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Driving after dark

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Maryland, USA
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Driving after dark

Hi there,

My family will be visiting end of March. Overview to our itinerary is arrive in ABQ, and make our way out west on I-40, including stop at Acoma Pueblo, and on to the Petrified Forest NP. On our way back to ABQ, we do intend to stop over at the many offerings on Rt.53. (Thanks to everyone as I learned a lot by researching advice already on the forum!)

Prior to hitting Rt. 53 (starting at Gallup) and returning to ABQ, we are trying to work through logistics of getting to Canyon de Chelly and Window Rock from Petrified Forest NP.

The options we're considering include the following. My question is about taking these routes after sunset because we were hoping to stay at PFNP for sunset and then departing to next destination.

1) Turn off I-40 around Chambers at 191 and go straight to Chinle (1h according to bing maps). Next day, leave Canyon de Chelly after sunset. Stay at Window Rock. (1h15m)

2) Turn off I-40 around Lupton at 12 and go to Window Rock. (1h) Proceed next morning to Chinle. Return to WR or Gallup that evening after sunset.

3) Go to Window Rock via Gallup, 491/264. (1h30m) Proceed next morning to Chinle and return to WR or Gallup that evening after sunset.

After visiting Canyon de Chelly, we could also just stay at Chinle for the night before resuming our trip to WR.

So my basic question is whether any or all of these routes would be safe for driving at night. I'd be OK with I-40 to Gallup since we'd have already traveled it during daylight on the way west, and I'm guessing that as an interstate, it would be lit.

But I'm wondering about these smaller roads at night. Are they lit? Do you think it'd be safe to drive at night? Any other insights to share (like are we missing great scenery)?

Also curious if you think the bing time estimates are reasonably accurate? I'm aware that traveling on smaller roads sometimes can take longer!

Thanks!

Albuquerque, New...
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for New Mexico
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1. Re: Driving after dark

I would use option #1. This is a US highway, No. 191. It will take you a little over an hour. It is 72 miles, and speed limit on the reservation is 55 to 65 mph.

You don't have a lot of hotel options in Window Rock. My recommendation would be to go on to Gallup. It's only about 30 miles further and there are many more hotel and restaurant choices. Just IMHO

Colorado
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2. Re: Driving after dark

Also, highways in the West (either Interstate or any regular highway) aren't lighted at night except thru cities or towns.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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3. Re: Driving after dark

No hotels in PFNP either. There's one in Chambers and a lot in Holbrook.

Maryland, USA
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4. Re: Driving after dark

Thanks everyone for all the helpful info. We'll plan accordingly!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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5. Re: Driving after dark

Watch for wildlife and domestic animals on the roads. Also many people walk along the highways without flashlights. Few cars, but also don't trust any turn signals...left may mean right (and yes, I've seen this all over Northern NM and AZ!!!)

6. Re: Driving after dark

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