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North Texas

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Posted: 02/12/10 05:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We'll be going to the Grand Canyon south rim in May & am looking for any recommendations on routes.
I coulda sworn i asked this question late last year, but can't find anything in 'my posts' or in any of my bookmarks, so, I'm back (if i was ever here before..[emoticon])
We live about 50 mi. SW of houston, tx. & have multiple routes available to I-10 which I figure we'll be starting west on. From there, what do you suggest??


bosque farms, nm

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Posted: 02/12/10 07:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kind of depends on whether you want to zoom to the canyon and back asap or to slow down and experience the country along the way. The interstates are not exactly known for leading you through scenery and history.

Pics and stuff at my Flickr pages


North Texas

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Posted: 02/12/10 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eubank, you're right. I shoulda made it clearer what we're planning on doing.
I'm looking for 'blazing' to the GC. The trip home will be more of aimless wandering, stopping when we want.


bosque farms, nm

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Posted: 02/12/10 08:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Then it's probably interstate all the way to Flag. Personally, I'd go I10 to Las Cruces, then I25 to Albuquerque, and then I40 towards Flag. Either you can go to Flag and then turn north towards the south entrance to the park, or you can cut off I40 a little earlier and head up Hwy 89 towards Hwy 64 and take the east entrance into the park. I always take the road less travelled, so my preference would be the latter.

The way back is a WAAAAY different story!



Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 02/13/10 12:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Going or coming routes could be many, but this was in my files using I-10 going west. But they can be used in any direction. [emoticon]

To advoid El Paso you could do this using I-10 by taking US 285 at Fort Stockton to Pecos then continue on the Carlsbad, then Artesia, then US 82 to Alamogrodo via Cloudcroft. Or continue on to Roswell & take US 70 west toward Ruidoso then to Tulaross, or take just past Hondo US 380 follow it to Carrizozo, you will be passing Billy the Kid Country & Lincoln (off the route some but connected to the Lincoln County War Fort Stanton) & Smokey Bear in Capitan, & the neat Valley of Fire BLM Campground, then take US 54 south to Alamogordo. Advise to keep an eye on the weather maps and NM Road Conditions, be able to hole up if one is going to blow through the area you are in or going to be in the next day or so. As a matter of fact you could take US 380 all the way to I-25 at San Antonio & the Bosque del Apache, cut off some miles for sure. I-25 to Los Lunas or just to Socorro where you take US 60 towards Datil, Passing the VLA before you get to Datil & a very Nice BLM Campground & on to Springerville & then use US 60 to Show Low where you will find the Mogollon Rim near by. Sackett Brand by Louis L'Amour has his hero being in the Mogollon Rim area. From Show Low take AZ 77 to Holbrook. Or skip Show Low and take US 191 when you get into Arizona go north to St. Johns then US 181 to Holbrook & I-40. Then west to Flagstaff.

Texas sites, if you use I-10 all the way:
Texas Hill Country

RE: Balmorhea & Fort Stockton, they are off I-10 to the east of the junction of I-20 & I-10 about 30 miles. Balmorhea State Park is located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains southwest of Balmorhea and nearby Davis Mountains State Park (along with the famous Big Bend Nat'l Park) are very nice places and one could spend a long time at each. Been to all except Davis, but it is nice areas, be sure to visit the old Fort Davis a nice place to see. Balmorhea
Big Bend Park maybe not great for a summer trip, but very neat in the fall, winter and spring.

Monahans Sandhills State Park is about a half-hour's drive west of Odessa on I-20 close to the meeting of I-10. A neat place, it seems, but I have never stopped. Sandhills

Perhaps a nice side trip off I-10 would be good. White Sands National Monument & Carsbad Caverns ** Cloudcroft & Ruidoso Areas Plus much of NM ***Possible Side Trips off I-10

Las Cruces as well as the Wal-Mart in Las Cruces. At same exit as Wal-Mart Exit 140 Hacienda RV & Siesta RV Park.

Speaking of Las Cruces: For some good chile dishes: Here are some nice places to get Southern New Mexico Mexican Style Food in Las Cruces. Enchiladas are often flat New Mexico style, not rolled, but not always. I ask for whole beans, so much better if they have them than re-fried. Salsa can be really great, or not so good...depending on the kick & the taste. You have not eaten really tasty Mexican Food if you have not eaten it in Southern New Mexico.

El Sombrero Patio Cafe El Sombrero
(575) 524-9911
363 S Espina St, Las Cruces, NM
very good maybe #1 for us
No problem with service
Good Salsa, great whole beans
not open on Sunday
Espina is just past a bowling alley both on the right. A long block past.

Nopalito Restaurant Nopalito
310 S. Mesquite St.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
second to El Sombrero
Mesquite crosses Amador and Lohman
From the West: Turn Left off Lohman, From the East: Right off Amador, Mesquite is 4 or 5 Blocks past Espina &
El Sombrero.
Not open on Wednesdays.
Great Salsa, but no whole beans. Re-fires are good.

