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Old 07-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #15
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Cameron,Az @ the east end of Grand Canyon is a good stop. It is north of Flagstaff about 60 miles on highway 89. From there you can head east across the Navajo res toward NM. Beats Sedona many,many ways!
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #16
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We have been all over AZ and NM and you can find lots of info and pictures on our travel log (below), though I must admit it's terribly behind now...but am striving to catch it up.

Sedona... the best place to stay and use as a base in the area is Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood...electric & water hookups ... central to Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome and Camp Verde.

If you go up to the Flagstaff area...Pinegrove Campground in the Coconino Forest about 15 miles SE of Flag on St Marys Road is great (dry camping, but paved, clean and very pleasant). You can make reservations ... and there's Bonito Campground at the entrance to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument NE of Flag on the road to Page...again dry camping...entry into the Sunset Crator National Monument also gets you entry to the Wupatki National Monument. Both are great memorable places.

If you go the southern route to NM, I-10...there is PIcacho Peak State Park between Phx and Tucson...a personal favorite of ours, and a great place for a stop over... Catalina State Park in Tucson is good if you want to plant yourself near shopping, etc... And Gilbert Ray Campground near the Saguaro National Monument West will give you a very nice desert experience... Don't miss the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum nearby...it's a world-class natural museum.

Further east of Tucson on I-10 is Kartchner Caverns State Park near Benson, AZ...it's a living cavern...nice campground and great tours... Tombstone is also nearby.

Don;t know much about the Carlsbad area, but there is a strong of NM state parks along I-25 beginning just north of Las Cruses, NM all the way up to ABQ.

I concur that the Santa Fe Skies RV Park in Santa Fe is a great place to stay...easy to get to downtown and the Plaza by car (parking is difficult) or train.

I'd recommend The Enchanted Circle of New Mexico which is a circular route around the ski mountains north of Taos...it's not that long, about 80 miles... We stayed at the Monte Verde RV Park in Angel Fire (owned by "eubank")...nice park and nice folks...great discount for WBCCI members... then north to Eagle Nest and Red River... There are 4 or 5 Carson National Forest parks between Red River and Questa, NM...we stayed in Elephant Rock and like it a lot...you can complete the Circle by driving on to Questa and back south to Taos... The area north of Questa is a BLM area...the Wild Rivers Recreation Area where the Red River and the Rio Grand merge...we did not camp there but it is highly encouraged by others.

NW of Espanola, NM is Heron Lake State Park and the Chama River Valley and Quichoti Lake areas...stomping grounds of the famed artist Geroge O'Keefe...an area of rich heritage and history...

There's so much to do and see in both NM and AZ that you will have a wonderful time almost anywhere you venture...

Happy Trails!
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:12 PM   #17
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Oh yeah, since your wife is an artist, you can camp at Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, NM. Her landscapes are still there...
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:14 PM   #18
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I agree Cameron Trading Post is a place to visit. In the middle of a desert and next to the Little Colorado River, it is an oasis. There's a hotel, gardens, restaurant, gift shop and a rug gallery (ask in gift shop to get in; in separate building). The gallery has even more beautiful rugs than the gift shop. Once a trading post—it is at the edge of the Navajo res.—it has been expanded over the years and is quite a place.

We have stayed in the motel and not the RV CG.

Santa Fe Skies has little in the way of shade and is very exposed. When we went there about 3 years ago, the wifi was awful. Reviews of this park are mixed—well, all review sites are mixed, but this more so. Check out: RV Park Reviews :: Santa Fe, New Mexico ( NM ) - RV Parks and Campground Reviews

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Old 07-10-2012, 06:14 PM   #19
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We stayed at Santa Fe Skies RV Park just last month...we enjoyed it...it was breezy, yes, but it was also during the heat wave, so a breeze was good thing. They are making constant improvements to the sites. The wi-fi was very good most of the time, though there were times we decided to rely on our Verizon hotspot. The staff was friendly and very accommodating...and very dog-friendly. A little more shade would have been nice, especially given the weather, but there are trees at many of the sites.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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The restaurant at Cameron Trading Post makes a pretty mean Navajo Taco, too! Almost as good as the one at the restaurant in Tuba City (though there's some disagreement in these parts about that assessment).

