Joshua Tree >> Tucson >> Taos

Old Apr 28th, 2024, 07:54 PM
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Joshua Tree >> Tucson >> Taos

We are going on a road trip in May starting in Tucson, headed to Joshua Tree (for Saguaro Nat'l Park) and then to Taos. Any ideas or suggestions for lodging, must see things along the way, or best routes? Vacation is May 16 - 24. The drive from Tucson to Taos is pretty long, are there any recommended stops along the way? Thanks! Jennifer
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 04:40 AM
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Your post is confusing, since the named destinations don't really make sense. Saguaro NP is at your origin, Tucson. Joshua Tree is in California and AFAIK it is too cold at Joshua Tree NP for saguaros.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 07:33 AM
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You would visit Saguaro NP from Tucson. There are two separate areas of the park that are several miles apart.

The drive from Tucson to Joshua Tree to Taos is 5+ hours. From Joshua Tree to Taos is easily 12+ hours.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 07:46 AM
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I think the plan is supposed to be Joshua Tree CA > Tuscon/Saguaro AZ > Taos NM as in the title

I 'think' the title is the actual plan -- and the post's text has it mixed up (at least I hope this is the case - otherwise it make no sense )

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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 09:44 AM
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janisJ is certainly correct, I didn't notice the difference.

Trying not to place judgments on connecting 3 disparate places and the time involved in doing that.


Try to fly into Palm Springs. Even if it means a connection it's a lot easier than the LA options, well maybe Ontario airport is OK.

I don't know the Joshua Tree area lodging, it's kind of a funky area, normal chain lodgings in Palm Springs.

Saguaro NP is right in the Tucson area, you can almost stay anywhere and it will work out, nearer the interstate is easier. If you only want to see saguaros they are all over the Phoenix area, just going that far south instead would reduce driving.

There are scenic options north from Tucson to Taos, I don't know how adventurous you are. If you go north via the unattractive mining town of Globe, you can follow US 60 up through pretty Apache country and the resort area of Showlow then east to NM and the middle-of-nowhere town Quemado, go north from there and drive hwy 117 it is really spectacular heading to I-40. Rock cliffs one side and then the lava flows of El Malpais NM on the other.

Adding: Another way goes along the west side of El Malpais, past El Morro NM on the Ramah (Ray-mah) Navajo satellite reservation and then past the privately held volcano and ice cave (there are remnants of ice left over from the last ice age like this scattered all around the country).

Last edited by tom_mn; Apr 29th, 2024 at 09:58 AM.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 01:51 PM
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It's over 300mi from Joshua Tree to Tucson. I'm thinking the whole JT thing is a typo.....

And at 600miles, Tucson to Taos is indeed a long drive.....through a whole lotta open space.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by J62
It's over 300mi from Joshua Tree to Tucson. I'm thinking the whole JT thing is a typo.....

And at 600miles, Tucson to Taos is indeed a long drive.....through a whole lotta open space.

But the thread is tagged for all three states. I guess we need the OP to return and clear things up . . .
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Old Apr 30th, 2024, 12:19 PM
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Break the drive from Tucson to Taos with a stop in Albuquerque or Santa Fé.
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Old May 1st, 2024, 04:49 PM
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I did indeed this mixed up! I should not do travel planning late at night. It should say Joshua Tree (Palm Springs) >> Saguaro (Tucson) >> Taos

We are flying into Palm Springs to visit Joshua Tree (renting a car) and will either stay in Palm Spring or Joshua Tree a couple days. I am having trouble nailing down lodging that feels great. THEN we drive to Tucson to go to Saguaro NP. We will be there 3 nights and see the park and sights in Tucson which I read is an interesting town.

The drive up to Taos is the hard part. It does not make sense to go there in a day. It is FAR. Looking for ideas on best route/sight/layover city. I was looking into stopping for the night at Holbrook and staying at the Wigwam Motel and trying to see Petrified Forest before heading to Taos. There are lots of other vacation options closer to Tucson worth seeing, but I promised to see a family member in Taos without knowing exactly how far of a drive it was so I am locked in (plus it looks like a pretty drive, I hope). Want to make it fun for the family as we make our way up to Taos so looking for a route that splits of the driving with a solid overnight choice.
.
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Old May 1st, 2024, 05:01 PM
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Thanks Tom! The routes you provided look promising. I remember seeing the El Malpais lava flows when I was a kid. This is also close to the Acoma Pueblo which I think is a neat place.

Do you have an opinion on Petrified National Park. I have never been and that is another option.
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Old May 1st, 2024, 05:56 PM
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I think 29 Palms is a little more convenient for the National Park than is the town of Joshua Tree.

There are several chain hotels such as Holiday Inn Express or Fairfield Inn, as well as a few unique places that are listed in AirBnb. And some older motels.
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jenwalker

Do you have an opinion on Petrified National Park. I have never been and that is another option.
If you are driving by then Petrified Forest NP is an ok stop for about an hour or so.
If you are a hardcore geologist, then it's kinda cool.

Personally, I would not make any detour to go there.
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 10:54 AM
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It does not make sense to go there in a day. It is FAR
Having done Tucson>>Kansas in a day, it's not that far.....

Santa Fe is the better option, however it is 80% of the way. Albuquerque is a place I visit often, it's getting shabbier (the armed guard with flak vest guarding the Kohl's entrance gave me pause) but would mean a little less driving the first day over Santa Fe. Once you leave Showlow, it's just the Indian Casino hotels or Albuquerque with lodging options if you go the Apache way. East to Las Cruzes and then up, all interstate to Santa Fe, gives you more options but is not very scenic. Showlow and Pinetop have dozens of lodging options. Forgot about Grants NM, there are lodging choices there, maybe very slight backtrack.
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