Day 10-11: Texas to New Mexico

07 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM

  • New Mexico state official tourism site (about the state, plus things to do, etc.)
  • Native American New Mexico info about native american tribal events and activities open to the public.
  • Chaco Culture National Historical ParkThis Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. It is located in a relatively inaccessible canyon cut by the Chaco Wash, and contains the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico. There is a primitive campground inside the park. Tucked amongst the fallen boulders and cliffs of Gallo Wash, the campground offers camping in a rugged environment, surrounded by petroglyphs, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions, and a high desert landscape. There is no shade. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – in Albuquerque, has a schedule of dance performances as well as other native american cultural programming
  • Manzano state park – a state park near to Albuquerque that has camping

COOL STUFF TO DO:

  • something native american? – here is a calendar of new mexico native american events and dances. and this is the site of the taos pueblo, where they sometimes have a very beautiful relgious dance called matachines. and another calendar of dances and events (with notices about photography policy)
  • Acoma Sky City Pueblo tour… on the Acoma reservation that is between Albuquerque and Gallup. It has the oldest continally inhabited pueblo, and there are tours given by tribal members for tourist (seems like it is very well developed tourism, but has gotten high ratings)

NOTES:

17 JAN 2010: We will have to make a decision here about whether or not we do the Santa Fe loop or if we go directly from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque.

Those who have done the drive recommend the Santa Fe loop “if you have the time”… particularly to see the Pecos National Historical site (which seems like it might be interesting, but not sure if it’s not better to spend time some where else in the area as there is no camping at this location… so it is just a “stopover”)…

Personally, the big attraction of the Santa Fe loop for me is a part of the drive on a dirt road thru La Bajada (explanation below is from Legends of America: Rte 66 site) :

<< …the Mother Road continued on a particularly nasty stretch down La Bajada Hill toward Albuquerque. One of the most challenging sections of Route 66, the 500 foot drop along narrow switch backs struck terror in the hearts of many early travelers, so much so that locals were often hired to drive vehicles down the steep slope.>>

Check out what these folks who did the trip in 2003 have to say about this section of the Route… And here is a good explanation of La Bajada possiblities… and HERE IS A JEEP TRAIL (and they rate it as an EASY trail, so i think it should be no problem for us!!!!!). The Jeep Trail actually takes us onto the Cochiti indian reservation, and ends at a ruin… Here is more about the Cochitis… and someone’s photo essay from a trip up La Bajada…

It would also be great to visit/camp at the Chaco national site!!!! However there are no reservations for campsites there… so need alternative plans… the park itself has put together this list of alternative camping options in the area… BTW, the Chaco park has put together a “Before you Visit” introduction online…

Here are some thoughts on planning options…

OPTION1: spend day 10 getting to Santa Fe area, with a stop over at the Pecos national site, and camp somewhere in the Santa Fe National Forest… . here is a good resource on the local campgrounds there. day 11 do the jeep trail, then drive to Chaco national park… (with an option of camping at one of the ranches nearby if the park campground is full)…

OPTION2: go direct to Albuquerque on day 10, overnight locally there, and then go to Chaco on day 11…

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