Nellie's Cafe Nellies
(575) 524-9982
1226 W Hadley Ave, Las Cruces, NM
many in town really like this one
it can be very hot as well
only breakfast & lunch

Si Senor Restaurant Si Senor
(575) 527-0817
1551 E Amador Ave, Las Cruces, NM
A chain but good food, mild to hot chile
It will be before you get to Solano a large intersection.
West: Left off Lohman just pass Solano
with the plates, you get sopias included
They now have a Si Senor Express at the corner of Lohman & Solano across from the Carl's Jr. as well.

Roberto's Mexican Food Roberto's **** Roberto's
(575) 523-1851
908 E Amador Ave, Las Cruces, NM
Can be very hot
Not open on Sunday
This is across the street and down a bit from El Sombrero Patio Cafe.
Roberto is the man who makes the largest enchalata in the world @ The Whole Enchilada Fiesta Whole.... Festival

All of these (Except Nellie's) are on or just off E Amador Ave and if you are getting off I-25 at (exit 3) Lohman Ave, Lohman Ave turns into E. Amador Ave as one travels west as it becomes a one way street. And traveling from the west, Amador will turn into Lohman once it becomes a one way street.

Green Chile Cheeseburgers in Las Cruces The Quest in Las Cruces. They did the Quest for the state as well and a couple of places were put on the state list from Las Cruces. Can't remember which ones. The Double-Eagle in Mesilla was one, and it sounds soooo good, even has chopped pecans on it. Just haven't taken the time to go try one. They are all good, even if not on the list, even the ones they will make you at Circle K stop and grabs with a Santa Fe Grill are pretty good. But it would be hard to mess up cheese burger with green chile on it. [emoticon] I would also believe any of the restaurants in town will have green chile cheeseburgers.

If you are looking for things from Mexico, plus things New Mexico, just to the west of Las Cruces is Historic Old Mesilla. If you are looking for Indian jewelry or other crafts, Mesilla may have better buys than up north, mostly the same stuff. Mesilla

Mesilla has a couple of restaurants, the Double Eagle ( Double-Eagle ) and La Posta ( La Posta ), both with more atmosphere than the ones I listed above. Not sure if the food is any better. Mesilla & Mesilla.com

Ghosts of Mesilla: Ghosts and Haunts
I had many high school students who working as bus-boys, etc claimed encounters with them there as well as a fellow teacher who told of working on sets at the Fountain Theater late at night. When the lights would all keep going off, a Hispanic member of the cast cursed the spirit out in Spanish and afterwards the lights did not turn off again. [emoticon]

More listings of eating places: Restaurants

West of Las Cruces there is a neat state park is off I-10 at Deming north about 30 miles on US 180 City of Rocks and lots of things to see & do in or near Silver City which also has a Billy the Kid Connection. Of course US 180 will take you up to Holbrook and I-40.

Leasburg Dam State Park near Las Cruces, nice desert camping above the Rio Grande if needing a different place to stay in the area. Fort Selden State Monument is just next door as well. Fort Selden History.

As for the TX 180/60, it is a good road, but the Guadalupe Pass as you travel up and into New Mexico can have some extreme winds if there is a weather front moving through the area, not a time to be in a high profile RV. Be careful in El Paso, 18 wheelers have a tendency to flip over there for some reason. If nice weather I'd suggest taking Transmountain road at Exit 6 over Mts and follow it to TX 180. It is loop 375 follow it to TX 180. To avoid cross the mts, take exit 162 in New Mexico east NM 404 to NM 213 (War Road), turn right follow it to 375. It is a local by-pass for Transmountain.

Alamogordo Area: There is FamCamp at Holloman Air Force Base. But you need to have some kind of Milatary ID to get to use it or have someone sponsor you. Authorized Users: Active, National Guard, Reservists, Retired, 100% DAV. DoD/NAF Civilians. Off US 70 If you fit any of the slots on the user list, it is close, but not the best in scenery.

Oliver Lee State Park may be a little farther from White Sands Nat'l Monument than some of the private parks, but I believe I'd pick it. White Sands had this on their site, "The closest public campgrounds are Oliver Lee State Park, about 24 miles southeast, and Aguirre Springs Recreation Area, about 39 miles southwest." Aguirre Springs They do have a hike to camp site at the Monument, Camping in the Sands.

North of Alamogordo & a 60 mile drive but a very nice place is Valley of Fires Recreation Area & BLM Campground. I believe I like it better than Oliver Lee State Park. It has been revamped recently, it seemed when we stopped there in 2008. Very neat area with the Lava Field, nice sites, new shower building. AAA had it under rated in last years Camping Guide. Fires
If you are near it on your way to or from, it would be neat.

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is between Alamo & Valley of Fires. Petroglyphs

Alamogordo Things:
NM Space Museum
White Sands
Alameda Park and Zoo
Toy Train Museum and Train Ride
List of Campgrounds

Cloudcroft is a neat area at about 9,000' up from Alamogordo which is near White Sands Nat'l Monument as well as White Sands Missile Range which you will be drive through to or from the pass by Las Cruces. Cloudcroft is a really neat area.

