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Old 01-18-2016, 07:20 AM   #1
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Wichita to Las Cruces routes

Had been planning on 35 to 40 to 25 or 35 to 40 to 60-70. A friend mentioned 54. We're leaving in 4 or 5 days from Wisconsin. Any opinions about best route? Best road surfaces, traffic etc?
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:25 AM   #2
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Not sure of the best route. Lots of construction down that way when we drove in from El Paso at thanksgiving. Will you be staying at a campground in Las Cruces? We may make the drive out there next year
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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Not sure of the best route. Lots of construction down that way when we drove in from El Paso at thanksgiving. Will you be staying at a campground in Las Cruces? We may make the drive out there next year
We're actually headed to San Diego to stay at Santee Lakes for two months starting Feb 8. But the plan is that once we are south and getting warmer, we'll take about two weeks to go through NM, AZ and CA.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:03 PM   #4
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Keep close watch on the weather as you near Albuquerque if taking I-40. The area is noted for bad snow storms.

Definitely do not take Hwy 60 off I-25 into the Phoenix area. You could encounter snow around Greer/Pinetop/ShowLow, AZ.

I'd recommend Hwy 54 in New Mexico to Alamogordo and take a tour of White Sands Nat'l Monument - a quick hour or two will do it. Oliver Lee State Park is nice.

From the I-10 area it then depends what you want to explore. By taking it into the Tucson area, consider stopping in Benson. Kartchner Caverns State Park is the best for touring the area of Tombstone/Bisbee - must dos. The Caverns also gives an excellent tour. Do the Rotundra Room if it's your first time. (We gave the tours). It's about 40 mi into Tucson for day trip to do the Desert Museum, drive through or hike in Saguaro Nat'l Park and other sites. If you want to stay in Tucson, Catalina State Park is a winner and Voyager RV if you want a lot of activities.

If you don't want to do the Tucson area - from I-10 in New Mexico, you could take Hwy 70 from Lordsburg, NM into Safford, AZ - Roper Lake State Park is nice and continue on 70 to Globe/Superior into Apache Junction at the far east end of the greater Phoenix area. Lost Dutchman State Park is the place to stay in Apache Junction. It's a popular park along with nearby Maricopa County park - Usery. Both have large lush sites.

Many options for you. You won't have enough time so catch some on your return. Have a great trip!
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
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We did the trip a year ago. We went I35 to Okc where we dewinterized and spend a couple days. Then down to Witchita Falls, Tx., west to Lubbock, Southwest to Carlsbad Caverns where we spend a few days, then southwest to Las Cruces. We did pass through El Paso on the way.

The roads were pretty good and there was a lot to see enroute. If you have not seen the Carlsbad Caverns they are worth a looksee. We stayed in the city and found some good places to eat as well.

In Las Cruces we stayed at the La Hacienda campground and it was very nice. Be sure to see the old village (Messia) while there. We also drove up to White Sands and Alamogordo.

Liked it there.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:26 PM   #6
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We drove 54 from Santa Rosa on I40 to Las Cruces in October. Road was in decent shape with minimal traffic. Seemed to have quite a bit of police radar checks with people being pulled over but since we were in a motorhome pulling a toad it didn't bother us.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
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ASSUMING good weather ...

You can cut off some significant miles by going west from Wichita on 54/400 and then southwest on 54 to Tucumcari, NM ... this is a good road that is travelled by lots of RVers ... there are some long stretches between fuel stops so drive on the top half of your tank.

I have never travelled 54 from Santa Rosa, NM to Las Cruces ... but I have friends who have.

When you are in Las Cruces I recommend that you visit Mesilla ... there are art galleries and a fantastic restaurant there.

I concur with the recommendation for Karchner Caverns


PS: here is a note on how to bypass Kansas City


EZ bypass of KC from I-35 SB to I-70 WB


We have spent at least a month at Santee Lakes for the past 15 years. There is a great little Mexican restaurant, Estrada's, at the corner of Mast and Carlton Hills (the shrimp burrito is our favorite) ... and Janet's restaurant is a fantastic place for breakfast (beside the Santee Library at the corner of Carlton Hills and Carlton Oaks)
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:14 AM   #8
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Exactly the kind of info I was hoping for, MUCH appreciated! Your helpful suggestions are now becoming part of our route "plan" (keeping it flexible for weather etc)
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:39 AM   #9
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I will second the recommendation to drive on the top half of your tank. For instance if you go through Wichita Fall, Tx. west to Lubbock it is a long dry spell. Again from Lubbock to Carlsbad, NM.

We found that drive to be quite scenic. Lubbock is a very modern city out in the middle of the prairie. We had lunch at a Cracker Barrel in Lubbock, and ate dinner in Carlsbad. Between Carlsbad and San Antonio we stopped at the Guadalupe National Park on top of a mountain. There was hoar frost on all the trees and it was spectacular.

That route kept us free of the winter snow you could hit on the northern routes.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
ASSUMING good weather ...

You can cut off some significant miles by going west from Wichita on 54/400 and then southwest on 54 to Tucumcari, NM ... this is a good road that is travelled by lots of RVers ... there are some long stretches between fuel stops so drive on the top half of your tank.

I have never travelled 54 from Santa Rosa, NM to Las Cruces ... but I have friends who have.

When you are in Las Cruces I recommend that you visit Mesilla ... there are art galleries and a fantastic restaurant there.

I concur with the recommendation for Karchner Caverns


PS: here is a note on how to bypass Kansas City


EZ bypass of KC from I-35 SB to I-70 WB


We have spent at least a month at Santee Lakes for the past 15 years. There is a great little Mexican restaurant, Estrada's, at the corner of Mast and Carlton Hills (the shrimp burrito is our favorite) ... and Janet's restaurant is a fantastic place for breakfast (beside the Santee Library at the corner of Carlton Hills and Carlton Oaks)

We have taken 54 from Wichita to Tucumcari, NM the last two years. We overnight at the KOA, then head to Las Cruces, NM on 54 then US 70 to I25. We stay at Hacienda RV park in Las Cruces. It is very close to restaurants and shops.
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