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 > Spring trip to New Mexico?

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ILBill

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Posted: 11/26/18 05:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all!

My wife an I bought a 29 foot Durango 5'er this past summer (woo hoo!)and are thinking about a trip to New Mexico this coming spring.
Neither of us have been to New Mexico before so we are starting from scratch.
We are thinking of 7 to 10 days in the Santa Fe/Taos area but really know nothing about the area other than pics on the interweb.
We prefer COE/National Forest/State Park campgrounds rather than commercial KOA types and also prefer forests to desert but do want to keep an open mind.

For those of you with experience in New Mexico is this the area you would choose as first timers?

How is the weather in April or May? Are those crowded times?

Which national forest/state park campgrounds did you enjoy most?

What do you think are the must see and must do things in the area?

We really appreciate your thoughts and time! Thank you.

Bill and Leslie

eubank

bosque farms, nm

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Posted: 11/26/18 05:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's doable, but keep in mind that both of those cities are at fairly high elevation. You can expect snow from time to time during that period. The mountains nearby have national forest campgrounds, but some/many will still be closed. You might consider staying at private campgrounds instead.

Or choosing to visit lower elevation areas of the state.

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agesilaus

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Posted: 11/26/18 05:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well New Mexico isn't prime territory for woods and streams. You'll mainly find those in the far northeast, north of Los Alamos, and in the southwest parts of the state around the mountains. That would be north of Silver City. Colorado would be better for that landscape but you'll find some in NM. Gila Cliffs is about the only Federal Park that I can think of in the area but there are lots of FS and BLM lands. Lots of Indian reservations too which won't be camping friendly probably unless they have a commercial CG.

Lots of parks in NM but mainly they are Indian Ruin parks in the desert or wildlife refuges also in the desert. There are some astronomical observatories too. You'll find some wooded park land in the two areas I mention and the top of some mountains.

How long do you plan to stay. My favorite wooded park was obliterated by a flash flood and since it was a historical structure cannot be rebuilt (the Catwalk)


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sayoung

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Posted: 11/26/18 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ride the train in Chama plus visit the Ghost Ranch where Georgia Okeefe painted.

ILBill

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Posted: 11/26/18 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eubank wrote:

That's doable, but keep in mind that both of those cities are at fairly high elevation. You can expect snow from time to time during that period. The mountains nearby have national forest campgrounds, but some/many will still be closed. You might consider staying at private campgrounds instead.

Or choosing to visit lower elevation areas of the state.

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Lynn


So, we should do Santa Fe and Taos a bit later such as June?

Not being familiar at all with New Mexico, what are our options for lower elevation locations? We are trying to start getting a flavor of New Mexico in general so that's certainly not out of the question.
Thanks.

Bill

ILBill

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Posted: 11/26/18 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Well New Mexico isn't prime territory for woods and streams. You'll mainly find those in the far northeast, north of Los Alamos, and in the southwest parts of the state around the mountains. That would be north of Silver City. Colorado would be better for that landscape but you'll find some in NM. Gila Cliffs is about the only Federal Park that I can think of in the area but there are lots of FS and BLM lands. Lots of Indian reservations too which won't be camping friendly probably unless they have a commercial CG.

Lots of parks in NM but mainly they are Indian Ruin parks in the desert or wildlife refuges also in the desert. There are some astronomical observatories too. You'll find some wooded park land in the two areas I mention and the top of some mountains.

How long do you plan to stay. My favorite wooded park was obliterated by a flash flood and since it was a historical structure cannot be rebuilt (the Catwalk)


Good info, thanks!

We have traveled Colorado quite a bit but never New Mexico or Utah, two states we want to learn and explore. I'll try to check out the southwest part of the state.

Bill

padredw

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Posted: 11/26/18 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

We are thinking of 7 to 10 days in the Santa Fe/Taos area


First of all let me say, I think you have made a very good choice for a visit to Northern New Mexico. This is one of our favorite area in the entire country and we go back there almost every year.

I think June might be a very good time, but even late May might work out just fine.

