echnically, we begin our North West New Mexico road trip in North Central ..but the NW loop begins and ends just West of the Village of Cuba in the Jemez Mountains on Rt 550 North.
When headed out to the NW, we're used to stopping for a break at The Apache Nugget Casino
on the Jicarilla Apache Nation
. The view of the reservation from this point is amazing:
Not 25 miles later is the turnoff for Chaco Canyon
. Since we've visited and reported on Chaco before, I'll just place this as a link in this raod trip. Know that if you're driving NW-NM ..that it's a very important stop!
Another 75 miles of spectacular driving scenery is Angel Peak Recreation Area
near Bloomfield. Watch for the sign. We would have planned to spend lots more time here had we known how beautiful it is and a hikers paradise!
Next on the way out to Farmington and The Four Corners is the Town Of Aztec and Aztec Ruins
, with dwellings up to 1,000 years old! This NPS administered site is not at all overwhelmed with tourists! It's about another 25 miles beyond Angel Peak.
Next stop, our base of operations, is Farmington
. We really like Farmington a lot. It's a town of 45,000 people way out in no-where-ville! But there's plenty to do work-wise (oil & natural gas), and recreation-wise.
Both the Animas and San Juan rivers flow thru Farmington..and the Riverwalk park runs along the Animas. It's beautiful and vibrant!
We're going to spend a couple nights in Farmington but on the next day we hit out for Shiprock
..which you can see about 25-30 miles away from Farmington and The Four Corners. Just follow the signs to the Village of Shiprock..and then just make your way to the actual rock! There are no signs that we can tell. Actually..the Navajo Nation
doesn't want anbody there! ;)
We took the back way out to the road to The Four Corners
..and it was VERY primitive thru a the Village of Rattlesnake, probably aptly named!
This is where, at a point, the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet! It's a Navajo Nation
Parksite and it's fun with great food and arts!
The next day, and as a beginning to heading home from the South of Farmington, we visited the Bisti Badlands
The hiking, backpacking, camping can get as advanced as you like here. It's a true moonscape of visuals!
After having already traveled to and reported on Grants
..we headed South to Crown Point on The Nation and then back east thru Tucker Gap..and back toward the Jemez Mountains. We saw some mustangs along the way and had a fabulous lunch in Cuba, NM!
The entire drive was about 650 miles in 3 days! It was more awesomeness on the menu of spectacular things about New Mexico! Dan & Gabriela
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Painting By Featured Artist MJAckley "Sunset Behind Fall Tree II"