White Sands National Monument
Arizona,  Destinations,  New Mexico,  Texas,  U.S. National Parks,  United States,  White Sands National Park

Southwest Road Trip Part 1

A road trip is so much more than a journey to new places but a lifetime experience that cannot be taken for granted. I have always loved driving and enjoyed even more hitting the open road with close friends to new places near and far. This road trip though took me to some of the most amazing places I have ever been too and let me gain a new love for nature and the outdoors. I started this trip with the plan to have some fun in places that always seemed to be just out of reach. Yet I ended this trip with a new appreciation for the outdoors and a hunger to explore even more places across the states.

Scenic Drive

This was my first ever road trip across the Southwest and my first time taking a road trip that lasted so long. Thinking that I had to cancel my current trip to visit the places I missed on this original plan really made me feel like this was the time to start recaping my journey through the Southwest and my growth as a person that this trip forced me to accept.

I don’t have time or the words to truly detail every part of this trip but I did want to point out the highlights and some lessons I learned along the way.

Trip Itinerary

Starting Point – Dallas, Texas

Roswell, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument

Holbrook, Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park

Sedona, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Zion National Park

Four Corners Monument

Ridgway, Colorado

Ouray, Colorado

Silverton, Colorado

Crested Butte, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

Ending Point – Dallas, Texas

Must See Places

Every place I went to on this trip is a hands down must see place at one point in your life but there where a few that really took my breathe away. Depending on how much time you have and where you are starting from a lot of these places can be hit in a week but I highly recommend to spend as much time at each one. For instance 3 days at the Grand Canyon was enough to get a taste but no where near enough to fully explore everything you can do.

New Mexico State Line

Roswell, New Mexico

This was the first stop in the entire trip, which I didn’t reach until well past midnight and through a very scary night drive. In reality there is not much to do directly in Roswell, but it offered a nice stop on the way from Dallas. I ended up staying at the Mayo Motel, which I cannot rave enough about their customer service and just friendliness to us, especially at 1am.

It also offers the International UFO Museum which was AMAZING!

In reality it is a little cheesy at parts but offers a pretty in-depth look at the events that happened in Roswell and follows the entire timeline until present day. While I might not be a “believer” it was a pretty cool tour for $5 that gave me a clear picture on the whole event. I don’t know about you but my knowledge of UFO history was primarily from The X-Files.

UFO Museum

I wouldn’t go crazy out of my way to go back but if you are in the area, definitely take a detour to stop by.

White Sands National Monument

Now this is something I had never heard off until I started looking for road trip ideas in the Southwest online. It is in a pretty remote part of southern New Mexico near the border of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. I only knew what I read online and was not expecting much but oh boy this blew my mind. The White Sands National Monument is the largest gypsum field in the world that produces this white looking sand.

White Sands National Monument

You can easily spend hours exploring out there but the heat and chance of getting lost are at an all time high. I definitely recommend staying close to your car and some extra water in case anything happens. Also if you want to have a little extra fun even bringing some cardboard boxes to slide down the dunes!

As of December 20, 2019 the White Sands National Monument has been designated a National Park! Which means I need to go back to scratch it officially off my list of National Parks again.

Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook was more of a necessity stop rather than a sight seeing stop, I ended up at the local KOA just to get a good nights rest and keep on going in the morning.

Scenic Drive

Not the fanciest place but it offered a guaranteed spot for cheap with clean restrooms and showers. Plus the cafe had all you could eat pancakes and coffee for $2.99!!!

Part 2 of the trip recap is coming soon so stay tuned and please ask any questions!

What trip are you planning in the near future? What trips have you taken that have been life changing?

Follow along the adventures on:

Instagram @gusontherun or Twitter @gusontherun

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