Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Denver to Albuquerque OR Phoenix to Albuquerque? Focus on NP's

Notices

Denver to Albuquerque OR Phoenix to Albuquerque? Focus on NP's

Old Apr 28th, 2010, 09:48 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Denver to Albuquerque OR Phoenix to Albuquerque? Focus on NP's

I'd like to take a week in early September to drive to Albuquerque EITHER from Denver or Phoenix and visit some National Parks or other hiking areas along the way.

Any suggestions for a preferred route or places to visit plus overnight stops would be appreciated.

We don't like to spend all day in the car so drive times should be kept under 3 hours a day (hopefully with somewhere scenic to stop enroute). We'd prefer not to backtrack and do not want to visit the Grand Canyon on this trip.

We are active hikers but my DH has knee issues so shorter hikes are preferred (up to 2 hours is fine and longer if the terrain is flat).

Thanks!
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 11:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 727
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you look at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm, it will give you a good idea of what parks are located where in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. If you decide on Denver to Albuquerque, there are only a few parks within reasonable distance from I-25 that would work for a week's trip. Rocky Mountain National Park is definitely worth a visit, especially in September, usually the best month weather-wise. A few days there is good. Then venture south to Sand Dunes National Park, about an hour's drive off I-25. A day or two there is sufficient, including exploring the San Luis Valley, an overlooked and very pretty area of the state. Then continue south, perhaps via the backroads to Taos and further to Bandelier National Monument, an area of excellent ruins and petroglyphs. With a week's time, that would make a good trip with time to visit these diverse areas.
tekwriter is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 11:36 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think I would do Denver to ABQ, while there aren't many NP's there is some beautiful country along that route that lends itself to hikes etc.

Coming from Phoenix, you could go through Sedona and that area for nice country, but there are only 2 NP's once you cross into NM and the drive east on I40 is pretty awful. I am guessing that you are aware of Grand Canyon if you pick PHX to ABQ.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 01:04 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,830
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you take the Denver option, after RMNP and Sand Dunes, you can get Mesa Verde, Hovenweep Nat. Monument, Canyon De Chelly. Petrified Forest N.P. and Petroglyph Nat. Monument without too much driving out of your way.
boom_boom is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 05:38 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 727
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IMO, getting to Mesa Verde, etc. from I-25 is completely out of the way, at least 4-5 hours driving from I-25 to all of them. Doesn't sound at all what the OP had in mind.
tekwriter is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 05:56 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"without too much driving out of your way"

Mesa Verde is the closest of the places listed and it is 4 hours away as tekwriter states and the other suggestions are much further. As wonderful as these other sites are, they won't work for your original parameters.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 06:13 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Deb and tek.. I liked boom-boom's ideas but the extra driving time and distance just doesn't appeal.

I was leaning towards Phoenix but Denver sounds better.
Is the I90 really awful?
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 06:20 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Is the I90 really awful?"

You must be from California - we don't call our interstate "THE"
I 90!

And I think you mean I 40? It is pretty dull from the stateline to ABQ. I have driven it only once and it was so tedious.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 06:56 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops yes I 40 was what I meant but I live in MA and usually I do call the Mass pike THE I 90..
I'm British though and I called it the motorway about 8 years ago so I'm getting there!
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:12 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,754
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is I 40 dull? Yep! Lots of truck traffic too.
historytraveler is online now  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 03:47 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok, Thanks all, I'm convinced that Denver is the best option for this trip.

I'll look into Rocky Mountain NP and San Dunes NP. We've been to Bandelier but will revisit if time permits.

Still considering flying into SLC and visiting Arches and Canyonlands. So many options that I'm spoilt for choice!
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 05:14 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sassy - I didn't realize you were open to other starting cities! SLC would be a great option - you could add Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Hovenweep etc, Canyon de Chelly, Chaco Canyon to Arches, Canyonlands, Moab, Bandelier etc.

We can have a drink at sunset when you get to ABQ!
DebitNM is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 05:18 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It sounds perfect but I think that has to be a longer trip, right? It looks a long way on my wall map! I'm reluctant to squeeze all that into a week (we have 8 days max).
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 05:28 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actual drive time [without stops] from Denver to ABQ is about 6 hours or so. Drive time from Salt Lake City will be longer [not sure, maybe 8]and there are way more stops you can make, so you would have to pick and choose.

You could also try flying into either Grand Junction or Durango.

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 07:01 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Deb, I hadn't considered Grand Junction or Durango.

Grand Junction looks like the best option but it does mean we won't get to see our friends in SLC.
Car hire seems ridiculously expensive and I thought it was because of interstate surcharges but I checked into Grand Junction and out of Durango and it was still close to $1000 for the 8 days.

A couple more kinks to work out including whether we'll be 3, 4 or 5 going on this trip but I'm excited!
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 12:08 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IMO I-40 between Albuquerque and the Arizona state line is scenic once you get to the Acoma Pueblo exit (that little church up on the hill at the McCarty's exit, red rocks, etc.) but I too would choose to go from Denver to Albuquerque. Your Utah idea is good as well.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2010, 01:15 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Lee Ann. Flying into Phoenix is the cheapest option.
sassy_cat is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
HMann
United States
3
Jan 17th, 2014 11:28 AM
megee333
United States
11
Apr 6th, 2012 09:52 AM
kellbell39
United States
13
May 6th, 2011 02:21 PM
CLynnWeg
United States
8
Apr 17th, 2010 06:31 PM
Azilie
United States
5
Sep 4th, 2004 09:08 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO