View Full Version : Driving around Four Corners area!

04-30-2007, 06:34 PM
Asking for some information about potential painting sites from anyone living in the area.

I will be going to the IAPS convention in Albuquerque from May 9 - 14. I will be leaving this Saturday for 4 day drive and paint along the way with another artist. We spend our last night along the way in Santa Fe before arriving in Albuquerque for the convention. I'm sure we probably will try to paint there the morning before traveling down to Albuquerque. Any ideas?

Then my husband and I will be driving around for about two weeks. :D

Our route will take us through Santa Fe, Taos, into Colorado to Colorado Springs, Littleton (to visit Terry Ludwig), then West on I-70 through Silverthorn, Glenwood Springs, and to Grand Junction. We will then drive south on the Million Dollar Highway (Hwy 50) through Ouray, Silverton, and Durango. West towards Cortez taking Hwy 160, then 163 and 160 again, visiting Mexican Hat, UT. Then South to Arizona -- Cameron (visiting Grand Canyon - and a day hike), Jerome and to Sedona, and then Tucson. Then we will start heading home on Hwy 10 and 20 all the way back to Atlanta GA area.

Be glad to hear all ideas. Just so you will know, I have looked at on-line, and hopefully we will visit, places along this route -- Pikes Peak (Colorado Springs CO), Colorado Monument (rocks and cliffs) and Two Rivers Winery (near Grand Junction CO), Mesa Verde Nat'l Park, Monument Valley, Natural Bridges Park, the Navajo Reservation (maybe), Telacepacque (Plaza in Sedona), Montezuma Castle (near Jerome AZ) and Sequaro Nat'l Park (near Tucson).:D

Besides sightseeing, I want to paint in some places along this route. While in Albuquerque I already have tickets to see Ghost Ranch. I'll be visiting an artist in Taos (Mark Gould -- bought one of his paintings last Feb.).

So . . . any other ideas? Thanks for your input! And . . . I'm so excited!!!!! Can you tell?:lol:

04-30-2007, 06:44 PM
Oh my gosh, Marsha,
You sure did bring me back to my drive trip out there as you are going along some of the same routes I did (Silverton, Jerome, Sedona, Tuscon, Santa Fe, Taos....I loved the Million Dollar Highway...the scenery is just mouthdropping and a bit unnerving as you glance over the edge to the far drops below. Of course, I made sure the driver was not looking with us passengers!
Ok, one idea....I really loved a very small and scrubby area: the town of Patagonia in Southern Arizona...it just has a very remote and lonely feel to it, I can't describe.
Have a BLAST on this trip, how green I am with envy but am happy you are going. Please show us pix along your trip, I would not tire of seeing the gorgeousness you will soon be viewing!!
Have fun!

Karen Margulis
04-30-2007, 07:05 PM
Your trip sounds wonderful and you really have a good plan. I love Ouray and as you know we will be going back in June. My other most favorite area of the SW is Moab Utah...Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands...all these rank way up there for me. The hike up to Delicate Arch for sunset is pure magic. You will be very close and it is worth the detour though you do seem to have full itinerary. Also, If you can, stay at the Far View Lodge at mesa Verde....the sunsets there are spectacular and it was the most peaceful place! Now that I know your itinerary I will think about some other tips for you. I am so thrilled you are doing this trip...and thankfully I will be right behind you or I would be jealous too!!!

04-30-2007, 07:21 PM
I can't offer any suggestions really - I'm just here to express my envy. :lol:

I've read so much about the Four Corners area in the novels of Tony Hillerman - one of my favorites - so I've always wanted to see it. I know there's lots of spectacular scenery there, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations, but since I haven't seen it myself, I'll leave it to others to make specific recommendations. I do hope you'll be able to find the time to post a few photos for us to drool over along your way, Marsha. Have fun! :)

Edited to add: although I haven't yet visited myself, there is one place I'd recommend: it's the Anasazi Cliff Dwellings: http://www.desertusa.com/ind1/du_peo_ana.html

Kathryn Day
04-30-2007, 07:38 PM
Marsha, I live in Gallup, New Mexico which is off of I-40. This area has lots to offer in the way of painting sites and also Native American Crafts and jewelry. Canyon de Chelly, is west of here and Window Rock, Arizona,about 20 miles nw, is the capitol of the Navajo Nation. Red Rock State Park is east of Gallup about 8 miles, and the red rock areas are beautiful. Call me if you stop this way. I am going to the convention too, but will be back home by Sunday night.

