2 week family vacation report (NM, UT, CO)

qpjeep420

Member
I have been planning this vacation for over 2 years. It was postponed from last year due to the birth of 2 grand kids. Me, my wife & our 13 year old daughter were headed for a 2 week adventure in the Southwest desert, canyons & mountains. Plan was to leave at 5am on Saturday and drive a long 14 hours to Carlsbad area and camp before going to the caverns on Sunday morning. With everyone so excited we decided last minute to leave on Friday afternoon as soon as I could get away from work.(about noon)517847517848

All packed517849


On the road517851517853517854517855

Day 0

550.4 miles

Good call on leaving a day early. Now we are 8 hours closer to "The goods!" Nice drive. Covered 4 states. Had a very good dinner at Outlaws BBQ in Mt Pleasant Texas. Warning the hot BBQ sauce is HOT!!!
Stopped at a motel in Weatherford Texas.

More to come soon.
 

jg45

Adventurer
Good start to the trip Looking forward to more reports. Planning a similar trip myself later this year.
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 1
521.7 miles

It turned out that we didn't do as much camping on this trip as I hoped, but the wife and daughter stayed happy. And I enjoyed a couple of the hotels too.
The drive across west Texas is long and mostly empty except for oil wells. Had lunch at a taco shack in Hobbs, New Mexico. Then on to Carlsbad Caverns!


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Some local plant life

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The amphitheater for watching the Bat Flight
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The natural entrance is a great way to enter the caverns. The trail is steep and a little over a mile to get to the Great Room.519269

looking out from way deep
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I only got a couple pics from in the caverns. I should have brought extra light for the pictures.
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The drive in to the visitor center is real nice and scenic. After leaving the caverns we drove to Brantley Lake SP to camp. As soon as we started setting up the RTT the winds kicked up to about 30mph. After a little convincing from the wife, we bailed and went to Artesia, NM and got a room at the Hotel Artesia. Very nice rooms and reasonable rates. It was a good 1st day to our vacation. Our daughter was very impressed with her 1st National Park.

Day 2 to follow soon...
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 2
403 miles

Leaving Artesia we drove to Alamagordo through the Lincoln National Forrest. It was beautiful.

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We had a nice stop at White Sands National Monument.

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My girls

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We had a real nice picnic lunch.

After leaving WSNM we headed to Pecos NM and the Santa Fe NF. I was trying to find a campground I stayed in with my family in the early 80's, the only other time I was in New Mexico. Well, we didn't find it.

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But we did find this one. Holy Ghost Campground was real nice, clean and quiet. 12 to 15 sites and a nice creek.

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The girls camp for the night

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My Camp for the night. I could not resist sleeping in my hammock by this little mountain stream. What a great nights sleep! Another wonderful day on vacation. Seeing new and exciting things and visiting new places.

Day 3 to follow soon...
 

DVD

Adventurer
Looks like a great start. Look forward to reading more (and rekindling memories of adventures we've had in NM, UT, CO).
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 3
335 miles

Today is mainly for the wife. So, not a lot of pics. We had 3 mule deer walk into camp as we were getting in the jeep to leave.


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The wife wanted to stop and shop in old town Santa Fe. So we did. We also visited The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It is worth the visit. We had lunch at The Plaza Café before hitting the road.

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Our 6th state, but only passing through this time. Still needing 45 minutes to an hour to get where we wanted to camp after reaching Cortez, CO, I decided on a hotel. We will be getting to Moab tomorrow.

Day 4 to follow soon
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 4
259 miles

Utah today!! I fell in love with Utah on this trip. It is magical!!520065

UTAH!!


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Almost to Moab!

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Wilson Arch

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From inside Wilson Arch

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Headed to Canyonlands Visitor Center to get our White Rim Trail Permit finalized.

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The view across from the visitor center.
After getting our permit set we drove to Upheaval Dome for a picnic lunch and a hike.

The we stopped at Mesa Arch

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Mesa Arch framing the La Sal's

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Washer Woman Arch

Day 4 to continue....
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 4 continues...

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Shafer Trail Overlook

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After leaving Canyonlands we drove in the back way into Arches NP, Willow Springs Trail.

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Balanced Rock

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Going to check out Double Arch

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Double Arch

Day 4 to continue...
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 4 continues

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Me and my daughter in Double Arch.

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I think this is Courthouse Rock.

We stayed at the Red Stone Inn in Moab. Had a good dinner at Eddie McStiff's. I lost the vote on what to do in the morning before starting the WRT, back to Arches, or Fins-n-things. So after getting everything ready for the WRT we are going back to Arches in the morning.

Day 5 to follow soon...
 

Navion65t

New member
Awesome! About to start a trip Friday that will start almost exactly the same way. Picking up my son in Huntsville, AL and making our way to Carlsbad, then up through NM and Colorado. Probably going to head east instead of west though to the Dakotas. Thanks for the good info!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

qpjeep420

Member
Day 5
116 miles

Well it was back to Arches this morning.

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Park Avenue trail head

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Park Avenue

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After Park Avenue me and my daughter hiked to Delicate Arch, starting at Wolfe Ranch.

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The trail to Delicate Arch.

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It looks like another planet

Day 5 to continue...
 

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