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Driving from Las Vegas to Santa Fe - A few questions.

Driving from Las Vegas to Santa Fe - A few questions.

Old Sep 6th, 2014, 11:27 AM
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Driving from Las Vegas to Santa Fe - A few questions.

So far the plan is to spend the night en route at La Posada in Winslow.

Are there any other, better options for the overnight?

Any thoughts on the detour onto route 66 from Kingman to Seligman?

If time allows, stopping at Walnut Canyon National Monument outside of Flagstaff is a possibility. Are there other stops between Vegas and Winslow that would be good/scenic places to stop?

Any suggestions for stops between Winslow and Santa Fe? Painted Desert/Petrified Forest?

This leg is the beginning of a twelve night round trip road trip from Vegas with overnight stays in Santa Fe, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, North Rim Grand Canyon, and Zion.

Thanks for answering my questions!
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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I was hoping you meant Las Vegas NM, oh well. But knowing what time of year you plan to be driving is essential. Elevations and weather are important. Also presumably a rental car?

Assuming weather allows for the itinerary you've chosen, consider Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo reservation.

I've stayed at La Posada and it's an interesting, if not posh, place to stay. Not knowing anything about your travel style it's hard to say if you'll like it but I think most people do. I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed, it's rough around the edges, looks sort of like they were trying to be upscale but didn't have the budget. But for the history, if not the present day, I'd say go ahead and give it try.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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MmePerdu, we are going in mid June. Are you suggesting spending the night between Las Vegas and Santa Fe in Chinle in order to see Canyon De Chelly? I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks for your review of La Posada. What you say is sort of what I figured it would be like.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 01:30 PM
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My suggestion of Canyon de Chelly was general, just to fit it in somewhere. That time of year weather isn't an issue, except possibly extreme heat at lower elevations. But if your activity doesn't include strenuous climbs with lots of elevation gains then it should be fine.

Since it isn't clear to me what your exact route might be, or how long you'd like to stay where, it's hard to say how things might fit into your 12 nights. Personally, I like the lesser roads, rather than I-40/I-25 in that part of the world. Roads on the Rez are generally wide open spaces and little traffic, much more interesting than gas stations on the interstates. So if you opted to take a more northerly route, instead of 40, I'd say it would be an improvement, time permitting. But you are able to make good time in most parts of the Four Corners part of the world so I'd encourage you to try to go that way.

In June you should be starting to get the early monsoon clouds that march across the sky and combined with the landscape, are quite spectacular. It always reminds me of the artist Rene Magritte, if you know him.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 07:59 AM
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Regarding driving from Winslow to Santa Fe...

Stopping at Acoma Pueblo is also an idea. How long would we need to plan to spend there?

I thought that detouring off of 40 and taking the Turquoise Trail (14) into Santa Fe instead of staying on would be good. Any thoughts about that?
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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Acoma is a wonderful place. But visitors aren't able to tour the pueblo on their own but, instead, go to the visitor center and are taken to the mesa on a bus and given a tour by a tribal guide. So it would matter how close to a tour time you arrived and were able to get on a tour. But I'd give it precedence over anything else you might do between Winslow and Santa Fe. In June there may be more visitors than when I was there off-season. But I'd do it, even if there was a wait, assuming you enjoy authentic experiences and aren't looking for something gussied up for tourists.

Regarding the Turquoise Trail, I haven't gone that way, so I don't know specifically. But, as I've mentioned, going off the interstate is always a good idea, as far as I'm concerned. And since it isn't way off, I'd do it.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 08:30 AM
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Thanks again MmePerdu. You have been very helpful.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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My recommendations are the distilled memories of long ago family car trips from Orange County, CA throughout the West. I also loved Acoma Pueblo and found that the drives through the Navajo and Hopi reservations had a haunting beauty. Still vivid memories include the Hopi mesa top village of Walpi, the Ganado Trading Post, and the vault at Richardson's, an active trading post, in Gallup. We had a couple of enjoyable one-night stays at La Posada--it was a convenient stopping point with historical character and charm.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 10:09 AM
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Thank you bon_voyage. A tour of Walpi would be wonderful. The wheels are turning now...
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 10:13 AM
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We were just at Acoma for their feast day for their patron saint. It is really something to visit the pueblo; so ancient. We were invited in to have lunch and that was even more amazing!

