Need Input/ Help, we live in Arizona and in a week will have 9 days off. Didn’t want to take a long trip approximately 500 miles or less from the phoenix area and was thinking about the New Mexico Colorado area.
How about some ideas we have truck and camper and like the outdoors, lakes and mountains close to paved roads, didn’t want to do any 4 wheel drive roads.
Head north to Taos, New Mexico to Eagle Nest to Raton, NM is a very pretty area.
Head east to Silver City, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Lake Roberts area also very pretty. Not far from White Sands which is interesting too. Rio Grande River not far either. Hatch, NM for those lovely green chili peppers.
Take the ride north east up US60 to Globe, Salt River Canyon, and up to El Morro National Monument area, Bandera volcano and the Ice Cave, all south of Grants, NM.
Another good trip that may be in your range would be Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, Utah, then over to Cortez, CO and Mesa Verde NP. The NW corner of New Mexico has a lot of interesting Navajo Indian culture and history.
I am from Arkansas and have been all over New Mexico! Wife grew up in Gallup, NM.
Just be aware of areas that may be on fire. There is also a lot of animals on the move. We saw 5 dead Elk off the highways two weeks ago around Raton, NM.
This time of year I’d head for SW Colorado or NW NM. Southern Utah will be hot as blazes right now. Also, my BIL has a cabin near Jemez Springs, NM. Just yesterday he said because of the fire near there they had closed all forest roads and you can’t get off the pavement. Don’t know how extensive the closure is, it might or might not affect you. If you haven’t been to the Durango area, that’s where I’d head. The Durango-Silverton train ride is a great ride; it just seems to get more expensive every year. And if you want around water, there is a lake and NF cg about 20 miles NO Durango. Have a great trip, wherever you decide to go.
The following link is to NOAA's SIS SSD (satellite information service): here-->
It is served up on ArcIMS, near real-time (hourly is as good as this gets). Zoom into the 4-Corners region to get up-to-the-hour info on existing fires, and predicted potential fires (CFWA). You can also see SMPF's as well (significant smoke-producing fires).
All the data is available in GIS or KML format (for loading into Google Earth, or your laptop GPS program).
...looks like the entire 4-Corners region (and significantly geographically beyond) is not so good at all-- currently, and into the foreseeable future.
Do a Google search for `______ tourism' and fill in the blank for the city/state you are interested in visiting. There will be lots of info. In a phrase I would head for the national parks in your area.
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I've been to Chaco Culture NHP in the summer, it's very hot, dry, windy & dusty. Not as hot as Phoenix, since it's at 6500 feet elevation. One sunny summer day I took a short hike to see some ruins & got a painful affliction in my eyes - turned out the tears in my eyes had dried & solidified. Fortunately I was carrying an emergency packet of artificial tears which cured that problem then & there. I've hiked in dry climates before & that never happened. I was last there 5 years ago, the last 20 miles into the park is a pretty bad gravel road, an adventure in itself. Spectacular scenery & history if you don't mind that.
The center of Phoenix to the Ridgeway CO area is almost exactly 500 miles by Street Atlas's calculation. Once you get past Cortez, CO you are in the Mesa Verde NP and San Juan NF area. You have a choice of high altitude mesas and mountain views with running water & cooler temperatures. Indian cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde and a pretty good national park campground. Spectacular mountain drives along US550, great place to cool off. If I lived in Phoenix, that would be my preferred summer trip up to 500 miles from Phoenix.