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Old 06-04-2020, 12:55 PM   #1
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Best Route East Texas to Angel Fire, NM

We have a several months trip planned leaving late in June to spend most of the time in Colorado. The first leg of the trip will go from Nacogdoches, TX to Angel Fire, NM.
I am looking at two routes:
1) Taking US 84 thru Waco, Abilene, Lubbock, Sante Fe, NM to Taos and then to Angel Fire
2) I20 thru Abilene and to Pecos, TX; then turn north on US 285 thru Carlsbad, Roswell, Sante Fe and then to Taos and to Angel Fire.

We have a reservation in Angel Fire beginning July 02 to July 05. We can leave home in east Texas any time after June 21, so can take our time on the way to Angel Fire or we can wait and drive it in 3 or 4 days of just driving (I like to go about 200 to 300 miles a day is all).
Does anyone have any recommended routes or things to do along the way? Or is it going to be just a hot long drive to endure on our way to a wonderful time in Colorado?
Just fyi we have week long reservations in Pagosa Springs, Dolores, Ridgway, Gunnison and Buena Vista. After that I figure we will know where we want to spend more time, or travel somewhere else.
Thanks for your suggestions,
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:31 PM   #2
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All things equal i would probably go I-20 to stop at the Caverns in Carlsbad. They are amazing. If you have seen them, i would go the other route and get up to Santa Fe asap.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:36 PM   #3
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If your reservation is at a state park, you may wish to verify they are open.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:43 PM   #4
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The easiest approach once you get near the mountains is 800 miles from Nacogdoches, TX :

287 out of Ft. Worth to Amarillo

N on 87 to Clayton, NM

Pick up 412/56 to Cimarron

then 64 to Eagle Nest to 434 south to Angel Fire
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Old 06-05-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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I appreciate the responses. We have been to the caverns on another trip and we are not staying in a state park until we get to CO. That park is currently open and our reservation confirmed (Ridgway SP). At Angel Fire we have reservations at Monte Verde RV Park.
I like the route suggested by twogypsies after looking at it on a map. Are you saying take US 56 from Clayton to Springer and then take Hwy 21 to Cimarron?
I ask about Hwy 21 since the map shows it as curvy, but Hwy 58 that goes to Cimarron looks straight. I'm OK with curvy if it's a good road. Can you just clarify which road from I25 to take to Cimarron?
Thanks,
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:32 PM   #6
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Yes, from Springer take I-25 north about 7 miles then 58 to Cimarron.
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Old 06-11-2020, 03:07 PM   #7
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Sites Along the Way

OK, I'm following twogypsies route taking US287 from Fort Worth to Amarillo and US87 from there to Clayton, NM. That's a direct route for me, coming from east Texas.
My question now is; what sights are there along the way that I should watch for or stop and visit? I'm thinking just grit my teeth and drive, but I've never been in that area and don't want to miss anything important or worth stopping for. Anyone know of anything that would peak your interest along that route, or any good place I should spend the night?
Our reservation in Angel Fire, NM starts July 02.
Thanks,
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:30 PM   #8
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I would lean 287 to Amarillo, I-40 to Cline Corner, NM, then up 285. That is the route we took from western Louisiana to Santa Fe in October, overall a good route. (we bypassed DFW by looping around on the south side (through Crockett, Hillsboro, Cleburn, Weatherford, Mineral Wells).



I went roughly the same route in 2017, though that time I bypassed DFW on the north side, going up to Bonham, then across on 82 to 287, that was also a good option, better than dealing with all the new construction around Cleburn, etc.


Be careful of 285 from Pecos to Carlsbad, there have been many reports that it is in VERY bad shape due to all the oilfield trucks, almost impassible due to pot holes, etc. though I have not seen reports since I was in the area in late October (my return trip came back I-10)
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
OK, I'm following twogypsies route taking US287 from Fort Worth to Amarillo and US87 from there to Clayton, NM. That's a direct route for me, coming from east Texas.

My question now is; what sights are there along the way that I should watch for or stop and visit? I'm thinking just grit my teeth and drive, but I've never been in that area and don't want to miss anything important or worth stopping for. Anyone know of anything that would peak your interest along that route, or any good place I should spend the night?

