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Southern New Mexico Ride Suggestions?

KretonsLC

Guest
Guest
Hello Southwesters! I'm planning on retiring to Las Cruces in a few years and was wondering whether anyone familiar with southern NM has any half and full day ride suggestions I can do from Las Cruces. Some routes through Cloudcroft and Ruidoso look interesting, as does a loop through Gila National Forest and Silver City. And some day rides into southeast AZ, and shorter rides to the Organ and Franklin Mountains look doable.

Any other suggestions? Are the state highways typically pretty rideable? I know the area gets dust storms especially in the spring so was wondering whether dust sometimes piles up on secondary roads.

Also, if anyone has any 2 or 3 day ride suggestions up into northern NM and/or eastern AZ I'd appreciate hearing about those. I grew up in Pueblo CO, so would also like to link a northern NM ride with some nice CO roads I'm familiar with.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

redline

Member
Member
I've been riding a lot of those roads. Lived in las cruces for some time. Franklin mountains are in el paso, about 30 minutes
if you take hwy 28 through the pecan orchards, get on trans mountain and back is a nice ride. used to do that after work on weekdays. short but sweet.
Not much in regards to the organ mountains. you go through the pass on hwy 70 through white sands to Alamogordo, from there to Cloudcroft and then Ruidoso and back is a nice ride with some high-speed fun on the missle range straights and then some nice twisties later on.
I ended up going almost every Saturday, from cruces to Hillsboro, from there across the black range, about 40 miles of pure twisties joy.
then I would either go to silver and back or through mimbres to the cliff dwellings or the other highway, i believe hwy180 that takes you to Deming and i-10 to cruces. (we are going to silver city every memorial weekend for their blues festivals, one of the best)
I'm in Rio rancho, outside Albuquerque. let me know if you are in the area. here going up to Sandia peak is lots of twisties with incredible views up on top. there is also a restaurant and gift shop. taking the back roads from there to Madrid (wild hogs movie was made there) to Santa Fe, then los alamos to Jemez pueblo, really nice ride as well.
up north, las vegas to Taos is also a great road. I also love hwy 12, CO on the border. i think it's highway of legends, picked that one up around Walsenburg and back home. in fall we all meet in Springerville az and ride the devil's highway. one of the best rides. I did that ride from las cruces with a friend once or twice a year. good 12 hour day incl an hour lunch. all these roads are good and no issues with dust. always be aware of rocks etc. in the mountains. was leaned over hard in 15 mph turn and hit a rock in the black range, and that was the first time in many years but you have to be prepared.btw besides our NM roads, i also joined the Texans in alpine tx every year when they do the big bend river road. something you don't want to miss. makes a nice weekend. Anyway, let me know if you have questions and if i am still kicking by the time you move there, I'm also in the concours members handbook. happy trails
 

KretonsLC

Guest
Guest
I've been riding a lot of those roads. Lived in las cruces for some time. Franklin mountains are in el paso, about 30 minutes
if you take hwy 28 through the pecan orchards, get on trans mountain and back is a nice ride. used to do that after work on weekdays. short but sweet.
Not much in regards to the organ mountains. you go through the pass on hwy 70 through white sands to Alamogordo, from there to Cloudcroft and then Ruidoso and back is a nice ride with some high-speed fun on the missle range straights and then some nice twisties later on.
I ended up going almost every Saturday, from cruces to Hillsboro, from there across the black range, about 40 miles of pure twisties joy.
then I would either go to silver and back or through mimbres to the cliff dwellings or the other highway, i believe hwy180 that takes you to Deming and i-10 to cruces. (we are going to silver city every memorial weekend for their blues festivals, one of the best)
I'm in Rio rancho, outside Albuquerque. let me know if you are in the area. here going up to Sandia peak is lots of twisties with incredible views up on top. there is also a restaurant and gift shop. taking the back roads from there to Madrid (wild hogs movie was made there) to Santa Fe, then los alamos to Jemez pueblo, really nice ride as well.
up north, las vegas to Taos is also a great road. I also love hwy 12, CO on the border. i think it's highway of legends, picked that one up around Walsenburg and back home. in fall we all meet in Springerville az and ride the devil's highway. one of the best rides. I did that ride from las cruces with a friend once or twice a year. good 12 hour day incl an hour lunch. all these roads are good and no issues with dust. always be aware of rocks etc. in the mountains. was leaned over hard in 15 mph turn and hit a rock in the black range, and that was the first time in many years but you have to be prepared.btw besides our NM roads, i also joined the Texans in alpine tx every year when they do the big bend river road. something you don't want to miss. makes a nice weekend. Anyway, let me know if you have questions and if i am still kicking by the time you move there, I'm also in the concours members handbook. happy trails
Thanks redline - very helpful info! Sounds like the area has some great riding potential.
 

