Road trip to the Four Corners and Overnight in Albuquerque
US 491 to I-40 via Gallup, New Mexico
From Cortez Colorado, we headed south through the Ute Mountain Reservation and made a side trip to the Four Corners (via US 160/US 64). Now this was one thing I was looking forward to as I hadn’t been to the Four Corners since I was quite young and had a photo of myself there. This trip was one that featured a few destinations that I had been to or couldn’t have revisited but didn’t.
We wound our way along the back roads to the Four Corners. We got there in less than an hour outside of Cortez so it is worth the side trip or so I thought. We get there and its $10 to get in and down some dusty awful dirt road. Once there, the parking lot is dusty and you park where you can. We headed to the monument only to realize that vendor stalls have been placed the entire circumference of the monument thereby blocking any view. Now, mind you it has been 44 years since I was here but I didn’t expect this much change.
It was blazing hot and of all the vendors selling things not one sold a hat. So we waited in line to get to see the monument. When you get there, you quickly take a picture or get someone behind you to take one of you, and get out of the way. We waited roughly 20 – 30 minutes for this and if I didn’t have this whole photo recreation from 44 years ago in my head I wouldn’t have done it though it is fun to have a photo of the family standing in all four states – so they kind of have you so you’ll do anything to get that picture. But it does make you wonder why we do these crazy things!
We were back on the road toward Teec Nos Pos and from there onto US 64 toward Shiprock, New Mexico which is a fairly big town with services and shops. Of course the Shiprock is what you see for miles and is quite impressive as are many scenes along this stretch of road. We didn’t go any closer to the Shiprock than the main road but you get spectacular views from the northside along US 64 and then again on the east side along US 491.
Easily you would want to get up closer to it if you had time and weren’t trying to outrun a heatwave, which we were doing and ironically by heading south we were getting out of the heatwave quicker so we pressed on without stopping with the hopes of getting to Albuquerque for some relaxation and sights. When you arrive in Gallup, there’s plenty of services and it is quite a large town.
Once in Albuquerque there’s plenty to do including the Petroglyph National Monument, Old Route 66, historic districts, museums, restaurants and really everything a larger city would offer. We stayed at the American RV Resort just on outside the city on the west side.
The pool was refreshing, there’s a hot tub that is indoors and there is a nice shop. The park itself is really quite nice and it is an easy in/out type of place. We managed to rest up and enjoy some down time before hitting Route 66 in the morning.