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best route

Nazareth...
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89 posts
29 reviews
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best route

We will be touring SE NM this April. We will be traveling from El Paso to Las Cruces to White Sands and Alamogordo. We then want to take one full day to travel to Carlsbad. Would it be better to go through Cloudcroft and Artesia or should we visit Tulerosa and the Petroglyphs, Valley of the Fires, and Roswell? Both routes look interesting. Unfortunately, I don't think that we will have time to travel both ways unless someone has a suggestion. Thanks for your help.

Albuquerque, New...
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1. Re: best route

Both routes you mention have their attractions. The Cloudcroft (at 9,000ft. elevation) to Artesia drive is very scenic. But...

If you are "into" lava flows, petroglyphs, and "Aliens," the other route, via Ruidoso would be your best choice.

A personal FYI: I do not know if you would be interested in "cabins," but both Cloudcroft, and Ruidoso offer many. Ruidoso being larger, provides more choices, and also a larger choice in restaurants.

Having lived in El Paso and Las Cruces previously, if I had to choose one of your routes for scenery, it would be Cloudcroft to Artesia, spending most of your day in the former's area. The Living Desert zoo, between Artesia and Carlsbad is also worth a visit.

Actually, in a "full day" drive, you could have your cake and eat it too, "if" you're spending the previous night in Alamogordo. Then travel up to the Three Rivers petroglyphs, Valley of Fires just a couple miles west of Carrizozo...then return east to Capitan. From there, continue south to Ruidoso, and Mescalero (and cross through the Mescalero Apache Reservation, which is primarily pine forests) to Cloudcroft..then east to Artesia...and Carlsbad.

Regarding staying in Alamogordo, one usually warns people in summer to visit White Sands in the mornings, but in April, you'd probably find the afternoon temperatures preferable, and a great way to end your day. Wherever you go, thanks for coming to visit our Land of Enchantment!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: best route

I would go visit the Petroglyphs and Valley of Fires. While in Carrizozo get some cider. Then head to Capitan, to see Smokey the Bear Historical Park. www.smokeybearpark.com . Fort Stanton a great site for NM history. Then on to Lincoln www.billybyway.com with Billy the Kidd history etc

Not much in Roswell, the Alien Museum will take all of 1 hour to visit.

3. Re: best route

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