We prefer to say in "Santa Fe Skies" which is a commercial campground. We like to have full hook ups and free WIFI, but there are some forest service campgrounds on the road up to Santa Fe Ski Basin.

You could easily spend a week in Santa Fe itself. We alway enjoy a drive on "The High Road to Taos" with stops in Chimayo, Truchas, and Trampas including visits to the weavers and the Sanctuario de Chimayo. One of our favorite restaurants is called "Rancho de Chimayo." We always try to plan a lunch stop there on the High Road.

We also enjoy the drive out to Pecos. Our restaurant out there is called "Frankie's of the Cassanova." Don't miss the green chile stew at Frankie's. While out there you can visit the Pecos National Monument and take a drive up the canyon toward Cowles and the Pecos Wilderness Area. For that matter there are several National Forest campgrounds on that drive.

We usually stay at "Taos Valley RV Park" for the same reasons listed above, but I believe there are some National Forest campgrounds on the road up to Taos Ski Basin.

There are two many sites worth a visit in both Santa Fe and Taos for me to try to include them here. The point it you have made an excellent choice for your visit to New Mexico.

I also agree with the comment about Chama, and if you go up there from Taos there will be some nice forest drives after the desert around Taos. You could also go on up to Pagosa Springs if you had another week. That is a beautiful drive from Chama up to Pagosa Springs.

If I knew your route I could probably make comments about campground along the way. We've been making that route from East Texas to Santa Fe and Taos for many years.





eubank

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Posted: 11/26/18 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Basically, just look at elevation. Both Taos and Santa Fe are at around 7000 feet. Up in the mountains near them, it's much higher. Angel Fire, where I used to live, is right at 8400 feet at its lowest point. By contrast, Albuquerque is about a mile high, like Denver. Where I live now just south of Albuquerque is somewhat over 4800 feet. It makes a very big difference.

Lynn

agesilaus

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Posted: 11/26/18 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We ran into serious snow on US 64 between Terra Amarillo and Taos in July. My kids insisted I stop so they could wipe the snow off but about 2 minutes of that fixed that desire...heh. So the point is at altitude weather is what it is.

Definitely go to Taos Pueblo for a look around.

NMDriver2

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Posted: 11/26/18 07:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Well New Mexico isn't prime territory for woods and streams. You'll mainly find those in the far northeast, north of Los Alamos, and in the southwest parts of the state around the mountains. That would be north of Silver City. Colorado would be better for that landscape but you'll find some in NM. Gila Cliffs is about the only Federal Park that I can think of in the area but there are lots of FS and BLM lands. Lots of Indian reservations too which won't be camping friendly probably unless they have a commercial CG.

Lots of parks in NM but mainly they are Indian Ruin parks in the desert or wildlife refuges also in the desert. There are some astronomical observatories too. You'll find some wooded park land in the two areas I mention and the top of some mountains.

How long do you plan to stay. My favorite wooded park was obliterated by a flash flood and since it was a historical structure cannot be rebuilt (the Catwalk)


You don't live in or visit here much do you?

About Half way between Albuquerque and Santa Fe you will find Cochiti Lake COE campground on the Rio Grande. The weather in Apr and May should be fine. Near by is Bandalier, Tent Rocks, Jemez Mountains, and the Santa Fe National Forest. The Railrunner train into downtown Santa Fe stops near the Santa Domingo Pueblo although driving is faster. Albu and Santa Fe are both about 45 min drive. BTW the fuel station near the lake has some of the cheapest fuel around and there was Wifi at the lake a few years ago when I was last there. If you like Casinos you are close to Hollywood Casino ($20 RV park). Most of North Central NM is mountains and forests. The NE is high plains. Generally I-25 runs along the south and eastern edge of the mountains north of Albu and US 550 on the west until it crosses the Continental divide near Cuba. There are Forest service and state parks all over the area. Villanueva state park is a good one if you like trout fishing. State Parks link

I would second the drive up US 84 through Georgia O'keefe country to Chama. In fact I would extend that over to Antonito in CO and come back via US 285 to Espanola or Taos. Eagles Nest, Red River and the higher elevation towns will just be getting warm in May.


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