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Road Trip to Anasazi Indian Country

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Author Info
This road trip was originally submitted by Joe Caballero on March 23, 2010

Trip Length: 120 miles

From The Author

Scenery You'll See
On this route you will see some great New Mexico scenery and get to see some really significant historical sites that include ancient Indian cliff dwellings and the famous town where the Atomic Bomb was developed. Part of the great beauty of this route is that you get to see so some of the great varieties of Southwestern US scenery. You start out traveling through arid, orange colored rocky canyons that are a great display of classic southwest scenery. The walls of rock line the road and look as though they are going to escort the road forever. Later on the route you'll climb into the mountains and be taken to lush, alpine scenery that you normally picture when you think of states like Colorado or Montana. Then you'll find yourself finishing the route back in an area that is known for its colorful canyons, red hills and rock bluffs and has inspired famous painters.
Towns/Cities You'll Pass By/Through
Although not on this road trip, you are not far from Sante Fe, NM which is a must see if you are in to arts & crafts. When you do your planning, make sure you work in a stop to Sante Fe which has worked hard for many years to transform itself into a prime western town to visit.
Attractions & Points-of-Interests Along the Way
here is a lot to do on this route in terms of parks and historical sites: The town of Jemez Pueblo holds a popular Feast Day on both August 2nd and November 12th.Jemez Springs gets its name from the hot springs that are open to visitors who enjoy bathing in the pools on cool winter nights. The town is also home to a very old Spanish Missionary pueblo and church that has become a state monument. Also, if you stop here, be sure and see the "Soda Dam." This is a dam made by nature that stands about 40 feet tall and has been built over the years by rock deposits. It continues to grow today and actually chokes off part of the Jemez River. You will love when you reach the "Valle Grande" area". The scenery just opens up and gives you a great view. Apparently this area was actually at one time a huge volcanic mountain that erupted and then later collapsed creating the valley. The Bandelier National Monument is a neat place to see some ancient Indian cliff dwellings. These dwellings were inhabited by the remarkable Anasazi Indians thousands of years ago. You can visit the nearby visitor center to learn about the history and culture of these ancient Americans or personally walk around in the dwellings. Not far off the route, on Rte 501, is the famous Los Alamos nuclear development center that during World War II developed the Atom Bomb. This town has a museum that will tell you all about the history of the development of the A-bomb and how this has impacted the entire world. The town also has a lot to offer in terms of other tourist attractions.The White Rock overlook is placed next to a 700-foot cliff to give you an awesome view of the Rio Grande Valley. If you take a detour off of Rte. 30 on to 565, you can travel to the Puye Cliff Dwellings and see more of the Anasazi Indian's ancient structures. One of the structures housed about 700 people at one point. The cliff dwellings here are easier to get to than the ones at Bandelier National Monument. Rte. 84 heading north is where you will see some of the most colorful southwestern landscapes in New Mexico. Further up the road you can end your trip at a couple of the route's real highlights - the Ghost Ranch and the Echo Amphitheater. The Ghost Ranch has a zoo and museum.
Hilly or Curvy  Historical Points  Mountains & Hills 

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Filed under
Road Trip Info > Road Trip Routes > New Mexico


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