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10-Day New Mexico Road Trip Itinerary • The Blonde Abroad

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New Mexico Road Trip Itinerary

Hey there! I’m Laurel Tincher, founding father of the weblog By Laurel Christine. I write about sustainable residing and reconnecting with nature, together with tales about journey, style, design, and extra. My adventures in sustainability have taken me everywhere in the world, from my house state of California to my present house base in stunning Hawaii.

Just lately I had the chance to take a road trip round New Mexico, and it was top-of-the-line street journeys I’ve ever been on!

It’s no marvel why New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. From historic pure wonders to Native American and Southwestern tradition, to UFOs and alien lore, the state is likely one of the most splendidly distinctive locations within the United States and the world.

On prime of its cultural and pure websites, you’ll discover unbelievable meals and pleasant locals all through the state. A road trip is the easiest way to expertise all that New Mexico has to supply. You’ll be able to pack in all the main cultural and pure highlights in a 10-day to a two-week journey.

The primary airport in New Mexico is in Albuquerque. I needed to verify to go to White Sands, which is a protracted drive from that airport, so I made a decision to fly into Albuquerque and fly out of El Paso, Texas, which labored out nicely.

This journey itinerary consists of stops in Taos and Santa Fe, plus out of doors excursions to the Bisti Badlands and White Sands Nationwide Park, with many different wonderful websites alongside the way in which.

The Best  Time to Visit

New Mexico gets snow in the winter and has sweltering, dry summers, so the ideal times to visit are from March-June or September-November. The fall is a less popular time for tourists, so things will be less crowded if you go that time of year.

There are also many festivals throughout the year if you have the opportunity to time your trip around a special local event.

I went on this road trip in June. The heat wasn’t too severe, but going in early summer did mean I had to take more breaks from the sun when visiting the parks and monuments.

Keep in mind that New Mexico can get sudden rain and lightning storms throughout the year. There were afternoon storms in the northern part of the state during the first several days of my trip.

Make sure your car has good wheels and working windshield wipers. I rented a 4WD car and was glad I did, although it isn’t essential for this trip.

My 10-Day Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Albuquerque
  • Day 2: Albuquerque
  • Day 3: Bisti Badlands
  • Day 4-5: Taos
  • Day 6-7: Santa Fe
  • Day 8: Bandelier National Monument
  • Day 9: Las Cruces
  • Day 10: White Sands National Park

Day One: Arrive in Albuquerque

New Mexico’s largest city blends historical culture with a modern downtown.

There are many ways to experience the natural beauty of the high desert area, which is the perfect introduction to the breathtaking state. I loved visiting local wineries and exploring Old Town Albuquerque.

For those who go to in October, be sure you catch the world’s largest scorching air balloon pageant.

High Issues to See and Do in Albuquerque:

  • Discover historic adobe buildings, museums, and outlets in Previous City.
  • View native wildlife on the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden.
  • Hike La Luz Trail to the highest of South Sandia Peak for a lovely view of town. If the climate’s good, take the cable automotive again all the way down to the underside.
  • Expertise native wines at Casa Rondeña Winery.

The place to Keep in Albuquerque:

Keep at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm for a soothing countryside expertise. On the resort, you may trip bikes by means of lavender fields and eat meals grown proper on the property.

For those who don’t keep at Los Poblanos, positively nonetheless cease in for a espresso or a meal.

Day Two: Proceed Exploring Albuquerque

I might suggest exploring Previous City and mountain climbing Laz Luz Path in your first day to get acquainted with the realm. For those who aren’t up for the total hike, you may drive to the underside of the cable automotive station for a shocking sundown view of town.

On day two, go to the ABQ BioPark and go wine tasting. You may as well stroll alongside the Rio Grande on the Rio Grande Nature Heart State Park.

Bisti Badlands

Day Three: Hike the Bisti Badlands

Take the 40 West to the 371 North

[Approx. 182 miles | 3 hours]

Exploring the Bisti Badlands, or Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, was one of many highlights of my street journey. It might look like a protracted strategy to go, however it’s nicely price it, particularly should you’re a photographer or nature and historical past lover!

The Bisti is a 45,000-acre desert wilderness space with a number of the most unusual rock formations on Earth. In prehistoric instances the realm was a coastal swamp, house to dinosaurs, reptiles, and different historic creatures.

I might extremely suggest reserving a walking tour with Navajo Tours USA, particularly should you’re touring solo. It’s simple to get disoriented on the market, so by going with a information you’ll be sure you see all the most effective websites with out having to fret about getting misplaced.

Plus, you’ll study a lot concerning the geologic historical past of the area and the native Navajo tradition. I used to be touring solo and booked a one-on-one tour, which was such an unbelievable expertise!

Navajo Excursions affords each morning and night hikes, so should you depart Albuquerque early, you are able to do the night tour, after which you may all the time return once more within the morning by yourself if you would like extra time there.

A number of issues to bear in mind:

  • Farmington is the closest place to remain for a go to to the Bisti Badlands, and it’s about an hour’s drive between town and the Bisti wilderness.
  • There aren’t any companies or bogs on the Bisti Badlands. Be ready for altering climate situations, pack water and snacks, and ensure your telephone is charged earlier than you go.

What to Do Round Farmington in Addition to the Bisti Badlands:

  • The Aztec Ruins National Monument is an enchanting preserved website that’s free to go to.
  • Make the quick drive out to Ship Rock, a 1500 ft. rock formation with non secular significance to the Navajo Nation.

