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Grand canyon to 4cs to Taos -- where to stay, eat, etc.

Boston
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Grand canyon to 4cs to Taos -- where to stay, eat, etc.

My husband and I (plus our 4 kids) are traveling to the Grand Canyon, Taos, and Santa Fe this summer. When we are done at the Canyon, we'd like to drive from South Rim to Taos, via Four Corners (US-160 to 4Cs and then US-64East across NM to Taos). This full drive is over 8 hours, and we would like to find ways to break it up for the kids -- other than the pit-stop at 4Cs. So . . . .three questions:

1. Are there any decent places to stay overnight along this route, either before or after we hit 4Cs (in either AZ or NM)?

2. Are there any other interesting things to see along the way?

3. Any recommended places to grab a bite to eat?

Advice much apprecaited.

Fort Myers
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1. Re: Grand canyon to 4cs to Taos -- where to stay, eat, etc.

I haven't made that trip for a couple of years, but...

The drive is not a spellbinder.

I recall some riverside cabins in Chama, south of Dulce as you head south before heading east.

Also, I recall that before that you hit a T-turn north to go to the Toltec & Cumbres RR line.You may want to check it out first.

The drive from Tierra Amarillo east to Taos goes through an enjoyable section of Carson National Forest, then across high desert that has all the charm of pool table.

Well, maybe I made the trip too many times.

When you get to the blinking light (does it still blink) at NM68 you can continue ahead and up into the Ski Valley. There are lodges and condos to stay up there. Or turn south to the town of Taos.

A lot of people trash Taos as being too touristy. I, for one, love it.

Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Grand canyon to 4cs to Taos -- where to stay, eat, etc.

Unless your hearts are set on standing "on" the 4-corners monument, I would rather encourage you to travel I-40 east to Albuquerque. There are "boonies"in the Southwest, and there are BOONIES, and the drive from the Grand Canyon to Farmington, NM especially is the latter.

From Flagstaff to Albuquerque, there is the Meteor Crater, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, etc. In Albuquerque, and adjacent to historic Old Town, there are several museums, including the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (great if the kids love the dinosaurs!), and the Expo Science Museum (both on Mountain Road), which has many hands-on exhibits for children.

The Albuquerque Museum across the street, will give your family an excellent introduction into the area's history in an hour's time, and Old Town's shops and restaurants are just out the door.

If you are still going a northern route, your best accomodations would be found in Farmington, NM. You may also want to consider visiting SW Colorado, including Cortez, Mesa Verde National Park, Telluride, Silverton, and Durango. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the the Rocky Mountains. It would be a shame to have traveled so far, and have missed what some have called, "The Little Switzerland of America."

Where ever you decide to go. Enjoy your visit.

Taos, NM
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3. Re: Grand canyon to 4cs to Taos -- where to stay, eat, etc.

You can break it up by stopping at Monument Valley, just north of Kayenta. I personally enjoy Gouldings Lodge. This is where many many movies and commercials have been filmed. The Kids will truly find it enjoyable.

Farmington has many places to stay and dine. In Bloomfield is Salman ruins, a pretty interesting ancestral Pueblo Ruin.

Chama has a few places to stay. It is also the home to the Cumbres and Toltec RailRoad.Even if you do not take the train ride you can see all of the old rolling stock from the center of town... Or...follow the train with your car in the morning. There will be a caravan of cars taking the road to find the best spots to photograph the train as it comes around the bend. Just follow everyone else. In many ways its more fun than taking the ride.

As said earlier, the scenery along US 64 on the way to Tres Piedras is gorgeous.

Also, as said before, going through Utah from Kayenta will be a pretty drive to Cortez, CO (Mesa Verde) Durango, Pagosa Springs, and then down into Chama.

Just know that whatever you do, it will be GREAT.

Have FUN!!!

4. Re: Grand canyon to 4cs to Taos -- where to stay, eat, etc.

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