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Need help for trip to Southern NM

Long Beach
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Need help for trip to Southern NM

Need some helping planning a short trip to southern NM in April. We will arrive in Albuquerque morning of Friday April 6th and need to be back in Albuquerque noon on Thursday April 12th. We have two sons, 9 and 10. Absolute must-sees are Carlsbad and White Sands, but I am pretty open to the rest. I personally would love to see the Trinity Site, but know that it would eat up most of a day and probably be boring to the kids. Don't mind driving. Thinking of adding Gila or Lincoln, but need some ideas. We like the outdoors and imagine April to be a great time to visit! We've seen Albuquerque several times, so could drive in/out on those same days. Thank you for any help...

Silver City, New...
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1. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

The Trinity Site is open for visitors only two days each year. One of them happens to be Saturday April 7 this year, so you'll be in the area at the right time.

You mentioned Gila, but I don't know if you meant the town of Gila (which is very small and not particularly noteworthy), the Gila Widerness (3.3 million acres of unspoiled forest), or the Gila Cliff Dwellings (which take most of a day to visit, as it is two hours drive from Silver City-- the closest town of any size).

Long Beach
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2. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

Thank you. I really would like to see the Trinity site just for my own historical interest but imagine it's a whole day event and my sons would balk! I meant the Gila cliff dwellings. But am open to any suggestions! Thanks! Kim

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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3. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

They open the gates...You don lead lined shorts & walk around the wasteland a bit...Get back into the car & spend the Afternoon at the Hall of Fame in "Gordo". The Kids might be interested in Billy the kid sites in Lincoln...Certainly the "Alien" exhibits in Roswell would be entertaining. Stay in Carlsbad & WALK down into the caverns. A hot springs soak in T or C overlooking the Rio Grand at River Bend Springs would be a good family activity as well... carracar

Silver City, New...
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4. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

Regarding the Gila Cliff Dwellings-- see below:

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument News Release

For Immediate Release

1/9/2012

GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS REOPEN

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument invites the public to return to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Superintendent Steve Riley announced today that the Gila Cliff Dwellings will reopen at 9 am on Tuesday, January 10, 2012. This reopening follows the completion of repairs to the West Fork Bridge on New Mexico Highway 15, one mile south of the cliff dwellings. The repairs were necessary due to damage caused by flooding in 2008 and 2010.

Edited: 09 January 2012, 16:46
Long Beach
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5. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

Thank you for your replies. I think we will drive to Socorro, do the Trinity Site quickly as possible, then VLA. On to Carlsbad, White Sands and maybe Gila Cliff dwellings, but that looks like it might be too much. Just more to do our next trip!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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6. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

Ok, the Trinity Site is on the way from Socorro to White Sands. Doesn't make sense to go to Trinity Site and then to VLA and then back toward White Sands.

Friday April 6 - Arrive in morning. Drive to VLA via El Malpais Nat Mon. To Socorro for the night. Holiday Inn Express or Best Western. Socorro Springs Brewpub is great place and right by these hotels

Sat April 7 - To Trinity Site then to Roswell and on to Carlsbad.

Sun April 8 - Carlsbad Caverns all day. Stay again.

Mon April 9 - Carlsbad to Alamogordo to see White Sands. Either stay in Alamogordo or Las Cruces

Tuesday April 10 To Gila Cliff Dwellings and back to Silver City for the night.

Wed April 11 - Back to Albuquerque. Stay near Old Town.

Thurs April 12 - See Old Town area. Maybe Rattlesnake Museum, Aquarium, Nat History Museum.

Long Beach
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7. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We plan on taking all your suggestions! Can't wait! We are planning another trip in June/July and will ask for more suggestions for that trip, Los Alamos area. We love NM! Kim

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

The Trinity site is worth seeing if you know the history of it. But, you don't need special clothing, and you walk in by yourself. They do have a golf cart for those who can't walk too well. Allow maybe an hour after getting to the site. With the very restricted speed to the site, allow another hour in and out from Highway 380.

One suggestion for you and anyone driving in New Mexico, especially the places you plan to visit. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before leaving your overnight destinations. The distances here between towns can be deceiving. For example, from San Antonio (no gas) to Carrizzozo is 64 miles. When you add in Trinity site it comes to around 100 miles. Carrizzozo has gas, but it is usually more expensive than Socorro or Roswell.

Silver City, New...
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9. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

CasaAzul's itinerary works pretty well, with one caveat::I would definitely stay in Las Cruces, perhaps even in Deming. The drive from Silver City to the Cliff Dwellings will take two hours each way, plus your travel time from Las Cruces (2 hours) or Deming (1 hour) to Silver City.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Need help for trip to Southern NM

Don't miss Smokey Bear SP on your way to Roswell. It's small and cute.

…state.nm.us/fd/smokeybear/SmokeyBearPark.htm

See (from the interstate) the biggest Roadrunner in the world.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/1975 ( just west of Las Cruces.

Just before you reach Silver City a short sideroad leads to City of Rocks

www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/cityrocks.htm

If you don't want to spend all in Carlsbad Caverns maybe also see Living Desert SP www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/livingdesert.htm

On your way to Alamogordo at Cloudcroft (9000') are fantastic views on White Sands far away. Can be freezing in Cloudcroft and very hot in White Sands. http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/1081196

Have a great trips.

Tet

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