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Road Trip Through the Southwest

West by Southwest

los angeles road trip!

Think the Southwest is all bolo ties and vortex crystals? Well, bolos frame your face and your chi needs a boost. This road map is full of more good news.

L.A. to Death Valley
Drive time: Six hours
Get your film camera and walk out to the dunes just a few hours away. Stay the night in a tepee, then wake up and bathe at the Tecopa natural hot springs.

Death Valley to Grand Canyon
Drive time: Eight hours
Pit stop at El Tovar on the southern rim of the canyon and eat lunch or stick it out for the night for about $180. Dark wood and animal heads will make you feel like a hunter, so layer the flannel (as if you weren’t already). Back-up plan for room and board: The Red Garter in Williams, Arizona. It’s an old bordello. Enough said.

cathedral rock!

Grand Canyon to Sedona, Arizona
Drive time: Two hours
Go into hiding at the Forest Houses, where you can have a quiet little place of your own for about $110 a night, or go posh at the new L’Auberge de Sedona. Wherever you wake, hike your mornings away. Head to the trailhead of Cathedral Rock for a drum circle with the locals; proceed to blame the full moon. Dine and drink at El Portal, then share a scoop of ice cream that could feed an army at Black Cow Cafe (229 North Highway 89a; 928-203-9868). Make your way down to Arcosanti to spend a night on the grounds in a beautiful modern room with views for $40.

taos pueblo!

Sedona to Taos, New Mexico
Drive time: Eight hours
Break up the haul with a visit to the Petrified Forest before you check into the Willa Cather bedroom at the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan House. Read D.H. Lawrence beneath a window painted by the author and discover details about his torrid love affair with Ms. Mabel herself. Amazing breakfast; cookies and coffee are available all day as you sit on the quiet grounds and high-five life. See what Ansel Adams saw at Taos Pueblo. At night, walk down to the plaza and have a seasonal meal at Joseph’s Table. Make time for a little jaunt to Ojo Caliente.

Now, pop in that Fleetwood Mac album, tie a feather in your hair, and remember how much you love a man in topaz.

Photos: Frank Kehren / Flickr; dental ben / Flickr; rockcreek / Flickr

We’ve got more great driving getaways for every destination. Warning: Pack your bags now.