New Mexico in October

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CeeBeeEll

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Aug 7, 2005
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NC
We are planning a 3 week tour of New Mexico during the first 3 weeks of October.  I could use any suggestions of places that we should have on the "must see" list, and any campground recommendations that you may have.  The initial plan is to use Santa Fe as a base camp for a few days and take the toad to Taos, Albuquerque and surrounding areas.  Then perhaps Gallup as a base for touring some of Northwest NM, then Las Cruces/Carlsbad before heading back to NC.

We will also need RV Parks with High Speed Internet access.. wireless if possible.

Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
 

Wendy

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I would use Farmington as a base for northwest NM.....much nicer than Gallup. Chaco is a really neat place if you don't mind driving out gravel and dirt roads. Carlsbad Caverns is awesome....try one of the "specialty" tours (spelunker, old-timer, etc) if you're braver than I am. The area around Grants is great....Morro Rock, El Malpais. And the area around Silver City is also spectacular, albeit a bit cold in October. Santa Fe is worth a stay just on it's own.

Enjoy!
Wendy
 

Ken & Sheila

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NCBounder,

We are currently staying in Sante Fe at Rancheros de Sante Fe.

It is an old, KOA style park. They do have sites for 40ftrs like ours.
Its OK, but the plus is free Wifi. Which I am using to send this message.
At the other end of town (south), jusy off I 25 is Sante Skies. Its a newer park, but its up in high ground and is open to winds.

I don't know if it has free Wifi, but if it does it would be my choice for the next trip here.

In addition to a CG guide like Trailer Life, I suggest you visit: rvparkreviews.com

ken
 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
While you are in Santa Fe, take in  Ft. Union National Monument, about 90 east and north of town  via I-25.  It preserves the ruins of an old US Army fort that protected the southern reaches of the Santa Fe trail.  If you have any interest in the history of the West, it is a must.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi NCBounder,

Wendy has a good suggestion on Carlsbad Caverns. It's not to be missed. We took the guided tour to a cavern that is not open to the general public. Our guide was excellent and he told the story of the cave discovery. It was worth the cost.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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While in the Carlsbad, NM area, also visit the Living Desert State Park, which is actually a museum/zoo of desert wildlife. It's just outside of Carlsbad, on the northern side (the caverns are several miles south of Carlsbad).  I also suggest the Brantley Lake State Park, 12 miles north of the town as a way to experience desert camping without giving up the comforts of a full hook-up site. It's a lovely desert park, overlooking a large reservoir.  You can boondock down by the lakeside as well, if you like.
 

Dave in Denver

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Parker, Colorado
The Trailer Ranch in Santa Fe is a terrific place to stay. Only 3.5 miles to the plaza. It is a 55+ community - if that works for you there are few places better to stay. See if you can get site T-15, T-16 or T-17.

Be sure to take the "High Road to Taos" - a wonderful drive which includes Chimayo and the Santuario de Chimayo (don't miss it). In Santa Fe be sure to check out the Canyon Road Galleries. The Georgia O'Keefe Museum is worth a visit (used to be that all museums were free on Friday night - I assume that is still so, but am not certain). When in Santa Fe, we usually try to take a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking http://santafeschoolofcooking.com/. In Taos be sure to get out to the Taos Pueblo and if you can time it to be in Taos for breakfast Michael's Kitchen is not to be missed. Also in the general Santa Fe area is Bandelier National Monument and the fall is a great time of year to go there.

New Mexico is one of our favorite destinations and you'll be there at a great time of year!
 

Bob Maxwell

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NCBounder said:
We are planning a 3 week tour of New Mexico during the first 3 weeks of October.? I could use any suggestions of places that we should have on the "must see" list, and any campground recommendations that you may have.

That time period is our most beautiful for sunsets, weather and travel. It's also the busiest time of the year with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta beginning the first full weekend in Oct and ending the Sunday of the second weekend, that's 10/1-9. So, if you want a reservation for an RV site, start calling immediately as most are already booked in Alb and Santa Fe.

The Fiesta itself may have some sites and that is actually a good deal. If you have a mh, owners clubs from all the major manufacturers have rallies and maybe yours has openings. We did the for five days and four nights and loved it. They are the best buy the first 10 days of Oct. The fiesta itself is not to b missed!!! Days you can hit alb and the surrounding area. A great day trip not mentioned by others is the Salinas National Monuments SE of Alb. These missions from the 1600's are not often visited and are really "the lost cities of gold."

All the other ideas others gave you were right on.

