Need Help with Must Sees in New Mexico

Old Feb 4th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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Need Help with Must Sees in New Mexico

We are taking a three month RV trip through the southern part of the US. We will be driving from Tuscan, AZ to Las Cruces, Alamogordo, and Carlsbad, NM. We will be sure to see the famous sights along the way, but would appreciate your feedback on the little-known areas to be visited near our destinations. Our interestes are scenery, art, crafts and culture, history, bird watching, and experiencing the local cuisine. Any information you can provide would be most helpful.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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White Sands National Monument (morning is probably the best time)

If you are adventurous, consider doing the Wild Cave Tours in Carlsbad(they only allow 8 people per week-reserve ASAP). I've been to Carlsbad Caverns many times and thoroughly enjoy all the cave tours they offer. Do as many as you can.
Guadalupe is a National Park that is often overlooked. It is about an hour from Carlsbad. Hike Guadalupe Peak(the highest point in Texas).

There is a Campground (no hookups) in Guadalupe. There isn't one in Carlsbad Caverns. DO NOT even consider White's City for a meal or a camping spot. Worst place to stay or eat I've ever been to. Off the charts crazy bad.

Kartchner Caverns is another cave just outside of Tucson. We are doing that ourselves for the first time in about 2 months.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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What time of year do you plan to take this trip?

Lee Ann
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 11:58 AM
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You don't say when you will be visiting, or how far off your route you are willing to venture, but for birding you should consider the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (a couple of hours from Las Cruces or Alamogordo). http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=22520


Near Alamogordo is the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot. http://www.nso.edu/visit

The NSO's sister facility, the Kitt Peak National Observatory, is located about an hour west of Tucson. http://www.noao.edu/outreach/kpvc/plan_trip.html You could visit one or both.


Lincoln Historic Site is about 1.5 hours from Alamogordo or Cloudcroft (it is a well-preserved 1880s village that is famous for its connection to Billy the Kid). http://www.nmmonuments.org/lincoln

If you do go as far as the Bosque del Apache, you might also want to visit the Very Large Array radio telescope west of Socorro. http://www.vla.nrao.edu
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for all your replys! We are leaving April 1st.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Why are you not venturing further north in New Mexico? You are missing some of the best parts of NM! Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos have wonderful things to see and do.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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We will visit northern New Mexico on the way back. We've been to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but plan to visit again. We haven't been to Taos so we will take that in on our return route.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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You don't say if you plan to stop for long in southern Arizona, but there's great birding in that part of the state, south of Tucson in the canyons in and around Sierra Vista.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 02:52 PM
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With 3 months, I would think you would want the last half to be in the Northern mountainous area, where weather will be better.

BTW, I am planning on doing Mount Lemmon Observatory near Tucson. I debated and debated over it and Kitts. Not sure which one is best. Since, I'm only doing the one, I don't guess I'll know.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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I think my original post was a bit confusing. Here's our itinerary: We will be making our way across southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas from Sonora to Houston then through southern Louisiana, skirting along the gulf shore of Mississippi and Florida, across northern Florida to Savanna Georgia. Up the coast of South Carolina then into Kentucky for the bourbon trail, back through Tennessee to go to Nashville and Memphis. We'll make our way through Oklahoma, northern Texas, northern New Mexico (Santa Fe again!), northern Arizona then home to northern California.
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 03:06 PM
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You should consider a swing into SW Colorado - Mesa Verde National Park, if you haven't been. Amazing!
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 05:21 AM
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I totally agree with DebitNM about the swing up to Mesa Verde, then go west to Moab, UT for Arches and Canyonlands before you go back to Santa Fe and Albuquerque. If you have been to Santa Fe already, you might even consider continuing west through southern Utah and visiting, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion before heading for California.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 08:11 AM
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We did a month visiting Capitol Reef, Bryce & Zion in 2011--one of the best-ever trips we've done! Thanks for the Mesa Verde suggestion.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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In that case, you can skip Bosque del Apache. Mid-November through February is the best time to see a lot of birds there.

Lee Ann
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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After Mesa Verde, you might drop down to Bandelier NP before you hit Santa Fe. Nice comparison of dwellings.
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