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PleasantValley

North Texas

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Posted: 01/21/12 07:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trip route and site suggestions.

We are planning a Dallas to Denver trip this May - 7 day trip from Friday to Saturday with interest in hiking, fishing we need to end up in Denver on Wednesday leaving Friday morning back to Big D - My initial plan is to drive to Amarillo and stay at Palo Duro Canyon or push it the first day and drive to Clayton/Raton area and possibly stay as Surgrite Canyon State Park (site suggestions are welcome)- then camp at various sites e.g. Cimarron State park, Eagle Nest, El Vado Lake...(any suggestions?) that would allow for hiking, fishing as we make our way North to Denver possiby working our way up through the Taos -

OR

Change directions coming out of Amarillo and travel the first day to Tucumcari Lake Conchas (fishing?) (suggestions are welcome) - possibly work our way through Sante Fe NM (site suggestions)up through Taos and Alamosa Colorado etc.. wheter up thru Raton or across to tucumcari we need to work our way up to Salida Colorado and the Arkansas river area and then up to Denver. We have a 33' coach. Electriciy and all would be nice but we are fully set up so at least one or two days we could go at it No Utilities.

We're new at this folks and any suggestions would be greatly appreiciated -Private RV parks are great too!!! hope to fish and hike some - trying to make the best trip for a Denver High School Graduation....sure you guys understand.

thank you

RayChez

Barstow, Ca. USA

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Posted: 01/21/12 07:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a nice state park in Pecos river, N.M. Good area to go hiking and I understand there is some trout fishing in the Pecos river. I stopped to visit the area a few years ago and was impressed with the beauty of the canyon.


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skipole

Sandia Park, NM

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Posted: 01/21/12 08:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PleasantValley wrote:

Trip route and site suggestions.

We are planning a Dallas to Denver trip this May - 7 day trip from Friday to Saturday with interest in hiking, fishing we need to end up in Denver on Wednesday leaving Friday morning back to Big D - My initial plan is to drive to Amarillo and stay at Palo Duro Canyon or push it the first day and drive to Clayton/Raton area and possibly stay as Surgrite Canyon State Park (site suggestions are welcome)- then camp at various sites e.g. Cimarron State park, Eagle Nest, El Vado Lake...(any suggestions?) that would allow for hiking, fishing as we make our way North to Denver possiby working our way up through the Taos -



If you have the time here is a route I recommend. Go to Logan, NM to Villanueva Park, NM to Taos, NM to Chama, NM Then to Colorado. Good fishing at all the stops. But this will take more than 7 days. Stick with you original route if time is a problem.

enver,+CO&hl=en&ll=35.406961,-102.502441&spn=19.951311,23.664551&sll=35.563512,-104.523926&sspn=4.990438,5.916138&geocode=FYuI9AEdfWg7-ilLl0V79xlMhjGPZ0f2pJvsuQ%3BFQTKGwIdWPLU-Smv8fLksrMEhzEnQzVVf77JLQ%3BFZ4EGgIdWjq4-SkzX_dwOUAZhzE3p-aFHMgy5Q%3BFVQALAIdyAa1-Sk3q99LX2UXhzGOlsSXYd5AUw%3BFeQDLwIdCAyn-Sm_vuqfzdkXhzEyHZVx4xndeQ%3BFZS-MgId-qel-SnPgTVMKIE9hzF2xvpgtaJbBw%3BFcJtSwIdfs6v-Sk_VcnACxkVhzFlWaToydcyfQ%3BFRJfXgIdgQ---SnPFx8jqoBrhzHWNoon-PSOEQ&oq=denver,+co&vpsrc=6&mra=dvme&mrsp=3&sz=8&via=1,2,3,4,5,6&t=m&z=6">Good fishing and tourist route.

* This post was edited 01/22/12 09:31am by skipole *


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fanrgs

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Posted: 01/21/12 08:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are going to be driving 1800 miles round-trip in only 7 days using the most direct route from Dallas to Denver via Salida. That is an average of 225 miles a day, even on graduation day. If you are not driving on graduation day and perhaps the day after, you could be averaging 350 miles a day. A significant part of that (US 50 and US 285) is relatively slow, winding, mountainous two-lane road. Coming to Denver via Tucumcari and Santa Fe adds considerably more miles per day. All that driving doesn't leave much time for fishing or sight-seeing.

That being said, you seem to know a lot of places you might camp in New Mexico, but none in Colorado. You are not going to have much time to get far off I-25 on your trip, so an alternative to Sugarite Canyon is just over Raton Pass at Trinidad Lake State Park. Big campground, electricity, and a big lake for fishing not far west of I-25 on CO 12. In the Salida area, there is Arkansas Headwaters State Recreation Area right on the river. You should be there before rafting season begins, so there should be spaces available (small campground with no hookups, however). There are several private campgrounds in the Salida-Poncha Springs area as well.

Incidentally, my sister lives in Amarillo and loves to camp at Palo Duro Canyon so much that they camp there on weekends even though they are only half an hour from home. They also enjoy Sugarite Canyon.

