best drives in New Mexico that you’ll love this fall

best drives in New Mexico

With the arrival of fall, the foliage in New Mexico will begin trading its shades of green for hues of warm oranges, reds, and yellows. This means that Albuquerque will be surrounded in a wonderland of stunning fall foliage that you’ll hardly be able to resist exploring. If hiking isn’t exactly your forte, there are many scenic drives that allow you to enjoy the scenery right from your car. If you’re ready to experience some of the best fall scenery in the nation, here are just some of the best drives in New Mexico that you won’t want to leave off your autumn itinerary!

After exploring the best drives in New Mexico, what else do your vacation plans entail? Our free Albuquerque Vacation Guide provides a full list of recommendations for the best local attractions, activities, dining, entertainment, and more. Request yours for free today!

3 of the best drives in New Mexico to take this fall

  1. Sandia Crest Byway

As the highest scenic drive in the Southwest, the Sandia Crest Byway delivers spectacular views you won’t find anywhere else. The 13.6-mile road winds through the Sandia Mountains while also presenting views of the Cibola National Forest. In addition to breathtaking fall scenery, you may also discover a wide array of wildlife along the road including Rocky Mountain bighorns, mule deer, black bears, or golden eagles. After the drive, be sure to stop by the Sandia Crest House Gift Shop and Restaurant for some unique shopping or for a bite to eat.

  1. Route 66 National Scenic Byway

Also known as the “Mother Road,” this historic highway runs all the way from Illinois to the Southwest! Visitors from all over the world travel along Route 66 just to experience its rich history and the atmosphere. You’ll find New Mexico’s portion of the highway running alongside I-40 through many major cities, including Albuquerque. Simply hop on the road and follow it through beautiful views of the mountains brightly lit with fall colors.

  1. Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway

If you’re looking for a long, enjoyable journey, this scenic drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque is for you! The Turquoise Trail runs through a historic area that encompasses 15,000 square miles in the heart of New Mexico. The drive totals about 50 miles and includes many fascinating pit stops including the old mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos. You’ll also find a plethora of attractions to enjoy along the way such as museums, theaters, and restaurants.

the ultimate fall getaway awaits at the Bottger Mansion of Old Town

King Bed in Christy Room at Bottger Mansion
Edward Buxton Cristy Room

After exploring the best drives in New Mexico, return to the Bottger Mansion of Old Town for some well-deserved relaxation! Our historic bed & breakfast provides comfortable rooms, outstanding amenities, and friendly hospitality. You’ll also enjoy a warm, delicious breakfast served first thing in the morning that to start your day off right. Explore the many attractions of Albuquerque or simply relax in the peace and quiet of our cozy inn. Our beautiful haven in New Mexico is waiting for you, so check our availability and book your stay today!

Want to have the vacation of a lifetime in New Mexico? Find all the best restaurants, attractions, activities, and so much more by requesting our free Vacation Guide, your must-have resource to the many things to do in Albuquerque.

Photo Credit: Dean_Fikar/Getty Images

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