NMTS Guide to Biking Route 66 in New Mexico
- Overview -

The Adventure Cycling Association announced late in 2010 that their next cross country bicycle route will be following the historic Route 66 between LA and Chicago.  Adventure Cycling has designated the New Mexico Touring Society (NMTS) as the local point of contact for the project.  

Here is an article from the Winter 2011 issue of New Mexico Bicyclist on Adventure Cycling's plans:

Proposed Route Segments (Described from West to East)

Segment 1: Arizona border to Gallup (including Gallup).  The route follows NM 118. 22 miles.

Segment 2: Gallup to Grants (scenic route).  The route follows NM 602 and NM 53. Includes Zuni and Ramah Navajo Indian Reservations, El Morro and El Malpais National Monuments. 97 miles.

Segment 3: Grants to the intersection of NM 6 and I-40.  The route follows NM 117, NM 124 and the shoulder of I-40. Communities include Acoma and Laguna Indian reservations. 46 miles.

Segment 4: Intersection of NM 6 and I-40 to Tijeras. The route follows I-40 (shoulder), local streets in Albuquerque and NM 333. 53 miles.

Segment 5: Tijeras to Santa Fe (including Santa Fe). The route follows NM 14 and local streets in Santa Fe. Communities include Tijeras, Madrid and Santa Fe. 56 miles.

Segment 6: Santa Fe to the intersection of I-25 and US 84. The route follows I-25 service roads, I-25 (Glorieta Pass) NM 50 and NM 63. Communities include Pecos.  Also includes Glorieta Battlefield and Pecos National Historical Park. 63 miles.

Segment 7: Intersection of I-25 and US 84 to the intersection of I-40 and US 84.  The route follows US 84. 42 miles.

Segment 8: Intersection of I-40 and US 84 to the Texas border. The route follows I-40 (shoulder) and I-40 service roads.  Communities include Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. 123 miles.

Alternate 1: Gallup to Grants (express route).  The route follows NM 118, I-40, County 27 (to Thoreau) and NM 122. 66 miles. Alternate 1 is 30 miles shorter but requires riding on I-40 where the shoulder is in very poor condition.

Alternate 2: Tijeras to the intersection of I-40 and US 84 (express route).  The route follows NM 333 and the shoulder of I-40. Communities include Edgewood, Moriarty and Clines Corners. 100 miles. Alternate 2 is shorter but is mostly on the shoulder of I-40.  This shoulder is in very good condition.

Alternate 3: This adds 14 miles and takes you to Sky City in the Acoma Pueblo.

Spur 1: Los Lunas to Albuquerque.  The route follows NM 314.  Communities include Isleta Pueblo and Los Lunas.  If the road surface of NM 6 improves, this may become an alternate route since it follows the pre 1937 US 66. 23 miles.

Spur 2: Intersection of I-25 and US 84 to Las Vegas. The route follows the I-25 service road and local streets in Las Vegas.  Communities include Las Vegas (services). 6 miles.


Adventure Cycling Announces New Route


    The Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) announced that its next long-distance cycling route will be Bicycle Route 66. Embracing the spirit of "The Mother Road," the new route will follow the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cyclists and, when possible, on sections of the historic highway.  This new route will cover over 400 miles of roads in New Mexico including the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  This is the third ACA route to cross New Mexico.

    Established 84 years ago in November 1926, Route 66 was one of the original U.S. highways, ferrying travelers between Chicago and Los Angeles along the 2,451-mile roadway. The route traversed Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, connecting major cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Los Angeles. "The Mother Road" also flowed through small communities, which blossomed in the wake of the steady stream of travelers.

    Small towns will be an important feature of Bicycle Route 66, and are favorite attractions for touring cyclists who look to get off the beaten path and make connections with locals during their journeys.

    Bicycle Route 66 will take in the historic highway's iconic urban hubs, such as Chicago and St. Louis, marking the first time that Adventure Cycling's routes, which generally keep cyclists on the outskirts of large urban areas, will mesh with the goals of the official U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), which aims to connect rural and urban areas, from countryside to suburbs to city center. This will also be the first time that an Adventure Cycling route and an official U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR 66) will be developed in tandem.

    Preliminary development of Bicycle Route 66 will begin this winter, with the publication of maps expected in about 3 to 4 years.  Once complete, Bicycle Route 66 will bring Adventure Cycling's Route Network to over 43,000 miles.

For comments or suggestions, email Chris Marsh at chris@candjmarsh.com. The New Mexico Touring Society takes no responsibility for any problems resulting from following the information posted on this website.