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Katie Mar 18th, 2000 12:08 PM

How's the drive from Albuquerque to Durango
We are planning to spend a week in Durango in May. The plan is to fly to Albuquerque, NM and then drive to Durango, which should be right over the Colorado Border, but not sure how long this drive will take. We mapped out the route ( about 215 miles from Albuquerque to Durango) but not sure how long is that drive, considering road conditions and such. Any suggestions or comments will be appreciated. <BR>Thanks, Katie

Bob Brown Mar 18th, 2000 02:11 PM

The road is fairly good. I would say 4 hours without speeding. (This assumes your driving skills are adequate for highway passing of slower moving vehicles.) I would allow extra time because I would find places to stop and look. You could detour by Aztec Ruins National Monument because it is only a few miles off of your route. The name is a misnomer; the ruins have nothing to do with the Aztecs. (It was named in ignorance.) <BR>Also, why not visit Bandelier NM while you are so close? <BR>I assume you plan to visit Mesa Verde while you are out there. It is a few miles west of Durango toward Cortez. <BR>

katie Mar 19th, 2000 10:14 AM

you've mentioned Bandelier, NM: I don't know anything about this place. is it worth seeing? <BR>Thanks for your suggestions, <BR>Katie

katie Mar 19th, 2000 10:22 AM

Also, another thing: we most likely will be taking hwy 550 from Albuquerque to Durango. How are the road conditions (such as guard rails, passing lanes, etc) <BR>Thanks again, <BR>Katie

Bob Brown Mar 19th, 2000 11:16 AM

Bandelier National Monument is an ancient Indian cliff dwelling -- 1100 to 1550. It is believed to predate Mesa Verde. It is located close to Los Alamos, of atomic energy fame. (infamy??) If you aren't into that sort of thing, I would not go there. We have toured many of the old dwellings, such as Mesa Verde, and found them interesting. <BR>You say you are taking US 550 from Albuquerque to Durango? My map does not show that to be the case. In Aztec, it it turns west to Farmington, NM, and ends. My map shows New Mexico route 44 being the main road between those two places. 44 is a two lane road, but scenic. I don't recall about passing lanes or guard rails. It has been a few years since I drove it. Perhaps my map is old, but my Rand McNally atlas map dates from 1997. <BR> <BR>A less scenic route would be to take I 40 west from Albuquerque to Gallup. <BR>There you head north on US 666. <BR>In Shiprock, you have a choice. Either stay on 666 to Cortez and turn east to Durango on US 160 or take US 64 east to Farmington where you pick up US 550 into Durango. This route is considerably longer and not one I would take personally. If I were making the drive in May, I would take I 25 north from Albuquerque and take New Mexico 44 after it branched off at exit 244. <BR>If I were detouring by Bandelier, I would need to study a more detailed map of New Mexico, which at the moment I can't locate.

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