Don't know where you are planning to stay in Denver, but I would suggest Golden Gate Canyon State Park west of Golden. If that is too far from the part of town you will be visiting, there is Chatfield State Park in SW Denver, Cherry Creek State Park in SE Denver, and Barr Lake RV Park (private) next to Barr Lake State Park in NE Denver. All of them should be fully open by the time you visit.


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IDman

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Posted: 01/22/12 10:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with Fanrgs. You have 7 days....but 4 driving round trip, one at graduation,, only two left to camp and sightsee. You won't be able to do everything you want in the remaining two days. Decide what area you would want to see MOST, then let us know. We'll try and guide you appropriately.

DesertHawk

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Posted: 01/22/12 04:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dallas to Raton: 578 mi, 10 hours 21 mins via US-287 N ---- could be doable.
or
Dallas to Santa Fe: 640 mi, 10 hours 44 mins, US-287 N and I-40 ----- also doable.

Clicky for Sites & Sights Flagstaff to Grants, NM- with some in or near the 4Corners area Plus on to Santa Fe & Raton.

Denver to Dallas: 795 mi, 13 hours 52 mins, I-25 S & US-287 S ----- would be hard in one setting.

With one day for the graduation, leaves you 3 days for sightseeing/outings.

So many places possible, but limited with only 7 days to do the trip. Wow!

Could drive to the Texas Panhandle to Palo Duro or Caprock State Parks on way home from Denver.

Might want to check out (Instead of Palo Duro Canyon State Park), Caprock Canyons State Park, from what I have read, it seems like a very neat area to see. Caprock Canyons is home of the official Texas State Bison Herd. Activities: Viewing wildlife, Horseback riding, Hiking, Fishing, Picnicking, Swimming, Rock climbing, Mountain biking.
State Park Site *** More Info *** Some Pics

In NM, I'd go to Herron Lake State Park instead of El Vado as well. Tierra Amarilla & Heron Lake and the Chama Area in New Mexico.

Heron Lake State Park has a nice lake and hiking trails and creek fishing. The state park is about 20 miles from Chama, about 30 minutes. Heron Lake is an anglers delight, stocked with Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon.

We have spent a bit of time at Heron Lake State Park near Chama, NM going back several years in the summers. But have not been there in some time. We did have a canoe and enjoyed canoeing on it. Chama is a neat place with a very nice steam train ride up into Colorado. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. They fish the Chama River east of the Park to Chama as well as the river below the dam, leading from Heron Lake to El Vado Lake. A nice hike down to the river from the dam site. Heron Lake gets it water via a creek, mostly from Colorado.

If time allows check out the wool weavers workshop Tierra Wools in Los Ojos near the turn off to Heron Lake SP. Clicky

Two neat stops or side trips south of Heron Lake, north of Abiquiu, worth a see would be the Echo Amphitheater, a Natural rock formation, and the Ghost Ranch Piedra Lumbre Education and Visitor Center, located on U.S. Highway 84 just one mile north of the main Ghost Ranch entrance, has exhibits and a gift shop. A very nice museum in "O┬┤Keefe Country." The Echo Amphitheater is past the visitor center some miles.

Leave out of Chama Area via the Cumbres Pass area at 10,022' in to Colorado would be worth your while. May get to see a train steaming by the area as well, neat to see and to hear it up there. It is real treat to see and hear the train pulling up or going down as well as seeing it crossing meadows up it the high country. Offers nice photo opts. They do a stop & fill the train with water up in the area as well.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was originally constructed in 1880 as part of the Rio Grande's San Juan Extension, which served the silver mining district of the San Juan mountains in southwestern Colorado. Like all of the Rio Grande at the time, it was built to a gauge of 3 feet between the rails, instead of the more common 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches that became standard in the United States. The inability to interchange cars with other railroads led the Rio Grande to begin converting its tracks to standard gauge in 1890.

Eagle Nest is a neat area with a very nice natural lake with a small State Park Campground as well. Cimarron Canyon State Park is three miles east of Eagle Nest along US 64. Not far from Red River area and Taos. Cimarron Canyon would be nice for fishing.

Along I-25 in New Mexico:
By Raton, Sugarite Canyon State Park and between Raton and Las Vegas, Fort Union Nat'l Monument, and out from Raton, Capulin Volcano Nat'l Mon't. State Park Site :::::: Volcano

In and around Las Vegas, NM: Storrie Lake State Park by Las Vegas, Villanueva State Park & the picturesque Spanish-colonial village of Villanueva off I-25 between Las Vegas & Santa Fe, the Pecos National Historical Park Pecos Pueblo and other pueblo ruins & Battle of Glorieta Pass Civil War battle ground area.

More on Las Vegas. Montezuma Hot Springs might be neat. Driving into the Nat'l Forest is very neat & has some campgrounds and hiking trails up there. Clicky .... Camping Pecos (Glorieta Pass) & Las Vegas Areas as well as Hiking Trails.

Santa Fe Trail New Mexico National Scenic Byway might be a help.