KretonsLC

Guest
Guest
Jealous , I go all over New Mexico for work and would love to retire there .
I am excited. Honestly, until last year I'd planned on just staying put where we are at just outside of Austin, TX. But the way property values are increasing I think I can get out from under a mortgage moving to NM because a similar size home costs a lot less. And the overall cost of living is less there too, and the humidity is way less. In fact, by about every metric I can think of the move seems like a no-brainer.
 
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Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
How does the crime look like in the area you want to move to? I'd be concerned about the open borders and criminal activity.
 

fartymarty

SC AAD
Member
How does the crime look like in the area you want to move to? I'd be concerned about the open borders and criminal activity.
I wondered about that as well, so I checked that online, and it is slightly higher in Las Cruces. One site gave Austin a C- and Las Cruces a D. However I'm assuming that since Kret' lives "just outside Austin" that he may move to live just outside Las Cruces as well, and that would make the relative grades of the areas inaccurate.
A few miles difference in almost any urban area can make quite a big difference in crime numbers.
 

ZiaCog

Member
Member
I'm seconding Redline and his suggestions. (FYI, I'm on the westside ABQ, we should ride!) Lately I feel like I'm a little jaded in New Mexico with where I can go and the time I have to ride. I typically need a 6 hour ride to feel like I've gotten my miles.

My favorite 3-4 hour loop however starts outside of Rio Rancho actually, North on NM 4 through Jemez, into the Valles Caldera, around through Bandelier Nat'l Park, down into Pojoaque / Santa Fe area. Then down NM 14 through Cerrillos (stop at the Blackbird Saloon Thursday - Sundays) and then back down 14 South to Albuquerque (home.)

My spot to put a checkmark next to this year is White Oak, NM. It's North (edit) of Carrizozo and features a saloon called "No Scum Allowed". It's practically a ghost town, but still has a saloon, and man, I hope they have a t-shirt I can buy.
 
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ZiaCog

Member
Member
How does the crime look like in the area you want to move to? I'd be concerned about the open borders and criminal activity.
Anyone who looks at crime stats alone would not move to any populous NM city of which, there are 3. :sneaky: Crime runs in certain circles here. Stay out of those circles and you mostly have a wonderful time in this desert. Not to say we're without troubles, property crime mostly. Get a house with a garage for starters. I also have a large dog who helps keep an eye on my home.

There's something about this desert that draws people to it. It's like nowhere else, still very raw. Is it for every one? No, absolutely not.
 

KretonsLC

Guest
Guest
I wondered about that as well, so I checked that online, and it is slightly higher in Las Cruces. One site gave Austin a C- and Las Cruces a D. However I'm assuming that since Kret' lives "just outside Austin" that he may move to live just outside Las Cruces as well, and that would make the relative grades of the areas inaccurate.
A few miles difference in almost any urban area can make quite a big difference in crime numbers.
The neighborhoods I've looked at are all within LC. Just like any city its size LC has safe neighborhoods and some not so. All the areas I'm looking at are safer neighborhoods. Proximity to the Mexican border doesn't necessarily translate into higher crime. My home town (Pueblo, CO) is about the same size as LC but has a considerably higher crime rate even though it's hundreds of miles from the border.
 
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rbrownleec

Member
Member
Hello and Welcome,

As Redline mentioned above and, in my opinion, one of the best routes is highway 152 between basically Caballo and Santa Clara. Emory Pass is the highlight. I've done it several times and there is no traffic, and the road is well maintained. The other route that I've not done (but have been recommended and will do soon) is Sunspot highway between Cloudcroft and Timberon. Eastern Arizona has some great rides as well - Show Low to Clifton. I'm in El Paso, and let me know if you want to ride anytime!
 

KretonsLC

Guest
Guest
Hello and Welcome,

As Redline mentioned above and, in my opinion, one of the best routes is highway 152 between basically Caballo and Santa Clara. Emory Pass is the highlight. I've done it several times and there is no traffic, and the road is well maintained. The other route that I've not done (but have been recommended and will do soon) is Sunspot highway between Cloudcroft and Timberon. Eastern Arizona has some great rides as well - Show Low to Clifton. I'm in El Paso, and let me know if you want to ride anytime!
Thanks! I checked the view out using Google street view and those do look like some great roads. And 185/187 looks like a nice scenic alternative to I-25 when heading north from LC.
 

Motomaniac

COG Southwest Area Director
Member
Let's try to have a rally out there this year! We could do a Friday- Sunday rally! I think we could get a good group of riders to go! Southwest and in the South Central regions would come out!
 
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