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!