What's the quickest route to take from Eagar/Springerville, AZ to Albuquerque, NM? US 60 to I25 looks more direct (vs. US191 to I40), but my AAA map says it takes 3.5 hours to go the 150 miles from Eagar, AZ to Socorro, NM on US60. Is it a bad (ie, slow)road? Thanks!
Don't miss it, if you have the time!
A quick digression -- If you can spare the time -- take US 191 to Guthrie and then County Route 75 to Duncan and then on via US-70 to Lordsburg (NM) and I-10 over to I-25 back to Socorro or alternatively you can cut east at Clifton and pick up route 12 back north to US-60 and into Socorro.
That mountain section of US-191 (between Eagar and Clifton) is considered the least travelled Federal highway in the country. It has over 500 curves, many of them are hairpin in the 112 miles between Eagar and Clifton. It is not a route for back-seat passengers, but it is a truly awesome mountain route!
Getting back to your question -- US-60 is the faster route. It is a good road, rated as a truck route and you should be able to sustain 65+ mph for the highway sections. The reason that it will take the 3 hours is that there are towns along the way and if you speed thru those small towns you will find yourself contributing to the local economies in a BIG way via traffic fines. So slow down, and enjoy the trip!
Thanks for the prompt response. How is 191 to the north out of Eagar? My alternate route is to continue onto I40 and then east through Gallup. I'd love to try the southern route thru Clifton, but this trip will be at the end of the day with sleepy kids (and Mom) as anxious passengers.
That 191 route is not for sleepy kids or anyone who doesn't thrill to serious drop-offs and mountain driving. If you drove it in the dark -- you would have to stock up on "barf-bags" for the passengers in the rear seats.
Since Albuquerque is your destination (how/why are you starting in Eagar?) I would certainly recommend US-191 north to I-40 and than I-40 into Albuquerque. It is relatively smooth and fast and much better for sleepy kids.
When you reach Gallup -- it might be time for a quick snack at the Ranch Kitchen (http://www.cart66pf.org/66caravan/roadlog13.htm) it has been serving good grub to Route 66 travelers for over 49 years.
Have a fun trip!
Hmmm, it sounds as though either US60 to Socorro or the 191 north to I40 are both good roads. Albuquerque is actually just a waypoint for our trip on to Omaha, but we'll need to spend the nite in either Gallup or Socorro (we're in Eagar for a family funeral late that afternoon after driving from Phoenix). Since Socorro is about an hour closer to Albuquerque it seems like the preferred route(?).
Thanks for the tip on the Ranch Kitchen. Should we go that way we'll give it a try.
Omaha -- Do you have time for Monument Valley?
New Mexico is a wonderful state to drive through -- but if you have time, maybe you should "collect" some of those northern miles sooner and drive thru Monument Valley (via US-191) or use US-666 and US-550 and drive thru Durango (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/durango.htm).
The Million Dollar highway (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/million.htm) is wonderful this time of year and you could also check out the Gorge at the newest national park --Black Canyon of the Gunnison (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/gunnison.htm) -- before heading north to join I-70 and I-76 to I-80 and on to Omaha.
Well, we took US60 out of Eagar to Socorro and it's a great road - straight, very few cars and fairly pretty with rolling hills. It was a pleasant drive and only took just over two hours, 15 minutes or so going about 75-80. Never saw a cop.
Thanks for the intel!
Good news, (about the cop, considering your speed). How was the rest of the trip? Any photos you care to pass on?
Sorry, no photos. The speed limit on US60 was 70, I think, so we really weren't speeding that much. That stretch of highway is pretty deserted though and the small towns are really small so I don't know how well patrolled it is. I wouldn't want to breakdown on it. I don't even think my cellphone worked out there. Toughest drive of the trip was coming back into CA from Las Vegas in mid July. The road construction around Barstow backed up traffic quite a bit.
It has been bad
On average, I drive that section of road between LA an Las Vegas about three times a month. The construction traffic delays have led to some terrible crashes, but one day in the distant future, they will finish and it may get better.
Warning for the future -- the speed limits in most small towns are enforced with great zeal. I would say you were very lucky if you exceeded the limits along THAT route in the small towns.
Thanks for the report(s)!