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5.09.2017

Travel Tuesday: Route and Recommendations for a Road Trip Through the U.S. Southwest

 
For spring break this year, the Fab Fam took a camping road trip across the Southwest (from Austin to Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas, Page, Arizona for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, and Zion and Arches National Parks in Utah).  You can click the links above for specific details on each destination, but today I am sharing our overall road trip route, itinerary, and recommendations for the whole trip.
 
Overall we covered five states, about 3,000 miles, and 48 hours of drive time over the course of nine days.  I am pleased to say that, once again, the whole family did great.  If you want to see my tried-and-true tips for surviving a long road trip with young children, click here.  We especially love breaking up the trip with unique roadside attractions, like the world's largest chile pepper, Billy the Kid's grave, and the like.  Most of these I found on Roadside America, which I highly recommend checking out before any road trip.

Family Road Trip through the United States Southwest

Day 1
Begin: Home (Austin, TX)
End: Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX
Total Drive Time: 8.5 Hours
Total Miles: 522

Drive to Big Bend (8 hrs.)
 
The car is loaded up, and the Fab Fam is on the road!
 
Pit stop in London, TX
 
I love the quirky things you can find in small towns on the road
 
·         Possible roadside attraction stops:

o    Alley Oop Land (dinosaur you can climb on): 9261 Alley Oop Ln., Iraan, TX

o    Paisano Pete Roadrunner Statue: Intersection of Hwy 290/Main Street, downtown Ft. Stockton
 
The world's former largest roadrunner statue in Ft. Stockton, TX
 
·         Lunch: On the road

·         Check-in to campsite (2 nights): BIG BEND RANCH SP (BIG BEND RANCH AGUA ADENTRO BACKCOUNTRY ZONE, YEDRA 1-PRIMITIVE WALK IN)

o    Enter at Ft. Leaton

o    Arrive by 4:30 pm

My Junior Rangers with their borrowed gear from the State Park

Sunset in Big Bend - the view from our campsite
 
Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Big Bend Ranch State Park.
 
Day 2
Begin: Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX
End: Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX
Big Bend

·         Misc. sight-seeing
 
G overlooking the flat irons of El Solitario in Big Bend State Park

One of the hidden pools, part of Cinco Tinajas

 
Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Big Bend Ranch State Park.
 
Day 3
Begin: Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX
End: Albuquerque, NM
Total Drive Time: 8.5 Hours
Total Miles: 555

Drive to Marfa (2 hrs.)

·         Misc. sight-seeing in Marfa

o    Visit Prada Marfa art installation (US-90, Valentine, TX 79854) (30 min. from Marfa)
 
 
 
Drive to Albuquerque (6 hrs.)

·         Possible roadside attraction stops:
 
         o    Rosa’s Cantina: 3454 Doniphan Drive, El Paso, TX
 
             §  Lunch 
 
Out in the West Texas town of El Paso...
 
o    Grave of Wild West's No. 1 Killer (John Wesley Hardin): Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell, El Paso, TX

o    Dave’s Pawn Shop (Pancho Villa’s trigger finger, conjoined twin skeleton): 216 S. El Paso St., El Paso, TX

o    World’s Largest Chile Pepper: 2160 W. Picacho Ave, Las Cruces, NM
 
World's largest chile pepper
 
o    La Posta de Mesilla (bunkhouse of Billy The Kid, Pat Garrett, Pancho Villa, along with many more personalities of the Wild West), Billy the Kid Jail: 2410 Calle de San Albino, Mesilla, NM

·         Dinner: A&B Drive In: 211 N Broadway St, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901

·        Check-in to hotel (1 night): Hampton Inn & Suites Albuquerque-Coors Road (6150 Iliff Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121)
 
Day 4
Begin: Albuquerque, NM
End: Antelope Canyon, AZ (Page, AZ)
Total Drive Time: 6 Hours
Total Miles: 390

Drive to Page, AZ (6 hrs.)

·         Possible roadside attraction stops:
 
o    Continental Divide, Route 66, NM
 
 
 
 
o    Shoe Tree, High Heel Variant: 299 Gallup Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM

o    Misc. Route 66 photo opps
 
 
·         Lunch: On the road

·        Check-in to campsite (2 nights): Page-Lake Powell Campground (849 S. Coppermine Rd., Page, AZ 86040)

·         Misc. sight-seeing

o    Navajo Village Heritage Center: 1253 Coppermine Rd, Box 2464, Page, AZ 86040
 
Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona.
 
Day 5
Begin: Antelope Canyon, AZ
End: Antelope Canyon, AZ
Page, AZ

·         Misc. sight-seeing

 
The incredible Antelope Canyon
 
 
 
o    Horseshoe Bend
 
The iconic horseshoe bend in the Colorado River
 
o    Lake Powell
 
Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona.
 
