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New Mexico & Arizona suggestions

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I have 2 weeks off early next month and am thinking of adding to my US NPS stamp collection. Of course, I would like to a put a few good roads in there as well.


Travelling alone so no long unpaved road stretches. Only travel in New Mexico previously has been Taos to Pagosa Springs. Done more in Arizona (north & west of Phoenix). Will have camping gear.


Butler maps already ordered.


Going back to Africa in September (Victoria Falls -> Capetown) so trying to get acclimatized :grin:


Mike Cassidy

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Mike - In Arizona, Lake Mary Rd (Forrest Rte 3) is a great road with little traffic . It runs between Flagstaff and Hwy 87 to the south. 87 isn't bad itself once into the mountains if coming from Winslow, but can have a bit of traffic in some areas. Or 260 across from Show Low to Payson (intersects with 87 there) and up to Pine and down to Camp Verde can be scenic, but also can be congested in some parts.


Terry's suggestion of 191 is also a good choice with lunch at Hannagan Meadow if coming up from the south. In general a lot of the roads in Northern Arizona can be quite scenic, but traffic on mostly two lane roads can be annoying ... depending on your patience.


In New Mexico 180, 159 and even parts of 60 east from Socorro to Datil and Pie Town can be entertaining ... you could stop in and see the Very Large Array of radio antennas.


It all obviously depends on which direction your headed and the amount of time available ... which looks to be tight if coming from Alberta. Oh, and it may yet be a bit cool in May for camping in Northern Arizona :Cool:

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89a coming out of Flagstaff and heading south is nice, especially since it takes you thru Sedona. If you are at all into photography you will be making some stops here. :)


That will take you down to Prescott-ish and you can take 89 south from there and hit some nice roads.


US 60 between Globe and Showlow is also nice, especially when you hit Salt River Cyn.

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Thanks for the replies. US 191 Alpine to Morenci was on the list and Lake Mary Rd looks really interesting. I have done 89A from Prescott Valley to Sedona previously but not all the way to Flagstaff. Having fun looking over the New Mexico Scenic Byways.


Mike Cassidy

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Having fun looking over the New Mexico Scenic Byways.

Mike Cassidy


Hi Mike, I just did THIS TRIP in mid-March. Some highlights:

HWY 78 east of Three Way AZ (near Morenci), and into NM -- small mountain road with beautiful views, twisties and no traffic

HWY 180, Gila Natl Forest,

HWY 152, Mimbres Mountains, Emory Pass

Bosque del Apache Natl Wildlife Area (but Sandhill Cranes have headed north)

Jemez Mountains Scenic Byway


Enjoy the ride.

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New Mexico 78 to Three Way then up 191 to Springerville then 260 to Show Low across to Payson then north on 87 to Lake Mary and then to Flag is an awesome ride.


From Flag north to Jacob Lake and a quick trip to the North Rim (or not) and continue on 89 to Kanab and as far north as you want to go. The only bad part of the 2nd route is out of Flag across the Reservation. But once you turn off at 89A to the Vermillion Cliffs and Jacob Lake, its another very scenic and enjoyable ride.


Or do the whole thing in reverse and tack on Ken's route.

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Thanks again guys. I saw Ken's brief description in has "west coast in March" trip planning thread so will follow up on the specifics. Thanks again Chris.


Looks like I will be too far south to drop in on Torrey weekend.



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  • 4 weeks later...


Safely arrived in Santa Fe using US 64 (Cimarron Canyon and Palo Flechado Pass) and the Taos High Road Scenic Byway. Both highly recommended. Tomorrow I plan on doing a loop through Los Alamos and up to Jemez Springs. Then head further south and see what I can find.


Mike Cassidy

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64 across there is very scenic. You'll enjoy 4 too west of Los Alamos, stop at Valle Caldera it has a great view across the valley and I think a number of Western's were filmed there.


I rode some forest roads on my 1150 from hwy 126 (off of 4) up to Coyote years ago, if you have time it's well worth it. Northern N.M. is very pretty.

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As you travel this area, let me know if you see a piece of high-country land that needs to be purchased. I'd love to have a lot somewhere around 7000 feet elevation, and maybe park my 5th-wheel RV on it. I'd like to use it as a base of operations occasionally, and make trips in the area. I lived in NM over 30 years ago, before moving to AK.


Anyone else interested in such?

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191 is a must


152 to Silver City, 180....78 to 191.


You will have a great time.


Did NM 152 Hillsboro to San Lorenzo then NM 35/15 to Gila Cliff Dwellings Nat'l Mon then down NM 15 to Silver City. That was a lot of hours of concentration and effort. Will try to download the vertical and track tonight.


On to Arizona and US 191 tomorrow.


Don't know why you didn't stop in Salida? :)

Unsettled weather. I don't ride toward the snow Larry, I try and ride away from it.


Mike Cassidy

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