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Old 05-18-2016, 05:40 PM   #1
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Albuquerque to Four corners: 550 vs 491?

Hello all,

Just finalizing our Soutwest trip in a few weeks. After visiting Texas and heading back to CA we are going to hit Four Corners before our other planned stops of Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. What route is best to take up to Four Corners from Albuquerque driving a 32 ft. class C. 550 to 64 or 491 to 64? I guess we are looking for the fastest since it will be a long travel day for us.

Also, any good overnight spot recommendations on either of these routes? This leg is starting in Texas so we will need to overnight in NM before hitting Four Corners.

Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:32 PM   #2
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Hwy 491 north of Gallup is all the way across the Navajo nation. Hwy 550 is probably the better route planning on overnighting in the Farmington/Bloomfield area.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:07 PM   #3
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Albuquerque to Four corners: 550 vs 491?

There is road construction on 491 and recent reports are stretches of road are really bad so you may want to avoid it. When it is done it will be a nice 4 lane divided highway. There is a KOA right after you get on 550.


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Old 05-19-2016, 08:57 AM   #4
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Thank you guys, this is helpful information. Will stick with 550. We will be heading from the Wichita Falls area of Texas, so we will be stopping for the night a little outside of Albuquerque for the night. I will look into that KOA or was also thinking of the Jemez Springs area, but no hook ups or reservations there.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:38 AM   #5
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Just drove 550 last week from Albuquerque to Bloomfield, NM. It was clear with no construction. Its 4 lane divided highway all the way. An easy drive.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:44 AM   #6
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We lived in NM for 26 years and towed trailers through much of the State. Definitely recommend US 550. I suggest you stay in Bernalillo. There isn't much between Bernalillo and Bloomfield NM RV park-wise and Jemez Springs is way out of your way. If you are set on going there, I believe there is an RV park above Jemez Springs at La Cueva behind the La Cueva Store/Restaurant. You could also stay at Jemez Falls Campground about 10 miles above La Cueva but it is a Forest Service campground though VERY nice. The road is good all the way from 550 at San Ysidro and VERY scenic. But, like I said, it is way out of your way.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:04 PM   #7
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550 is about 20 miles shorter and may be more scenic.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:31 PM   #8
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We lived in NM for 26 years and towed trailers through much of the State. Definitely recommend US 550. I suggest you stay in Bernalillo. There isn't much between Bernalillo and Bloomfield NM RV park-wise and Jemez Springs is way out of your way. If you are set on going there, I believe there is an RV park above Jemez Springs at La Cueva behind the La Cueva Store/Restaurant. You could also stay at Jemez Falls Campground about 10 miles above La Cueva but it is a Forest Service campground though VERY nice. The road is good all the way from 550 at San Ysidro and VERY scenic. But, like I said, it is way out of your way.
Thanks so much. I kept going back and forth between 40 to 491 from 550 because I liked staying on 40 for longer with more options to stay for the night. You have convinced me to take US 550. I will stay closer to US 550 and not venture up into the Jemez Springs area. Will look in the Bernalillo area to overnight.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:32 PM   #9
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Hello all,

Just finalizing our Soutwest trip in a few weeks. After visiting Texas and heading back to CA we are going to hit Four Corners before our other planned stops of Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. What route is best to take up to Four Corners from Albuquerque driving a 32 ft. class C. 550 to 64 or 491 to 64? I guess we are looking for the fastest since it will be a long travel day for us.

Also, any good overnight spot recommendations on either of these routes? This leg is starting in Texas so we will need to overnight in NM before hitting Four Corners.

Thanks.
Use 550 and a good overnight stop in Farmington is Mom and Pops RV Park. Nothing fancy but clean and quiet. We just left there.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:03 PM   #10
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Definitely 550. If you get into Albuquerque and need to overnight I recommend the KOA on Skyline Blvd just East of Juan Tabo. Juan Tabo has an off ramp off 40 and is in the East side of Albuquerque. Nice clean park. Where we store are 5er when not is use. From there to Farmington figure on 31/2 hour drive. Mom and Pops in Farminton will do for your exploring of 4 corners. To the 4 corners from Farmington figure on about 1 1/2 hour drive. The four corners is on Navaho reservation. You will go through Shiprock and see a geological wonder. Lots of Indian arts and crafts and a charge to get into the 4 corners where you will want to put you feet and hand down for a picture of you touching 4 states.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:09 PM   #11
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By the way Edmund we have stayed at the Railroad RV park in Williams Arizona and taken the train to the Grand Canyon. Neat town and trip to the Canyon.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:20 AM   #12
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Alternate Suggestion:
Take I-25/US-285/US-84/US-64 North from Albq thru Sante Fe and then North through the Central Northern New Mexico Highlands to Pagosa Springs, and from there along US-160 thru Durango and Cortez to the Four Corners Area.

This route is mostly Good-Quality 2-Lane (instead of 4-Lane).
Instead of a 4-5hr slog through some of the Least Scenic parts of the bare High Desert along US-550 AND an Hour of Stop-n-Go thru the Farmington area (nothing but a service town for the areas rampant Gas Drilling), this route is about 7hrs long (if you can resist all the Scenic Stops).