Byways Link and more NM Byways.

Near Glorieta Pass, more info on the Civil War Battle of Glorieta.

Located on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail, the old town of Cimarron, NM.

Northeast of Santa Fe, Off I-25 Fort Union Nat'l Mon't north of Las Vegas.

Santa Fe Sites & Sights

Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area a BLM site with campgrounds is 30 miles north of Santa Fe. We have stayed there, a nice area. One campground overlooks the Lake, the other is down by it.

Some Colorado sites plus Chama/Heron State Park in New Mexico....... Colorado Springs... Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton..... More Infomation on the area.

Might consider an overnight at Santa Rosa Lake State Park; Santa Rosa is west of Tucumcari/Amarillo on I-40.

To visit Santa Fe Area, take Exit 218 - US 285 N, off I-40 at Clines Corner, it is a good highway, easy grades which leads to I-25...West to Santa Fe on !-25 S.

Dallas to Santa Rosa: 531 mi, 8 hours 57 mins, US-287 N and I-40 W.

* This post was last edited 01/22/12 05:31pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


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PleasantValley

North Texas

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Posted: 01/22/12 08:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First of all, thank you for replying - Very nice of you.... I'm picking up what you're laying down - I think it best to extend the trip to 9 days. I'm rethinking the route and it's probably best to run up thru Raton over to Cimarron canyon thru Taos and up thru Chama - or go to one place in upper area of Taos and camp out. this way I stay at the top of the state and work my way thru Colorado. Probably up thru Salida ( I think, I have no idea where yet)
If I leave on Friday at 11tonoon, I can get to Palo Duro canyon via the silverton hwy to Canyon Tx.. I grew up Amarillo and figure it's the neatest place to stay in the area. My brother inlaw tells me there's a nice place in west Amarillo by the old Helium Plant off of I-40 - so I might have to stay there. OR I can push it up past Amarillo somewhere.

Your ideas and suggestions helped tremendously - I am having a hard time guessing at the time it will take due to the mountains etc.. I bought the rig in Oct 11. "Newbie" - your experience is valuable.

I think two days up and two days back is doable. What are your thoughts to this new plan.. (ps. I have no idea yet where the good parks are with water/fishing etc.. but I think the idea is to stay up North of the state Leave Friday 11am arrive 6;30pm set up etc.. Pull out by 8am arrive somewhere around Cimarron / Taos. spend a two days move to chama area spend ?? days- our plan is to stay in denver wed 1/2 day all day thursday and leave Friday morning for Dallas - stop 1/2 somewhere - maybe come back a different way... Oklahoma maybe. I thinks it's longer but it's all major hwy.

I'm open to anything that's a great park - tks again

pkunk

Questa, NM

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Posted: 01/22/12 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you'd like a real nice, quiet place N. of Taos, Wild Rivers is fantastic (dry camping, developed sites with lovely views of the gorge and 50mi beyond) and right on the way to Alamosa Hwy 160 jnct of SR17 to Salida.


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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 01/22/12 10:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never stayed here, but have read reports of people who had & said it was a good place for an overnight (not camping):
Amarillo Texas Welcome Center


To get to Taos, going by Raton over to Cimarron Canyon to Taos would be a longer route, time wise as well as miles I would think. Amarillo to Santa Rosa on I-40 W to Exit 256, US 84 N to I-25 N to Las Vegas NM 94 to Taos (but this would bypass Cimarron Canyon/Eagle Nest. Or to do Cimarron Canyon, take I-25 N to NM 58 (north of Springer) to village of Cimarron & US 64 W to Eagle Nest & on to Taos. US 84 is a good highway, we have used it several times cutting up to Las Vegas, etc. Drove US 64 once, years ago not a bad road then. Never used NM 58, drove NM 94 years ago a very nice drive then.

There are many campgrounds in the Red River & Questa area north of Taos in the Carson National Forest: Campgrounds List.

Once in the Mts. on these roads you will be going slower, some grades, narrow curvy two lane highways. Cimarron Canyon & Eagle Nest is in very Alpine country, high elevations. The highway from Taos to the Chama area also crosses Alpine areas.

New Mexico Fishing Regs. And Colorado's.

Reread your OP, just noticed the May date..... the month of May can still have cold weather in the high elevations, maybe a lot of snow around as well. Depending on weather. Be sure to check weather conditions before getting into to these higher elevations. Heron Lake should be ok, I would believe, not sure about Cimarron Canyon & Eagle Nest.

Angler Guide Heron Lake & may use it to check other NM Lakes & Rivers as well. Can also check other states.

* This post was last edited 01/22/12 11:37pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history

skipole

Sandia Park, NM

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Posted: 01/23/12 09:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Was going to send a reply to your eMail but your account set not to accept private messages.

Also DessertHawk has said everything I was going to tell you. ;-)

Only thing I can add to his list is don't trust the Garmin GPS to take you to Santa Rosa Lake. It wants you to take dirt roads that no longer get there. Watch for the signs and follow the paved roads carefully if you go there.

Ski

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