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Old 01-15-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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March 2013 MN to Tucson- route suggestions and stops along the way

We are taking our first long winter trip in March. MN to Green Valley, AZ with stops along the way, being gone about 4 weeks. Since the weather still can be iffy we want to get south quickly and then explore in the SW, even as far north as some of the National parks in southern Utah. Any route suggestions, places to visit (we are not shoppers but like natural beauty and interesting towns) and places to stay would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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Route: Normally, I'd suggest driving West to I-25 and then drive down the front range to New Mexico. But I have been in snow storms in Colorado Springs and Denver in March several times on different business trips. If the weather doesn't cooperate take I-35 or I-27 to Kansas City and then I-35 to Oklahoma City. At OK city if the weather looks good take I-40 to Albuquerque. If concerned about weather continue on I-35 South to Dallas and then I-20 to I-10 to Green Valley/Tucson.

In general I-10 across the Rockies in "winter" is the route for the best weather. I-10 crosses the Continental Divide on a high desert plain and has less severe mountain grades than I-40. I-40 is more scenic and you get to visit Albuquerque, but its mountain passes are more likely to get snow.

Places to see: If you take I-10, and the weather is good, go and spend a night in Silver City, New Mexico. From I-10 go to Silver City through Deming NM, it is a RV friendly road. Drive to the edge of the open pit mine east of town, it is almost incomprehensible how big/deep it is.

While in Green Valley take a trip to Bisbee AZ, an old mining town.

In Tucson be sure to drive up the mountain to Mt Lemmon and have breakfast or lunch up at the top. No RV on this road.

While staying in Green Valley take a morning trip to Patagonia for breakfast and see a part of AZ you wouldn't expect to see--a green forested valley.

Be sure to go to Sedona, AZ stay a few days if schedule allows.

Not an RV route but a very nice side trip between Sedona and Prescott AZ visit Jerome AZ, a mining town on the side of a mountain. Do not take the RV on this trip.

Have a nice trip and see the South West.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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We leave WI each winter for Yuma, AZ. We have family in Green Valley and generally stop there.

When the weather forecast does not show approaching storms this is our preferred route (from Des Moines):
1. South on I-35
2. I-435 around the east and south side of Kansas City
3. I-35 to Emporia, KS
4. I-335 to near El Dorado, KS
5. KS-254 and I-235 around the north west of Wichita
6. US-54 west across Kansas, Panhandle of OK, to Tucumcari, NM
7. West on I-40 to Albuquerque
8. South on I-25 to Hatch, NM
9. Southwest on NM-26 to Deming
10 West on I-10 Tucson

RV parks where we have stayed that I would recommend

a. Altoona, IA ... Griff's Valley View
b. Eldorado, KS ... Deer Valley RV Park
c. Tucumcari, NM ... Cactus RV Park (Passport America)
d. Deming, NM ... Little Vineyard RV Park
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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If you have never been on a mine tour, take the Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee. It was a hoot.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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While in Bisbee take the Trolley/bus tour of the town, its a small local tour and we thought very informative of the history of the town. Tombstone to the north is a little touristy but cool to see we thought. Karchner Caverns State Park is definitely worth the stop, it has a really cool and interesting story of its discovery and both Caverns tours are awesome, some of the best you'll ever see.they have a RV park within walking distance that's nice too.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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While in Tucson do the Pima Air Museum and the optional "Bone Yard" tour.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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While in Tucson area go to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. More than just a museum for sure.
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