DAY 10 PLAN: Santa Fe (option 4)



DRIVE: Amarillo, TX to Santa Fe, NM

  • break camp
  • DEP Palo Duro Canyon
  • DRIVE Amarillo / Tucumcari / Santa Rosa / Santa Fe
    (approx. 350 miles / 5 hours)
  • VISIT Cadillac Ranch for photo op/grafitti
  • RESUPPLY en route
  • STOP for photo op @ Midpoint Café, Adrian TX
  • Time Zone Change from CENTRAL to MOUNTAIN
  • (optional: VISIT ghost town of Glenrio for photo op/walk)
  • (optional: VISIT ghost towns of Montoya & Newkirk for photo ops/walk)
  • (optional VISIT/HIKE: Pecos National Historical site)
  • ARR Santa Fe National Forest
  • Set up camp

NITE: National Forest Campsite / Santa Fe National Forest, NM


17 DEP: 0800 – Palo Duro State Park TX
(DRIVE: 35 miles / 1.0 hours = 1.5 hours estimated segment time)

18 DEP: 0930 – Amarillo TX
(DRIVE: 125 miles / 2.5 hours = 3.5 hours estimated segment time)

19 DEP: 1300 – Tucumcari NM
(DRIVE: 60 miles / 1.5 hours = 2.0 hours estimated segment time)

20 DEP: 1500 – Santa Rosa NM
(DRIVE: 125 miles / 2.5 hours = 4.0 hours estimated segment time)

ARR: 1900 – Santa Fe NM
(345 miles / 7.5 hours drive / 11 hours estimated travel)




ACTIVITIES EN ROUTEfrom Amarillo to Santa Fe:

Cadillac Ranch – on Historic Route 66 just west of Amarillo
(Address: I-40, Amarillo, TX) see the website

  • The Cadillac Ranch, located along the tatters of historic Route 66, was built in 1974, brainchild of Stanley Marsh 3, the helium millionaire who owns the dusty wheat field where it stands. Marsh and The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective, assembled used Cadillacs representing the “Golden Age” of American Automobiles (1949 through 1963). The ten graffiti-covered cars are half-buried, nose-down, facing west “at the same angle as the Cheops’ pyramids.”
  • Adding to the grafitti is encouraged (bring your own spray paint)
  • Directions: In a cow pasture along eastbound I-40 between exits 60 and 62. Exit onto the frontage road, then enter the pasture through an unlocked gate. Visitors are encouraged.

Midpoint Cafe – Adrian TX. Open: daily 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
P.O. Box 144, RR 66, Adrian, TX 79001
(see website)
Phone: (806) 538-6379 /email:

  • Located at the mid-point of famous Route 66, the MidPoint Café was built in the late 30’s. While the café has changed hands and appearances several times over the years, it remains what it was built to be – one of the best places to eat and shop on Route 66.
    And it is the official “halfway point” on Route 66. Take Photo with the sign.
  • Directions: From Interstate 40 East or West, take Exit #22.
    The cafe is located on the west side of Adrian, Texas.

Glenrio Ghost Town Town straddles border between Texas and New Mexico.

  • Directions: To get to Glenrio, while traveling west along I-40, you will take exit 369 off of I-40 (Endee exit), turn right at the stop, and left onto the north frontage road.

Montoya and New Kirk Ghost Town another couple of old real ghost towns.

  • Directions: Heading out of Tucumcari on old Route 66, the highway parallels the railroad. At about 22 miles you reach Montoya. 12 miles later is Newkirk.

