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New Mexico Arizona and California questions

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1. Posted by muznlil (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

muznlil has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hi there.
We are travelling in the US in August and September from Australia and have a few questions if anyone can assist.
In Santa Fe can anyone assist with any feedback and directions to the Puye Cliff Dwellings?
Any advice on what tours to take at Mesa Verde National Park and any feedback on these?
Death Valley Ca .Any advice on what to see and do would be appreciated.
Visalia Ca. Any feedback on what to do and see in this area including travel tips for the Sequoia Nat Monument and Kings Canyon National Parks?
Up to this point in our trip we are self driving.
What do do in three days in San Francisco without transport.
We love nature, food, music, history and art.
If anyone out there can give me some feedback on these areas I would be most grateful
Muznlil.

2. Posted by Kimee129 (Full Member 36 posts) 6y

Sounds like a great trip you guys will be having. My kind of trip too. I have not visited the Puye Cliffs, but it is easily reachable via Albuqurque, NM. You are going to take I-25 north until you see signs for Santa Fe. You will then take hwy 285 north towards Espanola. You will then need to look very carefully for hwy 5 which goes west. I have driven by this site, but did not have the chance to go in. Are you also going to see Canyon De Chelly National Monument? This is a much better example of Native American History similar to Mesa Verde. It isn't that far off the path from that area and Grand Canyon. http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm . I have a degree in Native American Studies. Mesa Verde Tours...I recommend all of them, but the one I enjoyed the most was the Cliff Palace. My kids loved climbing back up the ladder. I just went on their website and they have some great new opportunities. They are introducing new hikes into some of the little seen areas of the park. Look on http://www.nps.gov/meve/parknews/10_02_veops_2010.htm. This is amazing. I would love to do these hikes. This park is also high in elevation as you asked about Grand Canyon. I would pack layers of clothes such as sweaters and a light jacket. It may be warm during the day (70-80F) but at night get down into 40-50's. Where will you be staying here? They have an awesome campground right in the park. We bought a cheap tent and some sleeping bags. The kids enjoyed the deer and wildlife here. They took one of my kids shoes, but that was ok. You are going to love your trip. Enjoy.:) Almost forgot San Francisco. I would NOT recommend a car here to drive. Public transportation is great..Buy the Cable Car pass and ride it from one end to the other. The parking is horrible and very expensive. There are several hostels that are not extremely expensive, but are in unique places. There is one at the Fort right in the heart of San Francisco in easy walking distance. There is also one right downtown SF which is more for the partiers. If you still have the car from the other trip I recommend driving down Hwy 1 on the coast of california at least until Santa Barbara. You can do this in a day which would not give it justice or drive down stay the night and return to SF via I-5. You won't regret it! Out of my travels to 13 countries and a mojarity of the states this is my all time favorite drive! Not for the weak of heart...some of the drops can be scary driving...wouldn't recommend late at night!

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Jul-2010, at 01:41 by Kimee129 ]

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 6y

I'll second the Cliff Palace trip in Mesa Verde. It's about an hour and only is 3 dollar. Worth the tour for sure!
The advice about SF and driving down the coast is perfect. Also, SF is a very walkable city, just one of a few in the USA if you'd ask me. Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, the Cable Car, all highlights. Just walking around the Nob Hill area is great as well.

Death Valley: remember that temperatures are probably mostly between 40 and 45 Celcius, if not more during some occasion. I had 48 in early June! So try to have a room with aircon, which they probably all have. No camping or driving on untarred roads. Highlights are the Badwater Basin and the entire drive actually along the basin, along the Devil's Golf Course, Artists Pallet Drive and north towards the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells and all the way north towards a crater (forgot the name sorry, starts with a U, see the Death Valley National Park article by the way, which I have wrote more details.

Cheers
Mike

[ Edit: Fixed broken link. ]

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 6y

Also, in Death Valley, visit Scotty's Castle--and if you are there sometime besides summer, consider a round of golf at Furnace Creek Ranch. Golf Digest Magazine ranks this as one of the 50 most challenging courses in the US--and it is the world's lowest elevation course (at approximately 214 feet below sea level).

http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/golf-1203.html

http://www.nps.gov/deva/historyculture/scottys-castle.htm

Enjoy

[ Edit: . ]

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 6y

From Santa Fe, NM to the Puye Cave Dwellings, go as follows:

Take US 285/US 84 north (St Francis Street) north for 25 miles, then turn south on New Mexico State Highway 30 and go 5 miles, then turn right on Santa Clara Canyon road and go about 12 miles west until you reach the point where Indian State Highway 608 crosses the road you are on.

Enjoy

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 6y

Quoting Utrecht

I'll second the Cliff Palace trip in Mesa Verde. It's about an hour and only is 3 dollar. Worth the tour for sure!
The advice about SF and driving down the coast is perfect. Also, SF is a very walkable city, just one of a few in the USA if you'd ask me. Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, the Cable Car, all highlights. Just walking around the Nob Hill area is great as well.

Death Valley: remember that temperatures are probably mostly between 40 and 45 Celcius, if not more during some occasion. I had 48 in early June! So try to have a room with aircon, which they probably all have. No camping or driving on untarred roads. Highlights are the Badwater Basin and the entire drive actually along the basin, along the Devil's Golf Course, Artists Pallet Drive and north towards the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells and all the way north towards a crater (forgot the name sorry, starts with a U, see the Deat Valley National Park article by the way, which I have wrote more details.

Cheers
Mike

Link should be Death Valley, spelling mistake...my bad

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Aug-2010, at 07:07 by Utrecht ]