure of any kind, so I was mostly just curious to see where I would end up. Following Siri's turn-by-turn instruction, I took a zig-zagging series of dirt roads that led me ever deeper into the prairie. There wasn't much to see out there:



    I tried to imagine what it must have been like for the settlers who tried to live here, finally abandoning this house, the only structure of any kind for miles around:



    Finally, I arrived in this spot, where the dirt track just petered out altogether, and Siri announced: "Arrived, Kiowa National Grassland."



    No kidding! The destination was literally all around me, and I love that kind of thing! The grasslands are great fun to explore; in the right season there are pronghorn antelope leaping through that grass, and that's a wonderful thing to see.



    Just be sure you have a good map, a compass, and a well-tuned sense of direction. Otherwise, you may never find your way back out! (Just kidding!) But seriously, you would not want to get stuck out there, so have fun, but proceed with caution, and always follow the existing tracks, rather than attempting to blaze your own new trails.

    Rick
    Last edited by Rick Quinn; 02-09-2019 at 10:40 AM.

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