US Route 285: Santa Fe to Carlsbad Caverns rated as America’s 6th Best Weekend Road Trip

A national poll of road trippers identified the 100 best weekend road trips in America. New Mexico had two of the nation’s favorite trips.

The state of New Mexico’s Santa Fe to Carlsbad Caverns National Park (via U.S. Route 285) was voted as America’s 6th favorite weekend road trip. Leaving Santa Fe, you’ll traverse the scenic high desert, with its rolling hills, expansive plains, and stunning vistas. As you drive south on Route 285, you’ll pass through charming small towns like Roswell, known for its UFO lore, and Artesia, where you can experience the warm hospitality and local culture of the region. The road trip provides an opportunity to explore the unique geology and natural wonders of New Mexico, culminating in the spectacular Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Here, you can marvel at the immense underground chambers and intricate limestone formations of the caverns, taking a guided tour or venturing through the caves on your own. 

And the Albuquerque to Shiprock via U.S. Route 550, was voted 17th favorite. As you embark on this journey, you’ll be immersed in the landscapes of the Southwest, from the high desert plains to the towering mesas and red rock formations. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to detour and encounter ancient Native American ruins, such as the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, where you can explore the fascinating remnants of an ancient civilization. The duration of the road trip can vary depending on your pace and the stops you make, but typically it takes around four to five hours to drive the approximately 200-mile route from Albuquerque to Shiprock.

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