Driving Tour E: El Paso, Carlsbad, Southwest New Mexico, Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque
Take an extended tour through Southwest New Mexico and include the vibrant heart of America's growing Southwest. This tour has it all!
- Driving time from El Paso to Carlsbad: 2.4 hours
Mileage: 165 miles (264 km.). East on US180.
Carlsbad - Enjoy Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Desert Museum.
Day 2. Alamogordo
- Driving time: 2.2 hours
Mileage: 140 miles (225 km.). North on US285, west on US82.
- Visit the Space Hall of Fame and White Sands National Monument.
Day 3. Las Cruces
- Driving time: 1.1 hours
Mileage: 70 miles (112 km.). West on US70/82, past White Sands Natl. Monument and White Sands Missile Range. Traffic may be delayed up to an hour, due to missile firing, so check locally about possible delays.
- Here's a chance to immerse yourself in a relaxed game of year-round golf, explore the history of Las Cruces and Old Mesilla. Enjoy the fiestas and then shift your mood as you observe the work on display at the Branigan Cultural Center. Put the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on your must list.
Day 4. Truth or Consequences -
- Driving time: 1.3 hours
Mileage: 75 miles (120 km.). North on Interstate 25, past Hatch (Chile Capitol) and Ft. Selden.
Enjoy Elephant Butte, the largest lake in New Mexico, water skiing or bass fishing, . . . or just relaxing at the hot springs. Explore the Geronimo Springs Museum, wineries, or nearby old mining towns along the Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway.
- Driving time to Silver City: 2 hours
Mileage: 90 miles (144 km.). South on Interstate 25, west on NM152, passing through Hillsboro and Kingston.
See Tour D and view the waterfowl at Socorro's Bosque Refuge and VLA Radio Telescopes, Reserve and Glenwood's rustic wilderness.
Day 5. Silver City
- Driving time Reserve to Glenwood: 1.3 hours Mileage: 40 miles (64 km.). West on NM12, south on US180.
- Driving time Glenwood to Silver City: 1.3 hours Mileage: 65 miles (104 km.). South on US180.
- The rich prehistory of the Gila Cliff Dwellings Nat'l Monument, the 3-million acre Gila National Forest, and Billy the Kid history beckons. Tour the Trail of the Mountain Spirits up through the Mimbres Valley, past Lake Roberts to the Cliff Dwellings, . . . then visit the art galleries in historic downtown.
Day 6. Deming
- Driving time: 1 hour
Mileage: 52 miles (83 km.). Southeast on US180, past City of Rocks State Park and copper smelter at Hurley.
- The Mimbres Museum is a must on your stay, then visit St. Clair Winery and the rockhounder's favorite, Rockhound State Park. On the Mexican border enjoy the history and atmosphere of Pancho Villa State Park and Palomas, Mexico. To the north view the moonscape appearance of City of Rocks State Park.
Day 7. Lordsburg
- Driving time: 0.9 hours
Mileage: 60 miles (96 km.). West on Interstate 10, over the Continental Divide.
- Visit the famous ghost towns of Shakespeare and Steins. Shakespeare, an old mining town, does monthly re-enactments in costume. Steins, an old railroad town, is open most days along the Southern Pacific mainline. Enjoy the recreation areas surrounding Lordsburg.
- Driving time to Tucson, AZ: 2.5 hours
Mileage: 145 miles (232 km.). West on Interstate 10 past Benson's Kartchner Caverns State Park (junction with US80) to Tucson.
Include Kartchner Caverns State Park (Benson) and Tombstone in your itinerary.
Day 8. Tucson
- Driving time Lordsburg to Benson, AZ: 2.1 hours Mileage: 100 miles (160 km.).West on Interstate 10.
- Driving time Benson to Tombstone: 0.4 hours Mileage: 17 miles (27 km.). South on US80.
- Driving time Tombstone to Tucson: 1.1 hours Mileage: 60 miles (96 km.). North on US80, west on Interstate 10.
- Visit the Old Tucson Studios and their gun fights, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum with desert animals and plants in their habitat. The International Wildlife Museum has an outstanding collection of wild animal mounted specimens, and the Biosphere is always found interesting.
Day 9. Phoenix
- Driving time to Phoenix: 2 hours.
Mileage: 120 miles (192 km.)
- The capitol of Arizona provides an array of attractions. Include the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Museum. Then if you have time the Phoenix Family Museum, Desert Botanical Gardens, and the Hopi Cultural Center can be added.
Day 10. Flagstaff
- Driving time to Flagstaff: 2.2 hours;
Mileage:140 miles (224 km). Consider a side trip thru Sedona.
- The Grand Canyon is 1.5 hours, 80 miles (128 km) from this lodging base. Here you'll also enjoy the Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Arboretum.
Day 11. Gallup
- Driving time to Gallup: 3 hours;
Mileage: 182 miles (290 km). Consider the Homolovi Ruins State Park at Winslow and the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert at Holbrook on your way.
- If you're there at the right time, attend the InterTribal Indian Ceremonial. Consider the Acoma Sky City, Bisti Badlands, Canyon de Shelly, Gallup Cultural Center, El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments.
Day 12. Farmington
- Driving time to Farmington: 2 hours
Mileage: 122 miles (195 km)
- Visit the 4-Corners where you can stand in 4 states at one time (New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah). View Shiprock Peak and tour the Chaco Cultural Natl Historic Park.
Day 13. Albuquerque
- Driving time to Albuquerque via NM44: 4.0 hours
Mileage: 260 miles (416 km)
- Visit the Indian Pueblos, the Pueblo Cultural Center, the NM Museum of Natural History & Science, the National Atomic Museum.Extra days?
Plan to visit Santa Fe just an hour northwest.