We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Southwest trip with children

Which New Mexico hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
13 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
Southwest trip with children

We're planning a 10-day trip to Albuquerque during spring break with our 8 year old to visit relatives and the area. We plan on visiting Bandelier, Santa Fe, and up to Mesa Verde, but I am wondering if either Chaco Canyon or Canyon de Chelly are worth the drives to see considering we will have a child with us. Are these sites children enjoy? Any recommendations?

Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,468 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Southwest trip with children

I have not been to Canyon de Chelly, but I have to Chaco Culture National Historical Park (they've changed their name from the past). Obviously, it's going to depend on what your child enjoys, but I would think that the series of ruins at Chaco would have some interest. Of all the Indian ruins I've seen in New Mexico, they are the most spectacular. (I have not been to Mesa Verde, so can't compare with there.)


One of the main ruins, Pueblo Bonito, has an optional ranger led guided tour which is included in admission to the park. I've found national park rangers to be very good at engaging with children on the tours.

I did do Chaco as a day trip (with Sandiaman) from Albuquerque and I found it worthwhile. Wonder if it could be a stop between Albuquerque and Mesa Verde for you? And then do the Bandelier, Santa Fe the other direciton?


Edited: 04 March 2012, 23:35
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
20,546 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Southwest trip with children

If you are renting a car, then you may not be able to go to Chaco, most rental car companies do not allow off paved road travel. March and April can be snowy/rainy which can make the drive into Chaco impossible and impassible!

Mesa Verde Nat Park is wonderful for an 8 year old and probably will be enough ancient ruins for one trip with a trip to Bandelier! Plus you will be near Durango with the train and western town.

New Mexico
Level Contributor
378 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Southwest trip with children

Unless your 8 year old is very different than my 8 year olds were, I think Bandelier, Mesa Verde, and Santa Fe are more than enough! Save Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly for another trip.

I also second CasaAzul's comments about the weather in northern New Mexico in March and April. Wherever you going when you leave Albuquerque, make sure you have checked both the weather forecast and the road conditions.

Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
13 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Southwest trip with children

Thank you all--you comments and suggestions are really helpful in making our plans.

5. Re: Southwest trip with children

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 June 2013, 18:17