a VirtualTourist member from Sligo
im driving from santa fe nm to tucson early september and want to break my journey for one night but not sure where to go.if anyone has driven this route and has some advise on where to stay and things to see along the way i would appreciate the help
I've driven this many times, and you have several choices.
The quickest way is to take I-25 south to Hatch, then the short-cut to I-10 and head west. But this is absolutely the least scenic way. If you do do this, you can take a side trip south into the Chiricahuas just across the AZ state line and spend a night, either in the lodge at Portal, or camping in the forest. It's a really beautiful area.
My preferred route (adds about an hour) is I-25 south to Socorro, 60 west to Datil (passing the VLA), 12 west to Reserve (nice little town), 180 south to 78 west, 191 south to I-10, and west to Tucson. If you wanted to stay a night on that route, stay in Glenwood, which is on US 180. Just to the north of town is the Catwalk, which a lot of people miss. www2.srs.fs.fed.us/r3/gila/r...
A variation on that route is to take NM 117 south from Grants to Fence Lake, then 36 south to Quemado and 32 south to rejoin 12. That way, you'll be able to stop, if you'd like, at the Acoma Pueblo and El Malpais.
You could also stay on I-40 west to US 191 south, then follow the Coronado Trail south past Clifton to Safford. However, the stretch through the White Mountains is incredibly slow: very, very curvy, and impossible to get over 35 mph on.
Conversely, instead of following 191 all the way south, you can take 61 west at St John's to Show Low, then south on 77 all the way to Tucson. That adds some time, but it's a very pretty drive, especially as you go along the Gila River south of Globe and through the Salt River Canyon north of Globe.
Once you decide on a route and you'd like a more extensive list on what to see, just let me know.
thanks alot for the help.will have a look at the options youve given me and no doubt will be looking for further tips when i finalise a route.many thanks much appreciated