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Old 04-15-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
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san antonio to santa fe w/out long, steep inlines?

I've gotten mixed answers so thought I'd ask you experts.
We drive an 01 ford one ton dually 7.3liter 4x4 and pull a 34 carriage cameo with it.
I've been told to take 25 all the way to avoid long steep climbs (I like to baby my truck) and another person told me to take 285 because 25 will take us too far out of our way.
If it were you and you wished to avoid those long steep climbs, which would you take?
This is a brand new part of the world to us, so we really have no idea just how steep or long the climbs are to 7000 ft from relative sea level.

thanks very much!

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Old 04-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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I-10 to Ft. Stockton and north on 285 to Santa Fe. Good road all the way, no inclines of any significance.

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Old 04-15-2014, 10:51 PM   #3
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Here's something to mull over:

San Antonio to Santa Fe via 285 is 720 miles; via I-10 to I-25 is 880 miles.

via 285: Carlsbad, NM is 3300' elevation; Roswell is 3600' and Santa Fe is 7000'

via I-10/I-25: Las Cruces, NM is 3900' elevation; Truth or Consequences 4250'; Socorro 4580'; Albuquerque 5350' and Santa Fe is 7000'

Neither route is considered a steep climb. It all depends if you want to do any siteseeing along the way. There's more to see along I-25 if you want to venture off the interstate a little. Have a good trip and don't worry about steep climbs!
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:28 AM   #4
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I got a kid in San Antonio. I got to go there. Were is a good park to stay at?
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rocky1971 View Post
I got a kid in San Antonio. I got to go there. Were is a good park to stay at?
SAT is 50 miles across in any direction and has over a million people within the city limits (serious bad traffic) Just where is your "kid" located?
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:39 AM   #6
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I suppose "long steep climb" is subjective. I live near Albuquerque and, as noted by others, cannot think of a long steep climb either route that you've listed.

Since you baby your truck, I'm assuming you don't travel at 80mph. If true, I would not think the extra distance of the Interstate buys you anything but more time on the road.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:52 AM   #7
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Greetings from the Colorado High Country!!! I have traveled both routes numerous times. The 285 route is a little shorter but does not have the Southwestern scenery where as I 25 is more scenic and interesting to travel through. Also there are more municipalities to visit or overnight in. If you enjoy great Mexican food, especially green chili, eat where the locals do for great eating. Ask. As to steep grades both routes are equal and there are no long steep grades. If you venture further North into Colorado that is a different story. Raton Pass near the Colorado/New Mexico border will give your truck a workout - not impassable but a challenge. Just an important hint on driving over especially over long steep grades - whatever gear you go up in that's the gear you need to come down in. It beats having to use runaway truck ramps coming down. Go for it and enjoy your trip, you will be traveling through some beautiful country. Regards, ERS
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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thanks, that gives me plenty to think about.
my map indicates that 285 is less of a superhighway than 25.
we prefer the lesser traveled and slower pace roads, so is the scenery difference between the two significant?
in other words, will we be missing out on a lot of great scenery by taking 285? we intend to stay in santa fe for a year or more, so assume we'll have plenty of time to explore, and as the rv will be our home base we can take off without it mostly, thus no worries about babying my truck.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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Working up through Roswell and then Clines Corners will save you miles, and I noted no significant grade until approaching Santa Fe. I was surprised at some of the scenery. Expected low desert, got farmland and a lot of oil.

If you go this way, recommend you diesel anywhere but Clines Corners (applies to I40 as well). 30 cents higher and a low capacity 4 wheeler pump.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:17 AM   #10
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I really think I-25, as much as we dislike driving on interstates, has better scenery than 285. There are numerous state parks to stay for a night or two - just beyond Las Cruces is White Sands Nat'l Monument - not to be missed. A little further is Cloudcroft - a unique mountain town. For both you could stay at Leasburg Dam State Park on I-25.

A little further is Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte State Park. You could easily do a day trip with your trailer over to Silver City via 152 - a beautiful drive. Also near Silver City is Gila Cliff Dwellings Nat'l Monument.

Continuing north on I-25 at Socorro, do a short drive of 35 miles west on Hwy 60 and view the 'Very Large Array' - the Nat'l Radio Astronomy Observatory. You can stay at Datil Well BLM Rec Area for the night nearby - very pretty.

Now...on 285 you might see some aliens but that's about it. You could also tour Carlsbad Caverns.

Allow yourself a little time to get to Santa Fe and check out some things along the way. Once in Santa Fe you're not going to want to come back south for long day tours. There's too much to see around the immediate Santa Fe area for that.

Good travels!

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