A friend and I are driving from Denver to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in Oct. and have been looking up hotels in the area. Since I have only driven through driving cross country 11 years ago I'm not sure of the area. We would like a cheaper hotel but not be in a sketchy area. My budget was between 50-75 a night. Any suggestions for hotels would be great.
Also, during the day I would love to find a trail to hike If anyone has suggestions for that as well it would be appreciated!
If you haven't booked a hotel for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta by now, it may be too late to do so. Keep in mind that this is the biggest event in Albuquerque by a country mile, and even the most mediocre hotels and motels will be charging $200 per night and more within Albuquerque. To get any deals, you really need to book a year in advance.
Since you are driving, your best bet is to find motels on the outskirts of Albuquerque. The casinos may offer some good deals. You can drive into Albuquerque to one of the Express Park and Ride locations to pick up an express bus to the Balloon Fiesta. You will need to be at the Express park and Ride no later than 5am in the morning to be sure you don't miss anything.
Do not drive to the Balloon Fiesta. Traffic is a nightmare. The Express Park and Ride is the best way to get there and they run continuously.
This is an update and correction!
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta maintains an Official list of hotels and motels that have last minute rooms available for this years Fiesta. If you're willing to take a hotel ten miles or more from the Fiesta, some have rates of around $100 per night (a bargain for last minute). The website shows how many rooms each hotel has available. Here is the link: http://www.balloonfiestahotels.com/
Your best bet for transportation to the Balloon Fiesta is locating the local Balloon Fiesta Express Park & Ride stop near the hotel you choose.
I hope this helps you!