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Old 09-18-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Las Cruces to Santa Rosa New Mexico

I'll be traveling from Tucson to Amarillo in late October. I wouldn't mind getting off the freeway for a while and was looking at Hwys 70/ 54 between Las Cruces and Santa Rosa. It's about 85 miles less distance than the Interstate. It looks like the altitude change is about the same, around 6800 ft for the state highway, 7000 ft for the interstate. I won't be in much of a hurry and I don't mind driving on two lane highways.

Does anyone have first hand knowledge about this route? I'd be interested in the road condition as well as any long steep grades compared to the Interstate.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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I haven't been the entire route but have been between Las Cruces and Carrizozo and it was good road.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Hwy 70 is a good road. I lived in Ruidoso and have been across from Las Cruces to Amerillo several times.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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I live in Las Cruces. Highway 70 is four lane all the way to Tularosa. Take the by-pass around Alamogordo (unless you just want to go through town). I drove 54 all the way to Vaughn earlier this year. The road is a good two lane highway. There are a few spots of construction between Tularosa and Carrizozo but they were not a problem. Late October shouldn't be a problem but do check the weather and highway conditions before you travel since they can get snow near Corona. While I haven't traveled 54 from Vaughn to Santa Rosa, I suspect it is the same quality as the rest of 54. Truckers use this route for the same reason as yours. Regarding steep grades, there is San Augustin Pass just east of Las Cruces on 70. It is only a few miles from the town of Organ to the top of the pass and there is an additional slow lane. I go over it all the time. I don't recall any steep grades on 54 but I did do it in my car.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'll give this route a try and take a brake from the Interstate.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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BTW, your GPS may suggest that you exit I-10 just west of Las Cruces on Picacho Ave. that is officially US 70. If it were me, I would stay on I-10, then north on I-25 and exit I-25 at US 70 on north Main. It will be a longer route but will save you the in-town traffic.
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