I may have repeated some sites but wanted to list as many places one might like to see as I could. Some other routes and off routes of I-10 just to fill any loop holes.

If using I-25 from Las Cruces north, take NM 6 at Los Lunas west to by-pass Albu'que & short cut to I-40.

Yuma to Tucson to Wilcox/Bisbee will have things going I-10 to Phoenix route then I-17 to Flagstaff. Shortest from Cruces.

Northern New Mexico Campgrounds & Albuquerque

By Grand Canyon

A trip over to see Monument Valley from Grand Canyon (208 miles from Williams to Mon't Valley). Also Canyon de Chelly by Chinle is great with a free campground and showers. Been there want to go again. Nat'l Park

Navajo National Monument is located at the end of State Highway 564 off of US Highway 160. We have not been to this one, but sounds very interesting. Two campgrounds, one open all year, somewhat isolated but no fees are charged. NPS Site - Visit

Navajo NMon is on the way to Mon't Valley, about 170 miles form Williams. Maybe 50 miles or so to Mon't Valley.

Camping Near Petrified Forest **
For a campsite near the Petrified Forest. I have not been this one, but have read it is a nice one. Homolovi Ruins State PARK, Winslow, Arizona -not too far from the Nat'l Park.

On I-40 Take exit 257 for AZ-87 toward Second Mesa 0.4 mi; Turn left at AZ-87/I-40 Bus/E Second St (signs for AZ-87/Second Mesa)
Continue to follow AZ-87 1.5 mi; Turn left at Honani Rd.

Another one we have stayed at (after a visit to PFNP) is Lyman Lake State PARK. It is not too far from PF Nat'l Park, but off the interstate some miles.

Sunset Crater & Bonito C.G. near Flagstaff ** Canyon de Chelly & Navajo Nat'l Mon't *** Hubbell Trading Post Nat'l Historic Site

Perhaps you can find something in these to help:
Composite WestTX, NM, SouthAZ ** Tucson Xtra ** Santa Fe's Attractions ** Santa Fe Camping

Lot of places to see, maybe some will catch your eye, I know they all did when we move here from Harlingen back in the early '70s. Lot of possible routes. But they all go the other direction as well. Ha!

DesertHawk, a Native Texan by Birth living in The Land of Enchantment by choice.

* This post was last edited 02/13/10 01:39pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history

">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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California/Arizona/South Dakota

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Posted: 02/13/10 02:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Plan for a few days in Holbrook KOA. Great place for the kids. Centrally located to see the Meteor Crater, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Four Corners, Canyon de Chelly, and on and on......the area around Flagstaff is surrounded by things to do and places to see. Holbrook is home to the famous TEEPEE motel of CARS fame. Route 66 runs through there. Winslow has it's famous "corner", and Oatman has it's mules......take your time....Dennis

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North Texas

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Posted: 02/13/10 06:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great Info folks. Exactly what i'm looking for. This is our retirement celebration trip & we're SO looking forward to it.

DesertHawk, that's quite a set of notes!!!! It'll take me some time to digest all that.

Again, much thanx to all & keep the ideas coming.


Tierra Encantada

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Posted: 02/13/10 05:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is no point in avoiding El Paso, especially if you are trying to get to GC in a hurry. Stay in the truck lanes and do not get into the far right lane, until the freeway goes back down to two lanes. Basically the lane you enter town on is the lane to stay in.

Do not stop at the NM or TX welcome center rest area near the TX/NM border after dark. There is a good, safe, NM welcome center rest area at Lordsburg if you want to get NM Maps, etc. There is also a safe rest area between Deming and Lordsburg. Most rest areas in AZ are closed.

Fuel in Lordsburg, NM is cheaper than Wilcox, AZ. El Paso fuel is cheaper than NM fuel but the big truck stops as you come into town are very crowded. The ones near the NM/TX border are easier to get in/out of.

You can stay in Williams, AZ and ride the train to the GC.

Have fun.


'Old Hangtown', Ca

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Posted: 02/14/10 07:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Going in the East entrance is a bit of a pull from 89. We went in the South entrance then out the East taking in the sights on the way. Nice downhill almost all the way out. We then headed South on 89 and took the loop through Wupatki Nat'l Mon. and Sunset Crater Volcano. This was on a trip to Santa Fe and we then went East on I40 and hit Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest(went in the South entrance,if you go this way you have to stop at Jim Gray's Pet. Wood shop just south of Holbrook).

Good luck on your trip.

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On the Road

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Posted: 02/16/10 06:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


Lots of good suggests. We have been in Arizona and New Mexico several times and never run out of places to see. DesertHawks list will keep you busy for quite awhile. If you plan to stay in Arizona State Parks, make sure that you check the website frequently, as they are closing quite a few. The campground at Homolovi has been closed since last fall and I think Lyman Lake is closing soon. Canyon de Chelly is a great place to visit and has a free campground with water available and a dump station. It is about 125 miles from Holbrook so you might want to stay over rather than do it as a day trip. Once your at Canyon de Chelly, it is not all that far to Monument Valley which is well worth a visit.

Hope you have a great trip!

Safe travels!

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