Where to go from Santa Fe

Old Aug 9th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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Where to go from Santa Fe

Have started to plan next summers trip to US but have run into the first major doubt.

We have 3 weeks and plan to arrive in Denver. Then we will go to:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Montrose (Black Gunnison)
Mesa Verde
Monument Valley
Route 66 to Albuquerque and Santa Fe with different stops.

Then according to my calculation we still have 5-6 days before we need to return to Denver. But where do we go from Santa Fe?
We have already been to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion and we would like to see things we haven´t done before. We are 2 adults in our late 30 and a 6 year old son. Maybe some suggestions where we could relax for a few days with swimming, horseback riding???

I am looking forward to hear from you.

Morten_o is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Not sure of your intended route, but seems to me your missing Sedona & Taos. Many items (particualrly Native American items near both including Tuzigoot, Taos Pueblo etc. - http://anasaziruins.blogspot.com/, http://azstateparks.com/find/index.html
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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After Moab insert 'drive scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce then on to Zion NP'. Perhaps Grand Canyon North Rim then Monument Valley etc.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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My first thought was Canyon de Chelly (pronounced "shay") in Chinle, AZ. It has cliff dwellings and canyons where Anasazi and Navajo lived. You can take a jeep tour or a horseback ride into the canyon, all led my a required Navajo guide.

Also, Chaco Canyon which is in NW New Mexico. The only major lodging area would be in Farmington but there is camping there if you are interested. If you're passing through you could still visit the main ruin there, Pueblo Bonito, which was a major site for Puebloan culture. An interesting feature for us was the story of the North, South, East and West "roads" intersecting at Pueblo Alto, which is believed to be the trading center. The dirt paths are still visible from the air which is really incredible.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Taos-Chaco canyon-Durango-Aspen-Manitou springs-Denver.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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Not really an answer to your question here....but thought you might be interested in seeing this site about the area between Moab and Monument Valley....not too far from Mesa Verde. You might be able to do a short hike to one of these ruins if time permits for you.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 04:49 PM
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I would agree about Sedona. It's only about 20 miles southwest of Flagstaff, and it's a delightful community -- a broad valley with a beautiful creek at the bottom and these huge red rock formations cropping up everywhere. You could easily spend your extra 5-6 days in Sedona alone. It has just about everything you need for a great family vacation. There are good places to stay; I recommend either the French-influenced Auberge de Sedona, which has both a modern hotel at the top of the cliff and then a series of wooden creekside cabins done up in a country French style on the valley floor; the Enchantment Resort; or try a Bed-and-Breakfast, some of which back up to Oak Creek. There are tons of hiking trails, a number of which would be manageable for your six-year-old. You can swim at Slide Rock State Park, where the water is cold but there is a natural water slide at least 50 yards long. You can take a helicopter tour over the valley. There is great arts-and-crafts shopping. And within an easy drive are Indian ruins at Tuzigoot and Montezuma's Castle; the old mining town of Jerome; and you could do a train trip up the Verde River Valley.

You might also want to consider Durango, and the train trip on the Durango-Silverton railroad. I would also endorse an overnight or two-night) visit to Canyon de Chelly; along the way (if you come north from I-40 you can visit the Hubbell Trading Post near Ganado, with wonderful Navajo rugs. And don't forget the pueblo of Acoma on the way in to Albuquerque from the west.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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"We have already been to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion and we would like to see things we haven´t done before."

I wonder why you are going to Flagstaff then? It's way out of your way from Monument Valley. If it's just to do Route 66, you might reconsider. I found that most of the old highway is gone and what's left are basically tourist traps without any real historical value. There are a few exceptions but not that many to make the road a destination in itself.

One route you might consider from Santa Fe is to go up US84 to Pagosa Springs and then on over Wolf Creek Pass to Alamosa and the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Then you can make your way to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak. In Alamosa, you could ride the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad and at Pikes Peak, take the cog railway. You could also probably find a guest ranch in this area where you could ride horses and enjoy a dip in a pool.
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 07:55 PM
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I agree with Otis_B.......100%. As a matter of fact, his reply was exactly what I was thinking as I was reading down through the other posts. I love Pagosa Springs - they're hot springs are the best in Colorado south of I-70.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 04:11 AM
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When you're in the Santa Fe area, do go to Bandelier NM, it is great, the advice above about going to Canyon de Chelley and Chaco Canyon is good also.

Have a fantastic trip.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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Thank you very much for your replies. I will start to look into your suggestions.

jeffergray, you really got me hooked up on Sedona. Also Canyon de Chelly looks interesting.
Otis, also seems nice about your suggestion. Hope I can come back for more information when I have done some research.

This will be our 5th visit to the US West/South West and for me an important part of these adventures is the research and preparation. Don´t know what we did before the internet....
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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If you go to Canyon de Chelly, than I agree you can drop, Flagstaff - Pagosa has a hotel complex with numerous activities designed for small kids - and a separate hot springs area. The Durango railroad would be ideal for your child as well. Then spend 1/2 day at Mesa Verde - a national park that is well worth viewing.
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