As a resident of NM & the El Paso area since '89 and AZ and the the S CA desert area for 7 more before that, I can be a help on some things if you have questions. I do know some of the best restaurants from Taos to Socorro and Roswell to Albuqueque as well.

Come on out, and I hopw we get a chance to meet.
 

CeeBeeEll

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NC
Thanks for all of the replies.  I am not retired yet, so internet will be important.  We are definitely going to Carlsbad Caverns... I have visited there before and that is one of the main stops we plan on this trip.

That's a good suggestion Wendy concerning Farmington.  In fact, when we first started thinking about this trip, I had included Monument Valley.  I LOVE that place and have been there a couple of times.  But we really wanted to make this a true New Mexico tour and with time, decided not to go there.  The reason for Gallup is to stay there for a few days, go west over to Canyon De Chelly loop,  maybe Chaco Culture Park? and definitely Zuni Pueblo, Inscription Rock and the lava flows south of Gallup.  Wish I could stay 3 months instead of 3 weeks!

The reason I am considering Las Cruces, is that I'll have to be stationary during the day for a week of work (internet access is important again) and I want to be in the south where it'll still be hot in October.

We are not leaving until  Sept 30, so any and all recommendations and suggestions will be considered.
 

CeeBeeEll

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NC
As a follow up to Wendy's comment: I have a few more questions...

How cold is it in the Silver City area in October?  I know nothing of the climate in that area.

Is route 12 coming from the north to Silver City RV Friendly?  (32 foot pulling a toad)

Also.. Has anyone stayed at the Rosevalley RV Ranch in Silver City? 

Thanks again...
Chuck
 

Wendy

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Silver City is about 6000 ft elevation, a little lower than Cortez but a bit cooler in fall and winter....highs in the 60s, lows probably down near freezing.....nice and brisk. Can't tell you about any of the roads in an RV since the last time we were down there, we were in the Explorer and were bouncing around on dirt and gravel roads. If you do get to that area, Gila Cliff Dwellings N.M. is a pretty neat place if you're into Anasazi (ooops, excuse me, "Ancestral Puebloan") ruins.

Wendy in fallish Cortez

 

Ken & Sheila

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NCBounder said:
As a follow up to Wendy's comment: I have a few more questions...

How cold is it in the Silver City area in October? I know nothing of the climate in that area.

Is route 12 coming from the north to Silver City RV Friendly? (32 foot pulling a toad)

Also.. Has anyone stayed at the Rosevalley RV Ranch in Silver City?

Thanks again...
Chuck

Chuck,

We stayed at RoseValley Rv Ranch and found it was fine. Our site was great, but there are many good sites. Specify your length and that you want a level site (most are fairly good). This RV Park has few amenities. NO pool, no rec room etc. We used it as a base for exploration and it was fine. Our site was too far from the office to get a usable WIFI. Visit http://www.rvparkreviews.com for more information on Rose Valley (or any other CG)

We drove Rt 12 in the jeep from Silver City to Reserve and I don't remember anything that would give you any trouble. There were some grades, but nothing steep.

I would stay at Grants rather than Gallup to visit the Lava flows (EL Malpias NM), Inscription Rock (El Morro MN) and the Chaco NHM. The are also many other things to see and visit in the area. Grants has a visitor center that is sponsored by the following:
BLM
National Park Service
National Forest Service
State of New Mexico
Several Indian Tribes/Pueblos

A great place to start a visit to the area. We only had a day and could have used at least three if not  a week in the Grants area.

If you decide to go south (or north) on RT 12 it starts/ends at Datil where RT12 meets RT60. Just west on 60 is a National Recreation Site with a nice dry camp campground. From here you can visit the nearby VLA (Very Large Array Radio Telescope) and further west is the small town Pie Town. Great for a afternoon stop at the cafe for pie and coffee.

ken
 

Wendy

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Ditto on staying in Grants rather than Gallup. There are some nice historic areas of Gallup (used to be a great stopover on Route 66) but mostly it's an unexciting town, mainly a stop over for those on I-40 and people traveling in from the reservation. Of course, in October Gallup will be a tad warmer than Grants. I think we froze our class C there in 1990 whilst moving to Hovenweep.

East of Gallup, the road from Thoreau (pronounced "through") to Crownpoint (great Navajo rug auctions there quarterly) has some outstanding scenery and is a nicer way to get to northwest New Mexico than traveling Highway 666 (which the governor of New Mexico renamed Highway 491) ... 666 is kind of boring and very, very unsafe with dips, drunks, tourists, and pedestrians (sorry if I offended anyone).

Wendy
 
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