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Oklahoma City to New Mexico

Oklahoma City
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Oklahoma City to New Mexico

I am in the middle of planning a roadtrip for August 29-September 3. We will be leaving late afternoon on August 29, and getting back hopefully either late September 2 or early-ish September 3. When I say 'we,' I mean myself and my boyfriend. I am 28 and he is 29. We have always wanted to visit Roswell, New Mexico, so we decided to turn it into a fun roadtrip. The only thing we have set in stone is a tour recommended on Trip Advisor that we are doing at 9 AM August 31st. So, being in Roswell the 31st is really the only stipulation that this trip has.

I have been to Santa Fe and Albuquerque before, so we are more interested in the smaller towns, the hidden treasures, but would not be adverse to going back. We are both extremely active (I am a triathlete), so anything outdoors is fun. We are also a little nerdy (thus the Roswell trip), and are drawn to roadside attractions and anything that will be fun or let us see the beautiful scenery. We also love history and architecture. He and I haven't really discussed budget yet, but I can't imagine wanting to spend more than $100 a night on a hotel if we can manage it, and I would prefer to go to diners and dives rather than gourmet restaurants. Any suggestions by those who have done this before or know New Mexico would be extremely welcome. Thank you!

Iowa
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1. Re: Oklahoma City to New Mexico

You might want to stop at Carlsbad Caverns, which is really impressive. We did just the basic non-guided tour through the cave, but they also have guided tours including a more primitive caving tour. Be sure to book any guided tours well in advance; they fill up fast.

White Sands National Monument is really neat too. We had fun walking around on the sand dunes.

Guadalupe National Park is a good hiking park. It's in Texas, but just a half hour drive or so south of Carlsbad Caverns.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Oklahoma City to New Mexico

Hope you are not disappointed with Roswell. To tell the truth, we were...

Anyway Carlsbad caverns and White Sands are great suggestions but there also are lesser known places on the way like Billy the Kids Grave in Fort Sumner (plus museum), historic Lincoln with many places for Billy, Capitan has its Smokey bear SP. Very cute, There;s Valley if Fires SP where you can walk the lavaflows, Alamogordo and its excellent Museum of Space History. Cloudcroft on 9000' and Living Desert SP just north of Carlsbad. Ruidoso with many hiking options. On the way back to OKC you can drive via Lubbock for the nice Buddy Holly museum (we are fans...) South of Amarillo you'll find Palo Duro Canyon and in Canyon is a great museum for the Plains. Many place for R66 along I40, Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo, Slug Bug ranch east of it and the Big Texan in Amarillo itself. Think your time to visit all these places will be limited though.

Tet

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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3. Re: Oklahoma City to New Mexico

For "beautiful scenery," you'll have to either go more west to the New Mexico mountains or south to Big Bend. The South Plains (Lubbock area) are definitely not what I would consider scenic. The decided exceptions are a couple of state parks, where the rivers that form in that area (Canadian, Red, Brazos) have cut into the landscape. Palo Duro and Caprock, specifically. Palo Duro is just awesome, and would definitely be worth a full day there. Not much for hiking, but it's nice to just walk around. There are a lot of mountain biking trails at Palo Duro though, if you want to bring or rent one.

Carlsbad is fantastic, but it gets very, very busy on holiday weekends in the summer. Still worth visiting, but book your accommodations in advance.

For outdoors activities, I would go up into the mountains around Cloudcroft and Ruidoso. Lots of national forest hiking trails there. You could also try hiking Guadalupe Peak, to the "Top of Texas." It's going to be hot, but it's a nice, tough hike. I did it about 10 years ago.

Edit: Should add that I agree with Tet: Roswell sucks. You'll probably be driving through there anyway, but don't expect much.

Edited: 12:53 pm, July 10, 2013
Aubrey, Texas
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4. Re: Oklahoma City to New Mexico

I suggest you visit Palo Duro Canyon State Park and Caprock Canyons State Park during your trip. Pick the one that works best on 8/30 going to Roswell then hit the other going back to OKC. Both have good hiking/running trails and fine scenery. Both have history as well.

Palo Duro Canyon was the site of a pivotal battle between the US Army and the Comanches in 1873. A few years later Charles Goodnight, legendary Texas Ranger, started his cattle ranch there. His restored dugout is easy to see. The Visitor Center and the stone cabins are 1930's era design and construction.

Caprock Canyons is the home of the Texas State Bison Herd. These animals are genetically pure descendants of the vast herds that once roamed Texas and the Southern Plains. Goodnight saved their ancestors from the slaughter of the herds in the 19th century and protected them on his ranch.

Another interesting Texas state park is Copper Breaks between Quanah and Crowell. The green layers in the rock formations are copper. Nearby is the near ghost town of Medicine Mounds, also close is a marker at the site of the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker from the Comanches by the Texas Rangers including--who else--Charles Goodnight. In Vernon is the small but good Red River Valley Museum.

Edited: 8:27 pm, July 10, 2013
5. Re: Oklahoma City to New Mexico

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