The place to Keep in Farmington:

  • The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Farmington is a snug and handy place to land to your Bisti Badlands journey.
  • You may as well camp in some areas of the Bisti Badlands should you’re planning on bringing your tenting gear.

Day 4: Drive to Taos

Take the 64 East

[Approx. 214 miles | 4 hours]

Taos is a stunning artist colony, filled with galleries, museums, and historic adobe buildings. I might image having my very own artwork retreat there! The excessive elevation city is a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers in all seasons as a consequence of its entry to close by ski resorts. There are such a lot of unique things to do on this vibrant group.

High Issues to See and Do in Taos:

The place to Keep in Taos:

Staying at the Earthship community simply exterior Taos is a as soon as in a lifetime expertise.

The Phoenix Earthship, which could be booked on Airbnb, features a beautiful greenhouse and distinctive, sustainably designed biotecture, with a full kitchen and plentiful residing area

It’s a giant area for a solo traveler, however I additionally stayed in one of many smaller Earthships, and it was positively price splurging on the Phoenix to get the total Earthship expertise.

Taos is a stunning artist colony, filled with galleries, museums, and historic adobe buildings.

Day 5: Discover Taos and Go to Taos Pueblo

Only one mile north of city, Taos Pueblo is an historic pueblo nonetheless inhabited by a Native American tribe of Puebloan folks. The UNESCO World Heritage Website is likely one of the oldest constantly inhabited communities in the US.

The adobe dwellings had been constructed about 1,000 years in the past, and about 150 folks at present dwell there full-time. I actually loved chatting with the residents, making an attempt native meals, and studying about this fascinating group.

Day Six: Drive to Santa Fe

Take the 68 South to the 84 South

[Approx. 70 miles | 1 ½ hours]

It’s a brief, stunning drive from Taos to the capital city of Santa Fe. You’ll be able to depart early and pack in a day of mountain climbing at Ghost Ranch or take your time and luxuriate in a leisurely day on the street.

The place to Cease Alongside the Drive to Santa Fe:

I had heard improbable issues about mountain climbing at Ghost Ranch, so I drove on the market on my strategy to Santa Fe. After I arrived, I noticed I didn’t have sufficient time to do any of the hikes, so I left and drove all the way in which again to the 68 South!

Chimayo is a small city simply 40 minutes exterior Santa Fe.

It contains a historic church and a number of other well-known weaving outlets and is thought for its well-known Chimayo peppers. You’ll want to discover a cafe that serves chile scorching chocolate drinks, so scrumptious!

The place to Keep in Santa Fe:

Keep at Hotel St. Francis for its cozy and basic Santa Fe type within the coronary heart of town.

Meow Wolf

Drying Chili Peppers Santa Fe New Mexico

Day Seven: Explore Santa Fe

New Mexico’s capital is known for its art scene and pueblo-style architecture. The city is a blend of old and new, and filled with an abundance of culture and creativity.

Top Things to See and Do in Santa Fe:

Day Eight: Bandelier Nationwide Monument

An hour exterior Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument is an ideal half-day tour.

Inside the park are 11,000-year-old human settlements constructed right into a rocky canyon. For those who aren’t afraid of ladders, you may climb up inside a number of the highest settlements. In any other case, there are extra accessible cave dwellings to discover.

In case you have further time to discover the realm, Tent Rocks National Monument and the Santa Fe National Forest are each unbelievable pure environments to go to close to town.

Day 9: Drive to Las Cruces

Take the 25 South

[Approx. 285 miles | 4 ½ hours]

The ultimate stretch of this final New Mexico street journey takes you nearly to the southern border of the state. Las Cruces lies on the fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert, simply north of the U.S. border with Mexico.

Alongside the drive, cease on the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to view birds and different native wildlife. There’s a loop street you may drive round for straightforward viewing, or you may take extra time to hike within the nature protect.

High Issues to See and Do in Las Cruces:

  • Go wine tasting on the many native wineries across the metropolis. Though New Mexico shouldn’t be a well known wine area, winemakers across the state produce a plethora of high-quality wines.
  • Go to a pecan farm. Along with wineries, Las Cruces is house to dozens of pecan farms, a few of that are open to guests.

The place to Keep in Las Cruces:

  • Keep at Lundeen Inn of the Arts to attach with the native desert tradition. Stuffed with historical past and Southwestern artwork, the resort is the proper place to finish a New Mexico street journey.

Day Ten: Go to White Sands Nationwide Park

The final cease on the journey is one in all my favourite locations on Earth. White Sands National Park is the world’s largest gypsum dune subject.

The ethereal white dunes stretch on for 275 sq. miles. Within the park, you may go on quite a few hikes into the dunes, take wonderful images, and even go sledding down the dunes! You’ll want to keep for sundown, it was one of the vital stunning I’ve ever seen.

Suggestions for Visiting White Sands National Park:

  • It takes about an hour to drive from Las Cruces to the park.
  • Pack sunscreen, water, and a hat. Take breaks from the solar typically, as you don’t all the time understand how scorching and dehydrated you’re getting.
  • I used to be involved about getting misplaced within the dunes, however you gained’t have any points should you regulate the street that winds by means of the park.
  • Decide up snacks and meals for lunch at Mountain View Market Co+Op in Las Cruces.
  • Seize espresso and breakfast for the street at Nessa’s Cafe.

Journey Additions

Remaining  Ideas

I hope you loved this street journey information to New Mexico! For extra New Mexico suggestions, go to my New Mexico posts here.

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