You may drive from Albuquerque to Gallup in a couple of hours, but I would not recommend that. There are some very interesting things to do in between. Don't miss Acoma Pueblo's Sky City, which is off I-40 less than half way to Gallup. Sky City will take 3-4 hours. I would then recommend going back to I-40 and then turn south on NM-53 at Grants to do the El Malpais cave (~1 hour) and for sure El Morro (~2 hours). Then take NM-602 to Gallup and spend the night in the El Rancho Hotel and Motel. It's a historic hotel where many movie stars used to stay and has a very interesting lobby (see my NM hotel tip).
I have not been to Canyon de Chelly or the three Hopi Reservation mesas, but I have heard they are good. If I were doing it, I would take old US-666 north out of Gallup and, if I survived (it is supposed to be haunted), would turn west on Hwy-264 and then US-191 to Chinle after stopping at the Hubbell Trading Post. I think Canyon de Chelly will take most of a day (jeep tour?). After spending the night, I would go back to Hwy-264 and do the scenic drive across the Hopi mesas to Tuba City. Another alternative would be to go further north on US-191 and see Monument Valley via US-160 and US-163. I would then catch US-89 south and AZ-64 west. Be sure to stop at Desert View on the way to Grand Canyon Village.
Favorite thing: If the roads are clear (and they usually are, even in the winter), you can drive directly from Albuquerque to Grand Canyon Village in about 6 hours using I-40 and turning north on AZ-64 at Williams, AZ. However, I would recommend an entirely different trip that takes an extra day. I would take I-40 out of Albuquerque, stop at Acoma's Sky City, then take NM-53 to see the El Malpais National Monument and El Morro. Pass through the Zuni Pueblo, then take US-191 back to I-40. If there is time, stop at the Petrified Forest and spend the night in Holbrook. The next morning get an early start and turn north on US-89 at Flagstaff. Do the Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument loop. Continue north on US-89 to AZ-64 west. It will take you to the Little Colorado Canyon overlook and then the Desert View Watchtower. Continue on East Rim Drive to Grand Canyon Village. See also my Albuquerque travelogues for Western NM and Northern NM.
The vibrant yellow flowers seen in the center of this landscaping are Chamisa. These are great plants for Southwest gardens because they're 'water-conservative'.
However, many people say they develop an allergic response to the pollen of this plant in the Spring, while in the Fall they're affected by the 'fluff' carried into the air by the wind.
I think they add a nice touch of color to the earthen tones found in most landscaping in this area of the country. The small blossom clusters remind me of Golden Rod, which is found all over the Northeast, yet they're not as leggy.
Favorite thing: Just had to post my own two cents after seeing someone post that you need to bring cash because the ALB airport does not have a currency exchanger.....uuuhhh yeah. Albuquerque NM is part of the United States and uses good old American money just like any other state in the US....you also do not need a passport to go to NM, and we do speak English. I am a native New Mexican and have been asked these questions NUMEROUS times and just cant believe how ignorant people can be. So if you dont want to *** off the locals just remember what you should have been taught in elementary school...New Mexico IS part of the United States and has been since January 6th 1912.
Favorite thing: We had a record snow in Albuquerque on 29 Dec 06, 11.3 inches (28.7 cm). By the next day it was up to 14" and still snowing. All the 10" snow from the week before was was not even melted yet. I made snow ice cream. Sure was yummy.
For a hotel that is rather expensive, the customer service was horrible. No coffee in the rooms;...more
Very nice and welcoming people ... clean room ... good breakfast ... nice pool ... and very...more
Small mom-and-pop motel exclusively for non-smokers. Run by a Polish immigrant couple, the place is...more