Ride from Las Cruces to Albuquerque

Las Cruces – White Sands – Alamogordo – Tularosa – Carrizozo – Willard – Moriarty – Albuquerque

Ride from Las Cruces to Albuquerque with a stop at White Sands and Carrizozo for lunch–Took US 70 west to Tularose, then US 54 north to Corona, then NM 42 to Moriarty and NM 333 into Albuquerque

The ride was 270 miles with a about 5 1/2 hours ride time.

Monday March 12, 2012

Google Maps
This is the return ride to Albuquerque after an overnight in Las Cruces. The hotel (Mission Inn) we spent the night was across the street from the train tracks. Several times during the night freight trains rolled by, horns loudly announcing their passing.
We started the day with our hotel’s free breakfast. They had a small buffet with what looked like scrambled eggs and sausage, what they actually were I’m still not sure. So after a brief taste of the mystery fare, I ended up eating Fruit Loops and a boiled egg.
We got an early start, but still caught some rush hour traffic as we departed Las Cruces.  Once we passed Organ mountains and the exit for White Sands Missile Range we were back to being alone on the highway.
After traveling about 40 miles, we drove through something that caused both my eyes to start watering. It was a little scary, it felt like someone threw pepper into my eyes. It forced me to pulled over and clean my eyes.
We paid the $3 each and rode over to White Sands. The road to the dunes is about 8 miles and on this day had lots of sand on it.
We met a group of riders from Ohio, they had hauled their bikes to Tucumcari and were spending a couple weeks riding around New Mexico.
If you ride out to White Sands and stop, you will end up driving on the sand. Riding on the packed sand is a little like soft snow, but the sand sticks to your tires and bottom of your boots. It cause a loss of traction when you get back on the payment and takes some time to wear off.
About 10 miles north of Alamogordo we stopped at the giant pistachio. They grow a lot of pistachios in this area and there are a couple of farms that sell their wares next to the road. I got a bag of green chilie pistachios and my wife got the red.
Be prepared for about 10 miles of road construction to the south of Carrizozo on US 54. It looks like they may be working on this part of the highway for next few years.
We stopped for a burger at Elsie’s located just off the intersection of US 54 and US 380. After a good lunch we headed north on US 54 to Corona. We waited for a train to pass just before Willard and filled up in Estancia.
When we got to Moriarty we didn’t take the Interstate, we took NM 333. If you are riding into Albuquerque, get off the Interstate in Moriarty and take NM 333 into the city. It’s a much nicer ride and will only add 15 or 20 minutes to the trip.  It was in the mid 60’s all day, perfect riding weather. I remember as a child riding with my family across these same highways thinking how much I loved the road. Never did I dream how much better that experience would be on a motorcycle. Another Good Day!!

3 comments

  1. Patrick Henry says:

    Have you ever made the trip or know anything about making the trip from Albuquerque to Cruces by following the Rio Grande? On a map it looks interesting!

  2. Scott Mutch says:

    Chuck,
    I can’t tell you how many times I have made the trek from ALB to Cruces. The rout you took on this trip is a pretty good one. I have also traveled from Denver to Alamogordo by way of Vegas more times than I can count. My Grandparents lived in La Luz for almost 15 years. I have relatives in ALB, Alamo, Cruces and even in my summer home of Cloudcroft.

    I hope you enjoyed White Sands, even though it might have been a bit cold.

  3. Greg says:

    Very nice report, I really enjoyed it!!

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