santa fe to four corners to the grand canyon to williams

the drive north of santa fe on us-85 was spectacular. i took more pictures of rock formations and distant snow capped mountains than you could shake a stick at.

on us-85 north of santa fe

i love the red rocks.

on us-85 north of santa fe

the drive across the top of the state on us-64 (hmm, is that the same us-64 that goes to pittsboro and raleigh?) is at times spectacular and at times just a bunch of natural gas collection fields. and towns dedicated to the collection, compression, and distribution of natural gas. i think. but it afforded several exceptional views of some snow-capped mountains to the north, which i guess are the rocky’s in colorado?

on us-85 north of santa fe

i left santa fe at 10:20 and arrived at the four corners just after 4pm. holy hell was that a long drive. but worth it. just incredible. per christy’s excellent suggestion, i stopped at a grocery store around noon and picked up some things to eat when i got hungry. found a spot with snow capped mountains in the distance and mesas all around and had my impromptu picnic. with mountains in the background. the american west is just wild.

oh, and did i get a picture of myself at four corners? you betcha.

justin standing in 4 states at once

around 6:45pm i stopped in tuba city for gas, which i mention as it’s the namesake of tim ross’s blog. and it wasn’t until after 7pm that i made it to the grand canyon, just after the sun had set. sort of. actually i stopped for a while at one of the scenic overlooks along the way, and later realized i wasn’t even officially in the park yet. so technically this is just a canyon.

scenic overlook approacking the 'grand' canyon

the grand canyon is, well, grander.

first sight of the grand canyon at dusk

it turns out coming to the south rim from the east is pretty much coming in the back door, so i had to drive all the way through the park to get to the hotels south of the park. i made it there at 9:30pm. that’s ok i thought, i’ve just got find a room. which would have been perfect, had there been any. no vacancies anywhere in the grand canyon villiage tusayan, the town just south of the park. due in part to it being a weekend i suppose. this happens to be the downside of spontaneity. if you want to show up at your leisure, sometimes you have to drive yet another hour south to find a hotel in williams, arizona. a small town west of flagstaff on my old friend, i-40.

ha, of course every hotel down there was booked too, except apparently the grand canyon country inn. which will do me very well as a place to sleep tonight. and a place to blog. downstairs in the breakfast area. completely exhausted.

map from santa fe to williams
here’s the route that i took

next leg: tata grand canyon is bangala


Your trip has finally inspired a post on my own blog.

I hope things are going well. Be safe.


Hi Justin. Reading about your journey takes me back to my 6 week road trip through the Southwest in 1998. It was an adventure that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I’m looking forward to working with you and know that you will be a welcomed addition to the O’Reilly team. Take care and have fun!


I am WAY jealous.


I agree with Jackie, I’m jealous and have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon.


Hmmm, no post for Sunday yet. Are you deep in the Grand Canyon where there’s no WIFI? Did your burro toss you into the gorge? Hmmmm, I wonder if that’s it. It could only be that you’re just exhausted doing all these posts, but in any case, I can’t stop reading them…


Can we subtitle your journey, “A Barbeque Quest to the West”? Seems to be a theme in your posts…


Go to×5.html to see the lyrics for the song I was telling you about. You can hear part of it at if you look for the album Room For Squares. It plays in my head whenever I read about your trip.


Yo Justin:

I hope you took the bridge over the Rio Grande from Taos and looked down! Yow!

Looking forward to hearing about Utah bbq…not. Hope you were able to find wifi somewhere in Utah but it is probably against the law there.

Susan and I are looking forward to hearing about Reno, Sparks and Tahoe. The wine tasting when you visit you will be great!!! Can you say Roccioli?


The pics are gorgeous.

all it took was one hotel without internet and i’m like three days behind in posts. and i’m worried some of you may choose to defriend me after you learn that right now i’m at a hotel on lake tahoe.

p.s. i just added the map of the route i took. given my desire to get to the grand canyon, i never made it to taos. but i think coming back to new mexico sometime in the future is pretty much a definite.


What a coincidence! I’m taking my kids on the same Santa Fe to GC route starting July 6th so I appreciate your notes. We are a bunch of Tarheels living in Savannah. Have a great journey!

Brian R

redmondbp001, no problem. the drive was beautiful, especially north of sante fe towards chama. i probably should have stopped at taos but i had a lot of ground to cover in one day. have a good trip!


“scenic overlook approacking the ‘grand’ canyon”

There’s a typo in one of your image captions. Just thought you should know! :)


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