Lynn

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I agree Cameron Trading Post is a place to visit. In the middle of a desert and next to the Little Colorado River, it is an oasis. ...Gene
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:40 PM   #21
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I'm bookmarking this thread for a later time - some great recommendations!

Note to self: Must go west again soon.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:33 PM   #22
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Gilbert Ray CG on west side of Tucson - don't miss as lots of fun stuff there.
Kartchner Caverns SP just south of Benson. Super cave tour.
Be sure to see the bronze statues in Artesia NM, and stay at Brantley Lake SP just south. Have Fun!
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #23
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The restaurant at Cameron Trading Post makes a pretty mean Navajo Taco, too! Almost as good as the one at the restaurant in Tuba City (though there's some disagreement in these parts about that assessment).

Lynn
Hmm......I guess I'll have to go back to Tuba City. I am always on the look out for a good Indian Taco. Also San Xavior mission south of Tucson is well worth a vist. In their parking lot under a delapilated shade I got the BEST Indian Taco I have ever had.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
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Other great campgrounds in New Mexico:

* Valley of Fires Recreation Area (BLM), managed by NM State Parks -- Interesting landscape with nature walk over volcanic flow. Paved roads and sites, shade canopies, picnic tables, some sites have electric hookups, restrooms recently renovated with nice showers, dump station. Hot in summer; best during cooler seasons. Accepts National Park passes (half off camping fees for Senior Pass). Not heavily visited. Near Carrizozo.

* Elephant Butte Lake State Park -- Near shores of large, very long reservoir. Paved roads and sites, shade canopies, picnic tables, water & electric hookups, restrooms (did not check these out), dump station. Hot in summer; best during cooler seasons, unless you have a boat. Lots of sand. Near Truth or Consequences.

Other interesting sites in New Mexico:

* Very Large Array, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_Large_Array) -- Remote location 50 miles west of Socorro. Several National Forest or BLM campgrounds nearby (not sure which) are open all year. Contact and several movies filmed here. SETI site.

* Trinity Site -- Location where first atomic bombs were tested near end of WWII.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:43 AM   #25
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The place to go isn't right on Hwy 160, but up on Main Street just beyond Moenave Ave and the Tuba City Trading Post. Plenty of parking area across the street!

Lynn

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Hmm......I guess I'll have to go back to Tuba City. I am always on the look out for a good Indian Taco. Also San Xavior mission south of Tucson is well worth a vist. In their parking lot under a delapilated shade I got the BEST Indian Taco I have ever had.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #26
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* Very Large Array, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (Very Large Array - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) -- Remote location 50 miles west of Socorro. Several National Forest or BLM campgrounds nearby (not sure which) are open all year. Contact and several movies filmed here. SETI site.
U.S. 60 is a great road, there was a R.V. park right across the road from the V.L.A., but I think it closed. Some of the best pie in the world is on that road!
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:40 PM   #27
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Y'all are making me homesick!

After spending eight or more years fishing, hunting and camping all over New Mexico and parts of Arizona I have a need to return, especially now that we have the Airstream and won't have to rough it like we did when we were much younger.

Chille Renos in Taos! Nothing better and especially with the chilles from Hatch, New Mexico! Fishing the Chama River in the north; hunting elk around Ruidoso, The Gila Wilderness or west of Chama; hiking the Cliff Dwellings; cooling off in Cloudcroft; skiing Sierra Blanca before we discovered Vail; fishing in Luna, AZ or Big Lake, AZ; the White Sands; the caverns of Carlsbad; the beer batter onion rings in Hobbs, NM; my first deer on El Capitan; my first black bear in The Black Range; the Great Solar Array; duck hunting on The Rio Grande resevoirs; camping in the back of a Datsun pickup under a camper shell on an old mattress! On and on. We must go back. Thanks for the memories y'all.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:06 PM   #28
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The VLA is very interesting, but not all that far from the fire in west central NM. I think it is still burning. Best to check on it if you are planning to go to the national forest in that part of NM.

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