The Sante Fe - Pagosa Springs route skirts the western edge of the Southern Rockies (the Southern San Juan Mtns). Pagosa Springs is a Scenic Town with Public Hot Springs nestled amongst some of the Boldest Mountain Backdrops in the USA. Durango is another Scenic Mountain Town, and US-160 passes you along the Visitors Center for MESA VERDE NP and Canyons of the Ancients NM.

Then it's an easy cruise to the Four Corners Monument (if that is your Target).
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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Alternate Suggestion:
Take I-25/US-285/US-84/US-64 North from Albq thru Sante Fe and then North through the Central Northern New Mexico Highlands to Pagosa Springs, and from there along US-160 thru Durango and Cortez to the Four Corners Area.

This route is mostly Good-Quality 2-Lane (instead of 4-Lane).
Instead of a 4-5hr slog through some of the Least Scenic parts of the bare High Desert along US-550 AND an Hour of Stop-n-Go thru the Farmington area (nothing but a service town for the areas rampant Gas Drilling), this route is about 7hrs long (if you can resist all the Scenic Stops).

The Sante Fe - Pagosa Springs route skirts the western edge of the Southern Rockies (the Southern San Juan Mtns). Pagosa Springs is a Scenic Town with Public Hot Springs nestled amongst some of the Boldest Mountain Backdrops in the USA. Durango is another Scenic Mountain Town, and US-160 passes you along the Visitors Center for MESA VERDE NP and Canyons of the Ancients NM.

Then it's an easy cruise to the Four Corners Monument (if that is your Target).
You do have a valid point there. Farmington isn't really all that great in the scenery category. And with all the oil and gas truck traffic is pretty busy. Going just a little farther north to Pagosa Springs - Durango and Cortez is real pretty.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seigell View Post
Alternate Suggestion:
Take I-25/US-285/US-84/US-64 North from Albq thru Sante Fe and then North through the Central Northern New Mexico Highlands to Pagosa Springs, and from there along US-160 thru Durango and Cortez to the Four Corners Area.

This route is mostly Good-Quality 2-Lane (instead of 4-Lane).
Instead of a 4-5hr slog through some of the Least Scenic parts of the bare High Desert along US-550 AND an Hour of Stop-n-Go thru the Farmington area (nothing but a service town for the areas rampant Gas Drilling), this route is about 7hrs long (if you can resist all the Scenic Stops).

The Sante Fe - Pagosa Springs route skirts the western edge of the Southern Rockies (the Southern San Juan Mtns). Pagosa Springs is a Scenic Town with Public Hot Springs nestled amongst some of the Boldest Mountain Backdrops in the USA. Durango is another Scenic Mountain Town, and US-160 passes you along the Visitors Center for MESA VERDE NP and Canyons of the Ancients NM.

Then it's an easy cruise to the Four Corners Monument (if that is your Target).
Thanks! We will have to save that trip for another time. Our actual destination on this leg is Gouldings RV park for Monument Valley. I promised my 13 year old we would swing by 4 corners for a photo op. We will come back out to NM to visit the NP's there soon. This trip is mainly CA to Texas round trip with a some fun stops on the way back home.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:40 PM   #15
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Thanks so much. I kept going back and forth between 40 to 491 from 550 because I liked staying on 40 for longer with more options to stay for the night. You have convinced me to take US 550. I will stay closer to US 550 and not venture up into the Jemez Springs area. Will look in the Bernalillo area to overnight.
I would also suggest that when you are coming into Albuquerque from the east over Tijeras Pass, exit at Tramway onto Central (old US 66) and turn right at the Tramway intersection. Tramway takes you around the city on the east side at the foot of the Sandia Mountains. It is a 4-lane street. Keep straight on it and it will take you onto Sandia Pueblo (watch the speed limit and the Tribal Police) and right onto I-25. Saves a few miles and is quite scenic (plus you will avoid the heavy morning traffic). If you stay at the KOA on Juan Tabo (next major street west of Tramway), back track to Tramway and save some time (and fuel).

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Old 05-20-2016, 08:48 PM   #16
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You do have a valid point there. Farmington isn't really all that great in the scenery category. And with all the oil and gas truck traffic is pretty busy. Going just a little farther north to Pagosa Springs - Durango and Cortez is real pretty.
The traffic has died down with the oil boom ending and drilling is a ghost of what it was two years ago. I wouldn't worry.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:54 PM   #17
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Thanks! We will have to save that trip for another time. Our actual destination on this leg is Gouldings RV park for Monument Valley. I promised my 13 year old we would swing by 4 corners for a photo op. We will come back out to NM to visit the NP's there soon. This trip is mainly CA to Texas round trip with a some fun stops on the way back home.
Yeah, the Four Corners National Monument is really cool. Be sure to get the picture of your 13 year-old in four states at one time. Lots of fun!

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