Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Driving from Mesa Verde to Santa Fe... (

wekewoody Mar 22nd, 2014 08:54 AM

Driving from Mesa Verde to Santa Fe...
We will be driving from Mesa Verde to Santa Fe in June. We plan to stay three to four nights in Santa Fe. I am wondering if there is a logical overnight location between the two that will allow us to visit some sights and Pueblos before we get to Santa Fe so we can focus our time in Santa Fe on the town, without having to do many day trips. I had been thinking about the Jemez Springs area or Abiquiu, but not having been to the area, it is hard to figure out.

Perhaps the best solution is to drive straight through and then do the visits as day trips from Santa Fe even though it might seem like backtracking.

Any thoughts or ideas? Thank you!

sylvia3 Mar 22nd, 2014 09:44 AM

It's only 4 hours from Mesa Verde to Santa Fe; day trips sound like a good idea.

wekewoody Mar 22nd, 2014 10:27 AM

Thanks sylvia. I know 4 hours isn't really that long of a drive.

Perhaps there are some places we can stop along the way even as a day long drive? We will probably be taking route 84.

Any ideas about that anyone?

emalloy Mar 22nd, 2014 10:34 AM

There is a nice small museum in Jemez Springs. Between there and SF are Valles Caldera and Bandelier NM both of which could be done as a day trip from Santa Fe. Bandelier would be a nice comparison to Mesa Verde as many of the dwellings are carved into the soft hardened ash of the mountainside. I have some pictures of them at in the 2013 set and probably in a couple of others. The area called Tsankawi that is about 5 miles closer to SF is less developed and is also nice to explore.

sylvia3 Mar 22nd, 2014 10:45 AM

This was fun: finding the old church in Hernandez that's featured in Ansel Adams' iconic "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico".
It's there, and quite picturesque (you might have to ask someone; it's on a road that parallels the highway, but only a minute from it).

wekewoody Mar 22nd, 2014 11:11 AM

slyvia, I love that idea! I've come up with images and maps for locating it. It sounds like something unusual to do.

emalloy, Bandelier is certainly on my list of things that I wanted to see while in the area. Thanks for the photos!

ElendilPickle Mar 22nd, 2014 12:45 PM

You could stop in Abiquiu. Ghost Ranch offers a couple of Georgia O'Keeffe tours, if that interests you.

Lee Ann

wekewoody Mar 22nd, 2014 01:15 PM

Thanks Lee Ann. Some of the tours do sound interesting. Perhaps even spending the night there!

sharondi Mar 22nd, 2014 03:43 PM

Bandolier is a great place to explore.

We spent a night in Jemez Springs a few years ago at a wonderful B&B in a gorgeous canyon next to the river called Canon del Rio. Beautiful inn with very reasonably priced rooms.

In Jemez, we also hiked a few miles to a beautiful hot springs - what a wonderful experience swimming in a warm pool of water in a stream in the middle of the woods!

wekewoody Mar 22nd, 2014 05:32 PM

Sharondi, that inn looks wonderful! Thanks for the photos. I think exploring the Jemez Springs area and spending a night at that inn sounds like a great idea.

Vttraveler Mar 23rd, 2014 10:34 AM

You could consider visiting Chaco Canyon since you are obviously very interested in pueblo culture. It is a long drive in but worth the trip

lauramsgarden May 27th, 2014 07:52 AM

If it's not too late, check out Farmington. We are 1 1/2 hours from Mesa Verde, very near Chaco Canyon, the Bisti wilderness area, and the Aztec ruins, plus great opportunities to buy Navajo artwork at local (non Santa fe) prizes direct from the artists. plus we're very friendly and have lovely parks and walkways, great hiking and an hour from Durango's restaurants and trails.

wekewoody May 27th, 2014 05:32 PM

Thanks laura. The trip has been pushed back until June 2015 and has morphed into a Moab/MesaVerde/Monument Valley/North Rim GC trip. I really wanted to see Arches/Canyonlands, Monument Valley and also wanted to spend more time at the North Rim. We loved it there a few years ago. We'll fly into Salt Lake City and out of Las Vegas. Santa Fe will have to wait. I just made reservations for Mesa Verde and scored a Rim Cabin at the Grand Canyon Lodge.

lauramsgarden May 29th, 2014 07:04 AM

oh do enjoy - the area is so beautiful. We visited Arches/canyonlands last Thanksgiving so let me know if you want any advice with that. We are close to Mesa Verde - if you get a chance jump down to take a drive by shiprock - it is amazing

wekewoody May 29th, 2014 12:18 PM

Hi laura, thanks for you offer of help. I would appreciate any hints or insights about visiting Arches, Canyonlands and Mesa Verde that you have. Thanks!

emalloy May 30th, 2014 03:00 AM

wakewoody, I hope your reservations for Mesa Verde were for Far View Lodge, because the road in is up the mesa and very twisty and takes about a half hour to get to the top of the mesa. There are mule deer etc. that you would want to avoid at night too.

Sounds like a wonderful trip for 2015, although I might want to do a test run this year too, it never gets old.

wekewoody May 30th, 2014 04:36 AM

Yes emalloy, we have a room at Far View for three nights. We are thinking three nights at Moan as well. We might do four. Thanks!

DebitNM May 30th, 2014 05:34 AM

I have given lots of input on here as a local in the Mesa Verde areas for several years. I will be happy to give a hand as the time gets closer. In meantime, an advanced search or google my name and: Mesa verde; Cortez; Durango. I also have a TR on Moab here too. A bit old but should still be pretty accurate.

wekewoody May 30th, 2014 05:37 AM

Make that Moab.

wekewoody May 30th, 2014 05:40 AM

Yes Deb, I have read your posts on these areas over the years and will be using your suggestions for sure. Thank you!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:57 PM.