We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

New Mexico in Oct

1 post
New Mexico in Oct

I am flying in to El Paso in Oct. I want to go to the White Sand Dune, Carlsbad Cavern, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, can anyone tell me the best route and which city I should stay is cheaper? Thanks.

5 replies to this topic
Los Alamos, New...
Level Contributor
3,691 posts
149 reviews
1. Re: New Mexico in Oct

Well you cannot visit all of these places from one city. Carlsbad Caverns is over a 3 hour drive from the dunes in White Sands National Monument. The hotels down there have gotten quite expensive due to an influx of contractors from the oil industry. You might do the drive from El Paso (early start!), visit the caverns, and then start heading toward White Sands, staying somewhere along the way like Artesia (although accommodations can still be pricey there). The next day, go on to White Sands and then stay somewhere around Alamagordo, or north of there if you think you can keep going. From there, you can get to Albuquerque the next day and Santa Fe is only an hour north of Albuquerque.

You never mentioned how much time you had for this trip. A lot of people don't realize that New Mexico is the 6th largest state and traveling from one area to another takes much more time than most think. Best of luck.

Albuquerque, New...
Level Contributor
2,460 posts
135 reviews
2. Re: New Mexico in Oct

You really should give the caverns a full day; main entrance, big room and a guided tour of the Kings Palace, is the most recommended use of time.

You could stay in White City, just outside the Caverns. The Hotel there is o.k., nothing fancy, but a lot less expensive than in town. Artesia is somewhat less expensive,

White City does have a small restaurant, don't know the quality or the open times on it. That is why I recommend Artesia as there are several good restaurants there. It is a longer drive to get down to the Caverns but an early start will give you most of the day.

As far as Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I would rethink those. It is several hours drive to Albuquerque or Santa Fe from either White Sands or Carlsbad. It really takes a good part of a day, so unless you have over a week planned, I would rethink those places.

If you do drop them, you could visit Silver City, City of Rocks, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings, all within a few hours of Alamogordo or Las Cruces.

Los Alamos, New...
Level Contributor
3,691 posts
149 reviews
3. Re: New Mexico in Oct

Silver City is a fantastic idea. It's a mountain town, artsy, some fun restaurants. Much closer than your northern destinations

Level Contributor
17 posts
36 reviews
4. Re: New Mexico in Oct

The replies here make me wonder: how reliable are the travel estimates if I use Google maps to give me drive times from one NM location to another?

Albuquerque, New...
Level Contributor
2,460 posts
135 reviews
5. Re: New Mexico in Oct

Pretty much rule of thumb, take the Google time and add 30%, and you will be close to actual time. Google doesn't figure in stops for restrooms, food or gas.

For example, from Albuquerque to Carlsbad is 286 miles, Google shows 4 1/2 hours. It takes us 5 1/2 at the least. From Albuquerque, figure over 4 hours to Las Cruces.

Hope this helps your decision.

Reply to: New Mexico in Oct
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted