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Old 01-19-2009, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Bergen , Norway
2 posts, read 9,040 times
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Hello New Mexicans

After businesstrips to both the east and westcoast in the US I've decided to go travelling around the 13states that form the American west. My timeframe for the entire trip is 4months divided into two 2months legs.


What are the main attractions in New Mexico? Both the places that you must see (which can be tourist traps) and hidden gems like small unspoiled towns and villages. I will probably rent a car, since Im unable to buy a car since im not a US resident. Im from Norway and only have a working visa they dont let me buy a car

The things Ive planned in New Mexico

Santa Fe
Albuquerque (big cities dont really interest me that much, but guess I have to go to the regional capital)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
White Sands and the museum there
Tent Rocks
Los Alamos and Bradbury Science Museum
City of Rocks National Park
The scenic drive "The Enchanted Circle"

Things Im planning to skip after advices (please prove them wrong!)


Four Corners - Just a metal plaque?
Roswell - Touristic place for squeezing money out of tourists?


I love hiking in great scenery so suggestions for daytrips and even hikes that span over several days are wanted.
If you have any routes which I can follow it would be golden

Last edited by travelguy78; 01-19-2009 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:36 PM
 
505 posts, read 666,083 times
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I can't find a good map. We came back down into New Mexico from Colorado last year. The scenery was spectacular. If you want a scenic drive, this was filled with it. Maybe someone who is more familiar with the northern part of the state can fill in details of roads. We drove by the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado and then came down through Antonito went west and then down into New Mexico through the mountains. We were near the the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad route for quite a while. We went through Echo Canyon and by Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch. We ended up in Taos.

The Tent Rocks and City of Rocks are both volcanic in origin, but I would add at least a cinder cone to the list of must sees unless you have those in Norway. There are several around Grants. In that area there are also lava tubes and ice caves. I had never seen anything like that until I came to New Mexico. They may not qualify as 'must see' for others.

Mesa Verde is just over the Colorado border. I would go out of my way to see it.

Roswell is a lot of hype, but the UFO Museum is free. I wouldn't go out of my way to see it, but it is worth an hour stop if you're driving through.

Something I absolutely love about the southwest is the stars at night. You can see more and they look closer to you than anywhere else I have been. The sky almost looks like it's dancing. If you're going to 13 states, you may have several chances to view the stars through telescopes. I don't know. If you by any chance go through West Texas, spend a night in Fort Davis, Texas. This is a couple of hours from southeastern New Mexico. They have the MacDonald Observatory there. They have huge telescopes and a program a couple of nights a week. They point out several constallations and other things of interest. Then you get to look through several telescopes pointed at various parts of the sky. We got to see the Anadromeda Galaxy and other things not really visible to the naked eye. They have a website where you can probably find viewing nights. It's best to go when the moon is a quarter or less because otherwise the sky is too bright. McDonald Observatory (http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/visitors/programs/ - broken link)
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Get a book called "Hidden New Mexico" and a Set of Benchmark Maps Co's Road and Recreation Atlas. Studying these keeps me sane (sort of) during a New England winter. Also check out the state of New Mexico tourist website.

I suggest:

Albquerque - Sandia tram at sunset and the Univ of New Mexico museums

Socorro - the Mineral Museum at NM Tech, The Very large Array out Rt 60 past Magdalena.

San Antonio, NM - Manny's Buckhorn saloon for lunch. Better burgers then the OWL IMHO.

T or C - the hot spring resorts.

Alamogordo - In addition to the White Sands Monument I suggest the Science Museum (the gold box up on the hill east of town). They have ecverything from one of Dr. Goddard's original rockets to a Saturn 5 motor. Go up the hill to Cloudcroft for some Western Kitch.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Tropical Florida
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A great road trip is the journey between Socorro and Silver city on U.S. Highway's 60 and 180 as it has some of the most beautiful mountain views in the state. It reminds me of western montana.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:21 AM
 
Location: San Juan County, New Mexico
262 posts, read 607,104 times
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Chaco Canyon

It's a day trip from Albuquerque. (Well, a really long day) These are probably the best ancient indian ruins in the state.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:29 AM
 
2,866 posts, read 4,211,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjbasin View Post
Chaco Canyon

It's a day trip from Albuquerque. (Well, a really long day) These are probably the best ancient indian ruins in the state.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
If you like ancient pre-Columbian ruins also check out Gila Cliff Dwellings and Bandelier.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:06 AM
 
Location: center of N.M.
815 posts, read 1,794,770 times
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Default The City Of Natural Lakes

Santa Rosa New Mexico on I 40 one of the most Beautiful Little Cities in New Mexico has lots of Lakes for boating and fishing and the Rio Pecos and lots of Friendly people that can give you directions to where you might want to go. P.S. they have the best Mexican Food Restaurants of anywhere in New Mexico. Try Johnnys Comet Drive Inn Restaurant. p.s. dont forget to visit the Park Lake el pintada kid
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
33,804 posts, read 29,233,166 times
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On my "to do" list is ride a motorcycle from Silver City to T or C and back on NM 152.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Tropical Florida
13,024 posts, read 24,442,181 times
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Another scenic drive in Southern New Mexico is from Alamogordo up to Cloudcroft and then over to Sunspot along the western rim of the Sacramento mountains some 9,000 ft above as you have miles upon miles of pine trees and yet only around 100 miles from the USA/Mexico border.
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