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New Mexico Index:

General New Mexico Travel Guides


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    New Mexico Scenic Routes & Destinations

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    • The Taos Loop: Beginning in Taos, a wonderful loop passes through Questa, Red River, Eagle Nest, Shadybrook and back to Taos.

      Questa is a small but handy little village with a couple of motels and stores. It's a great place to get supplies or spend the night. Be sure to visit the nearby National Recreation Site, formerly called the Rio Grande Gorge, but now called Two Rivers or Wild Rivers or some such thing. It will always be the Rio Grande Gorge to us! The problem with the former name was confusion with the state park of the same name. The National Recreation Site, however, is a great place for hikers, folks who like to fish and campers. The mile hike into the gorge is not for the weak, and be watchful of that crazy mountain weather. We done the hike twice and been caught in storms both times. But, it's worth it.

      Also from Questa, on Hwy. 38, several National Forest Parks are located including our favorite Columbine that has a trail head to the wilderness and a trout stream. Then, it's on to Red River, known as a ski town, but it's much, much more. It's a lovely town with lots of family-oriented activities and shops galore. But, it's nothing like the sprawling ski resorts like Vail. Red River is downright comfortable.

      The rest of the loop continues through the mountains including several passes at over 9,000 feet. Then you are back to Taos. While Taos is a bit touristy, many visitors love it's boutiques and culture. All in all this is one of the best loops we have ever experienced.

    • Cimarron to Ute Route: Just east of the Taos loop on Hwy. 58, Cimarron Canyon provides another scenic opportunity. The state park stretches for miles along the canyon where camping without hookups is available. Fishing is available almost everywhere. The town of Cimarron has all the necessities including alternative accommodations.

      From Cimarron, head to Springer, another nice town with accommodations. From there, take Hwys. 56 and 39 through the Kiowa National Grasslands. The phrase "wide open spaces" was invented for this place. What's even more fascinating is where the highway literally drops off the plateau. This is very steep. We haven't tried going up the cliff and don't know if we want to try it!

      Eventually you will arrive in Ute and find a very nice state park with hookups and showers located there. Also, be sure to check out the Road to Ruin Tavern near the park.

    • Ute to Las Vegas (New Mexico): From Ute, head to Conchas State Park with its lovely campsites overlooking the lake. Then, it's on to Las Vegas on Hwys. 184 and 65. Be sure to have gas and other provisions. There is nothing to speak of until you get to Las Vegas.

      Las Vegas has great location for many sightseeing adventures. Also, near Las Vegas are several National Forest Parks and Storrie Lake State Park that has all the amenities. Take a shower before heading to the north and the Mora to Penasco scenic route.

    • Mora to Penasco: From Mora, north of Las Vegas, follow the highway and Comales Canyon to the west. (This highway is mislabeled on some maps, but it's Hwy 518.) There are National Forest Parks along the canyon, and some are absolutely free. Access to hiking and multi-use trails are also along the way. You can also fish your self to death in this area. None of the towns along the way are very large, but Mora, Holman and Penasco have the basic necessities.

    • Navajo Reservoir: While located in a very desolate-looking desert area in the northwest corner of New Mexico, Navajo Reservoir is worth a stop. It has two state parks, but we prefer the western location on the San Juan River. This one (Pine) overlooks the lake and marina. Both have hookups and showers. The San Juan River is also a great fishing location. Navajo Reservoir has great location, too. Durango, Colorado, is just to the north. Other nearby sights include the Aztec Ruins National Monument near the town of Aztec, Angel Peak National Recreation Site, and Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

    • Carlsbad to Alamagorda: Everyone ought to go to Carlsbad Caverns and then head northwest to Cloudcroft in the mountains before dropping down for a visit to Alamogordo and White Sands National Monument. Also nearby is Ruidoso horseracing, several ski areas, petroglyphs and several state parks. Valley of Fires State Park is an awesome display of the volcanic past of New Mexico.

    • Albuquerque: We couldn't leave New Mexico without mentioning Albuquerque. We love it because it saved our lives one day. On that day we had driven from Navajo Reservoir. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere we had a blowout and discovered our spare was on its last leg, too. A gentleman from the nearby Navajo Nation stopped to help us and told us to go to Cuba to find a replacement. We found one used tire and were glad to have it. From there we stopped at several prospective campsites, but nothing caught our imagination, so ended up exhausted and irritable in Albuquerque's La Quinta Inn.

      Albuquerque is a great place for this. The city is easy to get around in because it's flat and has a gridlike street pattern. At the same time, the mountains are right next door, and you can get to them on the wonderful Sandia Peak Tram. Here's to Albuquerque...we love you!

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    Other Interesting New Mexico Pages

  • Sights Worth Seeing - Texas to New Mexico Trip
  • The Art of New Mexico and the Southwest/Museums
  • New Mexico Links
  • Out West Newspaper
  • Scenic Southwest
  • Route 66
  • Roads Less Traveled
  • Aventura Artistica - Upscale Tours
  • Enchanted Weddings of Taos
  • The Whole Enchilada - New Mexico Links
  • New Mexico Travel Books
  • New Mexico and Southwest Links
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  • More Places in New Mexico
  • Lamy, NM
  • Roswell Online
  • Portales
  • Lovington
  • Gallup
  • Faywood Hot Springs
  • Cloudcroft
  • Cloudcroft
  • Los Alamos
  • Sandoval County
  • Silver City
  • Counties in New Mexico
  • Cities in New Mexico
    New Mexico Photos
    Ute State Park
    Conchas State Park
    Heron State Park
    Rio Grande River
    Navajo Reservoir and State Park
    The Road to Ruin; Ute, New Mexico


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