Rose Queen
04-30-2007, 07:49 PM
I strongly recommend you add in Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de Shay) since you're in the Cameron area, anyway. The Indian cliff ruins are spectacular and you can pretty much only tour with a native guide. You will find a lot of material there for future paintings! http://www.nps.gov/cach/

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04-30-2007, 10:31 PM
Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs, Red Rocks in Denver. And not to be sarcastic, but you will need the rest of the summer, :) if you plan to paint in all of these beautiful areas. Also planning on spending some time in Colorado Springs, visiting my brothers.

Happy painting!!!


Kathryn Wilson
04-30-2007, 10:44 PM
I agree with all of the above - :)

Canyon dechelle; Moab, Canyonlands (better than Grand Canyon in my opinion), Dead Horse Point! to die for; Silverton train ride out of Durango, Zion and definitely the best place of all Bryce Canyon.

Dot Hoffman
05-01-2007, 09:45 AM
You are going on such a great trip!!!! Be sure to stop at the trading post in Cameron. It was one of the highlights of a trip we took several years ago, when we went to both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon. Our first glimpse was from the north rim -- awesome. It took my breath away!

CM Neidhofer
05-01-2007, 10:07 AM
Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs, Red Rocks in Denver.


John's right....don't miss these two!!


05-01-2007, 10:22 AM
If you like missions, be on the look-out in NM. There is one in every little wide place in the road. I've got tons of photos I've taken & would love to do. Never enough time! You're going to love this trip. Gorgeous scenery all the way.
It sounds like you might drive by our family cabin/house. It's at a community called Rancho del Ritos near Tres Ritos & Sipapu between Santa Fe & Taos. I just love to spend time up there. Wave to it as you go by!

05-01-2007, 11:04 AM
In Sedona check out the Crescent Moon Picnic Area (http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/crescentmoon-picnic.shtml). There is a wonderful view of Cathedral Rock reflected in Oak Creek at sunset.

Montezuma Castle National Monument was OK, but there is not much to see there other than the cliff dwelling. Walnut Canyon (http://www.nps.gov/waca/) (near Flagstaff) was more interesting and also more strenuous (a lot of stairs).

05-01-2007, 11:26 AM
I really do appreciate the input so far. I have written down the information, and will start today probably chipping away at exactly what we will do.

Lance, I was wondering if the Montezuma Castle would be just "okay" -- thanks for that input. And thanks for the info about Crescent Moon Picnic area -- I was kinda wondering if Sedona was going to be somewhat of a let down after all the other things we will be seeing before we get there. And, I find it very expensive. Thanks.

John and Christine -- I was told by a friend to bypass "Garden of the Gods" -- they thought it highly overrated compared to time spent other places.

Dot -- definitely stopping at the Trading Post -- can't wait!

Kat and Kathyrn (Day) -- I would love to do Canyon de Chelly -- it would require a change in our plans -- our route. It is quite a trek East from our southern route from Cameron down to Sedona and Tucson. But . . . it might be what we decide to do . . . will be looking at time and mileage. It would mean bypassing Flagstaff, Jerome, etc. But, maybe. Gotta look for Bryce Canyon.

Karen, even though I have put Arches Park on my list, I'm thinking it is too far north of our route to make it workable. Drat!!!!

So . . . you kind folks . . . this morning I have been looking at places to stay in Santa Fe. I had pretty much made up my mind to stay at the St. Francis Inn -- but really wanted a bed and breakfast. But . . . they seem to be difficult to look at -- and more expensive, of course. But when you think $100 per night (plus $5-15 parking per day) at St Francis and then spend money on breakfast (say minimum of $10 per person), then paying $130 nightly for B&B is the same! I'm just so tired of back and forth on the screen with different B&B web sites, looking at availability, and where they are located in the town -- I want to be near the historic district, of course.

Any suggestions -- know where to stay -- or more importantly "where not to stay?" Thanks.

Edit -- don't worry - I am going to book the St. Francis Hotel. Just talked to a friend that goes to Santa Fe often.

05-05-2007, 12:56 PM
When you approach Glenwood Springs follow your nose to find the hot springs. (the rotton egg smell) There are two gigantic pools open year round with massage chairs in the pool, so bring quarters. It is a great unwind, or break, from driving. Especially cool if it is snowing! I haven't been through there for several years but can always count on that little respite.

When going through 4 corners, don't forget to stop at the pull out there, so you can put an arm and leg in each state and be in all four glorious states at once!