What to see in northwest New Mexico?
February 17, 2010 4:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to northwest New Mexico this weekend to drive around for three days. We'll likely use Farmington or Shiprock as our base. Our itinerary is completely open. We'll have a 4x4. Any suggestions for off-the-beaten path, or must-see places to visit?
posted by jmf2525 to Travel & Transportation around New Mexico (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Bisti Wilderness. A surreal landscape. some description with map here
posted by fieldtrip at 6:38 AM on February 17, 2010

Taos and Rachos de Taos! Hip little towns filled with galleries and cafes, in north-central NM. Maybe you can hear the Taos Hum. It's kind of a drive from Farmington, maybe 4 hours, but from Taos you can visit the Taos Pueblo and drive the triangle of ski resorts to the north, or hike the Lost Lake Trail.
posted by Brittanie at 7:21 AM on February 17, 2010

Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly are both amazing Indian archaeological sites that should be beautiful and remote. Maybe a bit too remote this time of year; check on road conditions before setting out. Mesa Verde in Colorado is also interesting, but it's a bit easier to get to and heavier travelled.

Farmington and Shiprock themselves are not very interesting, IMHO, but they'd make a fine base to explore from. The various towns in Navajo should be interesting but I never could make it work for me. Don't waste your time going to Four Corners. Taos is a long way from Farmington. If you want cute towns and skiing, Taos/Santa Fe is a whole different kind of trip.

The CAA/AAA Indian Country Map is fantastic. Unfortunately it's 10 years out of print, so no idea how you'd get one now.
posted by Nelson at 8:13 AM on February 17, 2010

Go to the Toadlena trading post (south of Shiprock) and see the most amazing Navaho rugs (Two Grey Hills style.) The trader will tell you stories all day as long as he isn't buying or selling rugs. The rugs cost from a couple of hundred to many thousands of dollars and are mostly hand shorn, hand spun, hand dyed in subtle dessert colors.

Chaco canyon is wonderful but don't try it if it's raining or snowing, the roads become impassible.

The Hubble trading post (west of Window Rock) is a great half day experience. See a working trading post much as it was in the nineteenth century. Beautiful rugs and jewelry, interesting house to tour and watch Navaho weavers at work.
posted by leafwoman at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2010

Sorry ... "IF he isn't buying or selling," not "AS he isn't buying or selling."
posted by leafwoman at 9:31 AM on February 17, 2010

Oh man. So jealous. THE BEST.

I found "nothing" there that I wanted to see. I mean, I took some one-lane dirt road—right here, I think? Taking off from the alleged road called "474"?—that went up over some mountains and dumped me down the hill into Arizona, and it was the best thing EVER even though I was convinced I was GOING TO DIE up there.

So basically there is 1. nothing to see and 2. THAT IS AWESOME. Nowhere to eat; nowhere to go, just lots of really gorgeous NOTHING. Pack some water. I recommend those roads all through the bottom of Utah highly.

Look out for packs of wild dogs.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:53 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Four corners! When are you ever going to get there again?
posted by pickypicky at 7:48 PM on February 17, 2010

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