Our reservation in Angel Fire, NM starts July 02.

Thanks,


Palo Duro canyon in Amarillo is pretty nice. IMO, there is nothing between Amarillo and pretty much Eagles Nest. If you bypass the canyon in amarillo, we prefer Big Tex RV Park just east of Amarillo. Cheap and good for an overnight stop. Of course, there is the Big Texan restaurant down the street. They offer a free shuttle.

IF you change your mind on the route, there is a lot to see in the Santa Fe, Alamos area.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I would lean 287 to Amarillo, I-40 to Cline Corner, NM, then up 285. That is the route we took from western Louisiana to Santa Fe in October, overall a good route. (we bypassed DFW by looping around on the south side (through Crockett, Hillsboro, Cleburn, Weatherford, Mineral Wells).



I went roughly the same route in 2017, though that time I bypassed DFW on the north side, going up to Bonham, then across on 82 to 287, that was also a good option, better than dealing with all the new construction around Cleburn, etc.


Be careful of 285 from Pecos to Carlsbad, there have been many reports that it is in VERY bad shape due to all the oilfield trucks, almost impassible due to pot holes, etc. though I have not seen reports since I was in the area in late October (my return trip came back I-10)


I heard that 285 had been repaved and is smooth. Maybe someone will chime in.
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:51 PM   #11
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I agree with twogypsies about the route to Angel Fire. While the road is indeed curvy it is completely manageable as long as you take it slowly in certain areas. We drove to Taos from Angel Fire in a car and I would NOT want to do it in our moho. Enjoy Angel Fire it's a beautiful place we hope to get to again this summer.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:41 AM   #12
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We live in DFW and have taken both the Lubbock and Amarillo route, either one is good. Amarillo is a little bit better. If you go the AMA route I'd suggest AMA-Dumas-Dalhart. Boys Ranch road is great in a sports car not so much in a camper.

I would not recommend 285 it's mostly oil field traffic and even if they have repaved I still wouldn't take it.

Also I'd suggest the Springer, Cimarron route off of 25. When we were there last time I spoke to some folks who came in from from the south on 434 and they said they wouldn't ever do that again.
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Old 06-23-2020, 12:39 PM   #13
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Op's Final Planned Route

OK, we leave this Saturday the 27th on our way to Angel Fire, then to five different camp sites in Colorado. This is our biggest, bestest planned trip ever. All the suggestions and information given were greatly appreciated for this section from Nacogdoches to Angel Fire.
We're putting several suggestions together and taking the following route (and will try to remember to let everyone know how it turns out). Five days of driving, with an extra night at Palo Duro Canyon. All but one day are less than 200 miles.
Drive 1) Hwy 259 to Hwy 204 to TX 110 to US69 to I30. Spend the night at Stinson RV park. (Avoiding Dallas/Fort Worth)
Day 2) I30 to US 69 to US 82 to US 287. Spend the night somewhere around Wichita Falls (no reservation). (Avoiding Dallas/Fort Worth)
Drive 3) Continue on US 287 to Amarillo then I40 for a little ways then go south on US 87/I27 to Palo Duro Canyon Rim RV Park. Tank an extra day to tour the canyon, see Cadillac Ranch and a museum in Canyon.
Drive 4 ) Take US 87 north to Clayton and spend the night at Coyote Keeth's RV Park.
Drive 5) Take Hwy 412 to Springer and go north on I25 then left on Hwy 58 then left on Hwy 64 then left on Hwy 434 to Monte Verde RV Park for four nights.
Then on to Pagosa Springs, CO and four other reserved campsites in CO for a week stay in each. Traveling without plans after that and don't know when we will plan for a return home.
Thanks,
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:09 PM   #14
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Please return letting us know how it went.

You'll need some long soaks in Pagosa Springs in the hot springs. We usually went in the morning and packed a small cooler of snacks and soaked for about 3 hours. The pools are varying temperatures, concrete and immaculate overlooking the river and town. Very relaxing!
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