Day 4: Santa Rosa to Holbrook

banderra-ice-caveSomething else to go and visit in New Mexico for the more energetic are the Banderra Volcano and Ice Cave in the Cibola National Forest near Grants – you will see billboards advertising this attraction along the Interstate. For $6.50, you can take a self guided walking tour to the crater of a (hopefully) extinct volcano and to the fascinating perpetual ice cave at its base. Quite how this formed initially is unclear, but now the ice itself keeps the temperature just below freezing and allows further ice to form. It’s odd to walk a few steps down from the blazing New Mexico sun into the cool cave.

Another few hours and you cross into Arizona. If you are traveling in summer, do remember that Arizona does not move forward an hour for daylight saving, so you may need to set your clock back. Soon after crossing the state line is the first of Arizona’s natural attractions – the Painted Desert National Park. It is well worth paying the $10 to drive through this area and, as a bonus, it leads to the Petrified Forest. Both fascinating to see. That about used up my daylight for the day, so I found a motel in Holbrook for the night after traveling 449 miles in just over 8 hours.

Depart

Arrive

Elapsed

Total

Arrival Location

Miles

Total

8:20

12:05

3h 45m

32h 50m

Banderra Volcano & Ice Cave
Cibola Nat’l Forest, NM

229

1,635

13:20

15:10*

1h 50m

34h 40m

Visitor Center
Painted Desert Nat’l Park

161

1,796

15:30

16:55

1h 25m

36h 5m

South Exit
Painted Desert Nat’l Park

34

1,830

16:55

17:30

0h 35m

36h 40m

Motel 6
Holbrook, AZ

25

1,855

* crossed from Mountain time to Pacific time.

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