Pecos National Historical site – Pecos preserves 12,000 years of history including the ancient pueblo of Pecos, Colonial Missions, Santa Fe Trail sites, 20th century ranch history of Forked Lightning Ranch, and the site of the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass. (see the website)

  • Daily – 10AM Guided Tour: Pecos Pueblo & Mission – join a Ranger for a 90 minute tour of the ruins of Pecos Pueblo &Mission. Enjoy a short 1.25 mile hike and explore the fascinating history of Pecos people.
  • Directions: Twenty-five miles east of Santa Fe, NM off of Interstate 25. Visitors travelling north on I-25, take exit 299 on to HWY 50 to the Pecos village and south two miles on State Road 63. Those travelling south take exit 307, five miles north to the park on State Road 63.
  • Hours: Summer Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ruins Trail and Visitor Center. Tour reservations: call 505-757-7241 or at front desk of visitor center (Space is limited on each tour).
  • FEE: $3/adult, free/under 17, plus $2/person for guided tours

LODGING: Santa Fe National Forest
Santa Fe National Forest (office), 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87508
(see park website)
Phone:(505) 438-5300 / Fax:(505) 438-5390
Espanola Ranger District: (505) 753-7331

There are several camping options in the national forest. The closest campgrounds for our purposes are to Santa Fe or Pecos. These correspond with the Espanola Ranger District (Santa Fe). There may also be the possibility of “dispersed primitive camping,” but we will need to confirm this.

The Espanola Ranger District extends from the foothills of Santa Fe to the Pecos Wilderness and borders the town of Española and Los Alamos. The Pueblos of Tesuque, Pojoaque, Nambe, Santa Clara and San Juan as well many rural Hispanic villages neighbor the Forest. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide an exquisite backdrop. These picturesque mountains are considered one of the many jewels of Northern New Mexico. The Truchas Peaks that lie along the boundary between the Española and Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger Districts are a popular spot for hiking. Boasting the second highest peak in New Mexico, the summit is over 13,000 feet with an excellent view.

Here are a selection of campground choices (Preference is for Big Tesque, because no RVs; next choice is Aspen Basin, as it is “less developed”, last choice is Black Canyon (because of RVs, and larger campground size):

  • Big Tesuque: has 10 campsites (facilities: tent camping, picnic tables and bathrooms). (see campground web page) No Fee. Twelve miles from downtown Santa Fe on NM 475.
  • Black Canyon: has 42 sites (facilities: tent camping, RVs welcome, picnic tables, water and bathrooms). (see campground web page). $10/vehicle (can make reservations). Eight miles from downtown Santa Fe on NM 475.
  • Aspen Basin: has 10 campsites (facilities: tent camping, RVs welcome, picnic tables and bathrooms). (less developed and primarily serves those who use it for an overnight stay before embarking on a backpack into the Pecos). (see campground web page). Free. Fifteen miles from downtown Santa Fe on NM 475.


17 JAN 2010: We will have to make a decision here about whether or not we do the Santa Fe loop or if we go directly from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque.

Those who have done the drive recommend the Santa Fe loop “if we have the time”… particularly to see the Pecos National Historical site (which seems like it might be interesting, but not sure if it’s not better to spend time some where else in the area as there is no camping at this location… so it is just a “stopover”)…

Think it would be good to camp somewhere in the Santa Fe National Forest… (which will put us in a perfect location to then do the La Bajada jeep trail the next morning!!!!). here is a good resource on the local campgrounds there.


  • New Mexico state official tourism site (about the state, plus things to do, etc.)
  • Native American New Mexico info about native american tribal events and activities open to the public.
  • Chaco Culture National Historical ParkThis Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. It is located in a relatively inaccessible canyon cut by the Chaco Wash, and contains the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico. There is a primitive campground inside the park. Tucked amongst the fallen boulders and cliffs of Gallo Wash, the campground offers camping in a rugged environment, surrounded by petroglyphs, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions, and a high desert landscape. There is no shade. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – in Albuquerque, has a schedule of dance performances as well as other native american cultural programming
  • Manzano state park – a state park near to Albuquerque that has camping
  • something native american? – here is a calendar of new mexico native american events and dances. and this is the site of the taos pueblo, where they sometimes have a very beautiful relgious dance called matachines. and another calendar of dances and events (with notices about photography policy)
  • Acoma Sky City Pueblo tour… on the Acoma reservation that is between Albuquerque and Gallup. It has the oldest continally inhabited pueblo, and there are tours given by tribal members for tourist (seems like it is very well developed tourism, but has gotten high ratings)