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Old 06-02-2015, 02:04 PM   #1
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Oceanside, CA to Carlsbad Caverns in July.

Planning trip from Oceanside to Carlsbad Caverns leaving July 6, I have about three weeks to get there and back. Ideas? Places to see? Is the weather gonna be to hot? Any replies welcome and thanks in advance.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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Yes, the southern drive will be HOT. The caverns are cool though.

Try to work in White Sands Nat'l Monument. Check their web site for evening ranger-led walks. It's a beautiful time to see the sands. During the day will be entirely too hot.

Gila Cliff Dwellings just north of Silver City, NM is very nice and there are great forest service campgrounds.

On your way to NM through AZ, Kartchner Caverns near Benson, AZ is gorgeous. It's altogether different from Carlsbad as Kartchner is still wet and growing. It also has a great state park at the caverns. Nearby would be Tombstone and Bisbee. In Bisbee there is a great mine tour. You don a yellow slicker and helmet w/headlamp and sit on a mining car for the tour. It's very well done by ex-miners. The little town is neat, too.

Tucson, AZ has a lot to do but mainly outside and it will be hot. The Desert Museum is great. Catalina State Park is the place to stay.

Have fun!
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:30 PM   #3
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Wish I could go another season, but we survived Bakersfield 100 days of one hundred degree weather, so we should be o.k. Pretty much have done all the Tucson stuff and everything you mentioned. Thinking about driving to Gila Bend to fuel and take a break and then continue to Wilcox to see the National Parks, missed that the last time and then after that continue to Las Cruces for the reason you mentioned. How many days in Carlsbad Cavern area? Can only do two of the tours as my son is only seven.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:35 PM   #4
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Anyone with a suggestion as to where to park for a day or two in Willcox, Arizona?
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:36 PM   #5
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Visited Carlsbad Caverns on the way home to CA from Florida last year.

Oh, yeah. It's a hot drive, it seems like a long drive out to the middle of nowhere. But the destination is a cool cave, (as mentioned).
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:50 AM   #6
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3 weeks could be enough time for Monument Valley heading back, then the Grand Canyon, and maybe up to Bryce. Oceanside huh? I miss SoCal. I was born & raised in the Chula Vista/Imperial Beach area. But that was many moons ago.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:19 AM   #7
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Oceanside weather still nice, expensive to live here.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:50 PM   #8
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Chiricahua Nat'l Monument is near Willcox but I can't think of any other national parks in the area. Chiricahua is higher in elevation so it would be a little cooler in July. The rock formations are awesome. There is a campground there but the limit is 29'. Willcox has the typical RV parks - nothing special just gravel parking lots. Check out RV Park Reviews for information on them.

If you haven't been to Bisbee you could easily drive to Chiricahua from there. The underground mine tour would be great for your 7-year-old. There a nice RV park on top of a hill right at the mine. Bisbee is also a lot cooler in summer because of elevation.

If you were planning to stop around Gila Bend, you might want to consider White Tank Mountain campground - one of Maricopa County's parks. They do have electric now but it will still be hot around that area.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:31 AM   #9
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Gonna do Chiricahua for sure, have been to Bisbee, very cool. Probably just stay in Willcox and take the toad.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:39 AM   #10
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We did this same basic route, over 2 1/2 month, returning at the first of May.

-Minuteman Missel Museum (4-5 stories deep) Tuscon
-Kartchner's is great, nice camp ground too, if you can get it
-Carlsbad Caverns - We stayed about 40 min North of this, in a nice state park North of Carlsbad, right on a lake.
-We headed up North to pick up 40, yes theu Roswell - the truth is out there... And, had time to swing up to Santa Fe/Taos too (But you may just elect to work your way back West.)
-Ice Caves and hike up to the remaining caldera of a volcano
-Brief detour to Chaco Canyon, has a nice campground. A slow dirt road ride in, but a great group of ruins.
-Meteor Canyon
-Petrified Forrest and Painted Desert
-Walnot Canyon (Good hike down into see the cliff dwellings.)
-Grand Canyon if you can get in!
-Perhaps a side trip down to Montezuma Well and Castle and Sedona area.

And yes to many of the other great ideas too. Three weeks is your limit on this one!

I'm a retired Rohr employee, well actually Goodrich/UTX - but always Rohr to me... So know the Chula Vista area well.

Have a safe fun trip!!
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:50 AM   #11
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I'm thinking after Chiricahua we will stop Las Cruces, then Carlsbad Caverns, then to Albuquerque with a stop in Roswell on the way, have not planned after that, might be regretting all the driving.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:54 AM   #12
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Keep off 285 in Texas and you won't be replacing suspension parts ....seriously!!
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:40 PM   #13
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Apparently you have never driven through L.A. about a 9.0 on the Richter scale, no plans to enter Texas, thanks though.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:14 PM   #14
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Where to after Albuquerque heading west...
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