Day 6
Begin: Antelope Canyon, AZ
End: Zion National Park, UT (Hurricane, UT)
Total Drive Time: 3 Hours
Total Miles: 177

Drive to Sand Hollow State Park (2.5 hrs.)

·         Possible roadside attraction stops:

o    Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (dinosaurs and fossils)
 
The boys loved the dinosaur information at the Grand Staircase-Escalante visitor center
 
 
 
o    Little Hollywood Land - Frontier Movie Town: 297 W Center St., Kanab, UT

§  Lunch at the Chuck Wagon restaurant
 
This museum in Kanab, UT had old western movie sets to explore
 
 
o    Hurricane Valley Pioneer Heritage Museum (100 y.o. fruitcake, senior bacon): 35 W State St., Hurricane, UT

o    Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm (unearthed tracks): 2180 E. Riverside Drive, St. George, UT.  $6 entrance fee (adults).

·        Check-in to campsite (1 night): Sand Hollow State Park (3351 Sand Hollow Rd, Hurricane, UT 84737)

Drive to Zion National Park (45 min.)

·         Misc. sight-seeing
 
·         Dinner: Red Rock Grill at Zion Lodge (Zion National Park, 1 Zion Lodge, Springdale, UT 84767)


Zion was huge and majestic!


The boys were troopers hiking and exploring


One of Zion's Emerald Pools
 
Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Zion National Park.
 
Day 7
Begin: Zion National Park, UT
End: Arches National Park, UT
Total Drive Time: 5 Hours
Total Miles: 340

Drive to Green River State Park (4 hrs.)

·         Possible roadside attraction stops:

o    Parowan Gap Petroglyphs and Dinosaur Tracks: Parowan Gap Road, Off of I-15, Parowan, UT
 
Parowan Gap had a short, easy hike to some dinosaur tracks
 
 
 
 
Petroglyphs visible from the roadside
 
 
 
 
 
o    Big Rock Candy Mountain: 4550 US-89, Sevier, UT 84766

§  Lunch at resort café
 
 
 
The boys were excited to see snow on the side of the road, so we stopped to play
 
Snowball fight!
 
 
A baby snowman!
 
o    Lightning McQueen Car: Papa Joe’s Gas Station, Old Highway Cisco, Thompson, UT

·        Check-in to campsite (1 night): Green River State Park (Green River Blvd, Green River, UT 84525)
Drive to Arches National Park (45 min.)

·         Misc. sight-seeing

Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Arches National Park.

Day 8
Begin: Arches National Park, UT
End: Santa Rosa, NM
Total Drive Time: 8.5 Hours
Total Miles: 540
Drive to Arches National Park (45 min.)

·         Misc. sight-seeing

Delicate Arch

Balanced Rock in Arches National Park

Double Arch

The bean and me in the Window Arch

Click here for more details, photos, and recommendations for Arches National Park.

Drive to Durango, CO (3.5 hrs.)

·         Lunch and misc. sight-seeing

Drive to Santa Rosa (5 hrs.)

·        Check-in to hotel (1 night): Hampton Inn Santa Rosa (2475 Historic Rt 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435)

Day 9:
Begin: Santa Rosa, NM
End: Home (Austin, TX)
Total Drive Time: 9 Hours
Total Miles: 560

Return home (9 hrs.)

·         Possible roadside attraction stops:

o    Billy the Kid's Two Graves:

§  Replica Grave and Billy the Kid Museum: 1601 E. Sumner Ave., Fort Sumner, NM

§  Real Grave: Old Fort Sumner Cemetery, Billy the Kid Drive, Fort Sumner, NM

We read to the boys about Billy the Kid during the trip, so they were excited to visit the museum and see the real grave of William Bonney






o    Ancient Bones Dig Site: Blackwater Draw Locality #1, Hwy 467, Portales, NM

o    Chunk of the Blarney Stone: Texas Tech University

o    Buddy Holly’s Grave: City of Lubbock Cemetery, E. 31st St., Lubbock, TX

o    World’s Largest Spur: 1902 Hwy 281 S, Lampasas, TX

o    Texas Nessie/Pasture Monster: US Hwy 183, Lampasas, TX (On the northbound side of US Hwy 183, seven miles south of the southernmost traffic light in Lampasas. Private property; visible from the road.)

·         Lunch: On the road

 That's it for this year's spring break road trip!  Remember to pin this one for later!

1 comment :

Anita | Fearless Captivations said...

What an awesome trip! Those National Parks are beautiful! It's great how you all broke down the sights and driving. Thank you for sharing!