Taking the Turquoise Trail is nice, but by that point in time, I would just want to get to where I was going. It is easy enough to drive it while in SF, but honestly, it isn't all that different than other drives in the area.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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Thanks Deb. I appreciate the T.T. opinion. I think we will skip it.

I have got some thinking to do. I could add another night onto the trip from Vegas to Santa Fe. That would give us enough time to see some of the Hopi reservation and Acoma without having 10 hour travel days. I am trying to keep the driving to under five hours a day if possible.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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Great, wekewoody! When we traveled in the area, villages on the Hopi reservation could be closed to outsiders on certain ceremonial days so check your dates and times. On one visit we stayed in the lodging on Second Mesa, http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g3...na-Hotels.html. Also, it's the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, east of the Hopi mesas.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Speaking of trading posts, if you find yourself in the Navajo Nation, after Canyon de Chelly heading for Four Corners, there is a post operating at Lukachukai, not nearly as known as Hubbell and interesting in a different way as a result. Well off the beaten path but beautiful country to pass through.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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I like the Turquoise Trail. If you enjoy quirky museums, you could stop at Tinkertown. www.tinkertown.com The route takes you through some old mining towns, like Golden and Madrid.

Lee Ann
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 03:26 PM
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Thanks Lee Ann.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 05:26 PM
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I liked Walnut Canyon, but if you are going to Mesa Verde it would be a bit questionable if I wanted to spend the time there. Bandelier an hour from Santa Fe is fun to see and a nice comparison to Mesa Verde.

You also can loop south of 40 to visit elMorro/Inscription rock, a bit east of Accoma pueblo.

TT is kind of quirky, but fun to visit esp. of the artist is in the shop.
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Old Sep 8th, 2014, 05:26 PM
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Thanks emalloy. I sort of want to get to Santa Fe as quickly as possible without taking a forced march approach, so bypassing Walnut Canyon might not be a bad idea.

I actually had intended to fly into ABQ and out of LAS, but the price of the air tickets and a one way car rental would run the cost up about $1000.00 more than flying round trip to LAS and doing a round trip car rental...and that includes the overnight somewhere!
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Old Sep 11th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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Wekewoody. I have the same issue. I'm flying into Vegas, going up to zion, bryce, antelope canyon, monument valley and down to Albuquerque for the balloon fest. In order to save on flight prices and car rental I to need to drive back to Vegas

We will leave Albuquerque on sept 5 in the am - Our plan for that portion is to see acoma pueblo, petrified forest/painted desert, odd sites along way with an overnight somewhere. The la posada sounds interesting as does the wigwam motel. Not sure if that is too soon to spend night or if I should drive further west.

Next day - the 6th - possibly go up to Williams, bearizona, Grand Canyon caverns (not south rim - really no time) chloride ghost town and junk yard. I hear Delgados snow cap drive-in and angels barbershop are interesting. Thought we'd stay overnight by Hoover dam and tour it in the morning before our flight out of Vegas at 3pm on the 7th

The only thing that throws a small wrench into the plan is the weather on the 4th at the balloon fest. If the balloons don't go up, the 5th is the backup day.

Any suggestions of things to do or places to stay would be appreciated
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Old Sep 11th, 2014, 03:04 PM
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Hi powers...Yes, you are doing it in two nights, which I may end up doing in the end. Now that I have started looking, there is so much to see and do in Arizona and New Mexico. Reminds me of planning a trip to Italy. Everything sounds great and the trip just keeps getting longer and longer and longer.

I highly recommend doing the full tour at Hoover Dam. I thought it was really interesting and well worth the time.
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Old Sep 11th, 2014, 03:54 PM
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Powers, I hope you mean October 4 for being in ABQ as the Ballon Fiesta isn't until October.
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