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Driving to Silver City from various Airports

ALEXANDRIA va
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Driving to Silver City from various Airports

We are planning a trip to Silver City around March 23 to 30th. The Silver city web site lists 4 possible airports for us with approximate driving times. My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of each drive. Which one do the residents use?

1/ El Paso TX - 3 hours

2. Albuquerque NM 4.5 hours

3. Tucson, AZ - 3.5 hours

4. Phoenix AZ - 5 hours

We are planning on using frequent flyer miles so perhaps we won't get our first choice but I know that there can be a BIG difference in the enjoyment of a drive depending on the route and roads. The time factor is not determinative since we would probably stay the first and last nights at the airport city just to avoid any issues.

Thanks in advance.

Silver City, New...
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1. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

First, I'd forget about Phoenix; whatever advantages you may find in flying there will likely be offset by the length of the drive.

Albuquerque is probably the best choice of the remaining three. It will take you 4 hours to drive to Silver City by the shortest route (vs. 3 hrs. from El Paso or Tucson), but the selection of available flights is apt to be better than El Paso or Tucson. Southwest uses Albuquerque as a hub, so you can often find inexpensive non-stop flights in/out of there. (Be sure to check for flights on Southwest's website-- they don't publish their flights on any other website that i know of.)

El Paso and Tucson are each 3 hours away from Silver City; I happen to prefer the drive from Tucson over that of El Paso, but in most respects the two airports are pretty much the same. If you are flying from the west, Tucson might be better; from the east, El Paso would be better.

ALEXANDRIA va
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2. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

thank you Mitch for the prompt reply (under twenty minutes). Setting a new bar for Destination Experts? ;) Seriously, I appreciate your detailed answer.

Charm

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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3. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

Flying into Tucson will allow you to see that city and maybe a visit to see the saguaro cactus. Also along the way to Silver City you can stop and see Tombstone, City of Rocks State Park.

Enjoy your planning.

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

Even though I live in Albuquerque, I would vote for El Paso as your airport of arrival and departure.

I'm making an assumption here (usually the wrong thing to do, LOL) but I see you are in Alexandria, VA...so my statements are for flights out of Washington Dulles Airport.

Southwest has four flights from Dulles to ABQ daily. Two one-stops, and two two-stops.

Dulles to El Paso via Southwest also has four flights daily, but one one-stop, and three-two stops.

Using Expedia: United has a non-stop into ABQ, plus 4 one-stops...all under 7 hours. Dulles to ELP has no non-stops, but 9 daily one-stops, under 7 hours for flexibility.

If you fly into El Paso, you might enjoy a wonderful side trip, east from Las Cruces on US-70, over to White Sands National Monument (about 45 miles), and back, either coming or going to Silver City.

Traveling from Las Cruces to Deming to Silver City, the City of Rocks State Park is also something worth visiting. An alternative route would be up to Caballo Lake, and west through the old mining towns of Hillsboro, and Kingston to Silver City on NM-152. This road includes some beautiful mountain driving through the Black Range of the Mimbres Mountains, as well as passing by a huge, open pit copper mine.

Enjoy your trip. Caveat: If you stay in El Paso...don't cross over into Juarez. It is extremely dangerous at this time with drug murders, and kidnappings. El Paso is fine.

ALEXANDRIA va
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5. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

Casa Azul & NM_Photojournalist

Both of you make me proud to be a fellow DE. You each made excellent points. We did love Tucson and the Saguaro cactus when we spent a Christmas week vacation there (but not as much as we loved Santa Fe) However my wife has now cast the deciding vote and that is for Albuquerque since it has the only non stop from Dulles on United (airline where we have our frequent flyer miles.) Since the massive surgery last year for the recurrence of my Stage IV base of tongue cancer I need to pack feeding bags and cans of formula (Jevity 1.5 - foul tasting version of Ensure but prescription only so insurance covers it since unless you have a feeding tube you could not stomach it) and a non stop offers the best chance of not losing that luggage. A little longer drive but balanced out by shorter airplane time and even a rental car is more comfortable then the airline seats now. thanks again

Silver City, New...
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6. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

Charm:

Let me know, either in this forum or by PM, if there is anything you need to know about Silver City or anything I can do to make your trip more enjoyable. Nothing's too good for a fellow DE!

Colorado
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7. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

All things being equal, I for one would opt to fly into Tucson or Albuquerque right now. With the expansion of Ft. Bliss in El Paso, road construction is a NIGHTMARE!!! Since we live in Las Cruces, and have been to El Paso several times recently, I can attest to this on a first hand basis. Also expansion of I-10 south of Las Cruces has begun which is going to add to more traffic woes!

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

After reading about your "situation," then I concur with your plans to fly into Albuquerque.

You can still take the scenic mountain drive from I-25 through the Black Range from Caballo to Silver City however. Have a great visit! Thank you for your kudos too!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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9. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

Charm, my thoughts are with you during your recovery. I think Albuquerque will be just fine to fly into.

If you need a hotel near the airport, the Hilton Garden Inn has always been good to us and we are looking at the newer Hyatt Place for our next airport stay prior to early flights.

If you can stay away from the airport, look at hotels near Old Town. We love the plaza there, and like it almost better than the one in Santa Fe.

While driving south to Silver City, stop for a side trip to Bosque del Apache south of Socorro NM. Thousands of geese and cranes winter there. Awesome place.

10. Re: Driving to Silver City from various Airports

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