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Old 03-04-2015, 10:51 AM   #1
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CARLSBAD NM to Las Cruces AVOIDING EL PASO

I guess the title says it all here. After reading many posts on the subject and my own experience,
i REALLY don't want to drive through El Paso with a 30' Excella behind me!
The only other route that looks possible is up 285 to 82 west through Lincoln Nat. Forest, then down 70 to Las Cruces.
Has anyone tried this (we will be there in April)?

PS- This is my first post.

* Interesting side note: when I put this in Google Maps, I got a warning that basically said 'I wouldn't go that way if it were me ...'
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:07 AM   #2
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If you're nervous then just go through Alamogordo.

We've been from Carlsbad NM to Alamogordo, NM through the Lincoln National Forest. There are some mountains. Watch out for ELK if you go dusk/dawn.

Going Alamogordo might give you the option to stop at White Sands National Monument! (We went Fall 2014 and loved it!)
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:12 AM   #3
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82 headed west is a long incline up to Cloudcroft. That will be no problem for you. From there down into Alamogordo is rather steep and curvy. Plenty doable just want to make sure you are comfortable with that.

Edit - Cloudcroft is a cool little town to stop and stretch the legs. It is at almost 9,000' (be sure to check the weather for snow) while Alamogordo is close to 4,000'
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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Thanks - no worries about curves and hills, just was a little puzzled by the warning. i usually get on Streets and Trips to do any serious route planning.

I figure April will be good weather - and yes, elk seem to just stand there, don't they?

Will look into the Alamagordo route as well.

Thanks again
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mrfrank9 View Post
Will look into the Alamagordo route as well.
Got it.. google was warning you about 82 and Cloudcroft. I thought the warning was for El Paso. hah.

The route you mention takes you through Alamagordo and right by White Sands. No camping in White Sands but it is worth it to drive through for an hour or two. Taking the trailer is no problem.

The last bit into Las Cruces is up and over a mountain range, but it is nothing crazy. The El Paso route would bypass both of those climbs and descents.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:03 PM   #6
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There is a loop road 375 around downtown El Paso that avoids most of the traffic, but not as scenic as route 82.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:16 PM   #7
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Have been thru El Paso many times towing and didn't think it was any big deal and it's definitely the most direct route. Another possibility would be to take 285 to Roswell and 70 over to 54. This is a nice drive and goes thru Ruidoso. A bit longer but it avoids the curves/grade out of Cloudcroft on 82.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:32 PM   #8
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CARLSBAD NM to Las Cruces AVOIDING EL PASO

El Paso has a lot of freeway construction going on right on, freeway closures at night mainly.
Other than that if you're driving thru ELP during the day you shouldn't have any issues.
Loop 375 bypassing the majority of town is a good idea also.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:34 PM   #9
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Elk, deer, antelope, any ungulate, do not just stand there. They lack intelligence and decent eyesight. They have good hearing, especially mule deer, and can detect odors but what they see are large lumps of predator. Wolves, bears, coyotes and humans they can detect, sort of. Cars and trucks are completely alien to them—they can't smell them and they move too fast for their experience.

Their defense is to hide in the trees and bushes and run fast. They spook easily and may run straight in to your vehicle or in front of it. If you see one, there are always more—they are herd animals. Slow down and then slow down more and watch the side of the road. The worst time, even worse than dawn and dusk, is during mating season in the fall. Like humans, when they are ready to mate, their intelligence is further compromised and they do really dumb things. The bucks are the worst and if you want a 70 lb. rack in your windshield, ignore all of this post.

We have lived in elk and mule deer country for decades and know plenty of people who have hit or more likely, been hit by deer. We have escaped that fate so far.

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Old 03-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #10
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I agree with mojo (above) about using the 375 by-pass from I-10 north just east of El Paso...it's easy, good four-lane highway, and you completely avoid going through the middle of El Paso, picking up I10 on the north side. I do not like towing through El Paso either.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:18 PM   #11
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We just did the route through Cloudcroft to Alamogrodo. Not a problem at all! We stayed 3 nights at Oliver Lee State campground just south of Alamogrodo, great campground and you can explore White Sands and the space museum from there.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:27 PM   #12
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Gene,

Great tips! I guess I meant when they are trying to figure out what you are; you are the one who's got to take evasive action.

Almost nailed a very large deer on I-29 at night in heavy traffic - saw all the other cars in the ditch before I could see what was going on. No loss of respect there.

Mojo - the trip on 375 looks doable; have been to Roswell and planning on the I-40 route back east from CA.

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:39 AM   #13
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As a native of SE NM I thought I would put in my 2cents.

Carlsbad, Roswell, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo. Excellent route scenic in many places, in the summer great fruit and nut stands along the route, not too steep. This route will add about an hour to your trip if you don't stop along the way. (e.g. Horse racing in Ruidoso, Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Apache Indian reservation, pistachio's south of Tularosa, NM....)

Cloudcroft trip is beautiful but the roads are much more narrow and windy and not as many interesting things to see.

BTW if in carlsbad, when you go to the Carlsbad Caverns also go to the Living Desert Zoo, I havent been there in 10 years but it use to be a great little garden/animal museum. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/spd/liv...statepark.html
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:42 AM   #14
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My father used to take the back road between Alamogordo and Carlsbad regularly with his 1991 34' Classic (now mine). My uncle lived in Carlsbad, then moved to Cloudcroft, and my parents visited regularly. Dad's only comment was that it was a long pull up the hill from Alamogordo, and parking at my uncle's place was challenging.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by amaier7771 View Post
We just did the route through Cloudcroft to Alamogrodo. Not a problem at all! We stayed 3 nights at Oliver Lee State campground just south of Alamogrodo, great campground and you can explore White Sands and the space museum from there.
I second the recommendation on this State Park - great little campground, and White Sands and the Museum are definitely worth a day layover.
I would recommend one of the ranger guided tours in White Sands or the Dune Nature Trail.
Dune Life Nature Trail - White Sands National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
Oliver Lee Memorial State Park New Mexico
New Mexico Museum of Space History » Alamogordo, New Mexico » Celebrating the significant role the state of New Mexico has played in the development of the U.S. Space Program
And if your are into this sort of thing, we spent 1/2 day here a couple of summers ago while spending a couple of nights in Oliver Lee SP
Three Rivers Petroglyph Site
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:39 PM   #16
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Carlsbad to Las Cruces

Once you hit Cloudcroft you have approximately a 16 mile down hill, steep grade. There are actually 2 runaway truck ramps on 82. It is doable but nerve racking.
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:52 PM   #17
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Been thru Cloudcroft many times , with and without the trailer , Great road , good scenery .
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Old 03-05-2015, 01:41 PM   #18
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I used to go north to Artesia and then west through Alamogordo or even further north to Roswell and then back down through Ruidoso to Alamogordo to Las Cruces.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:11 AM   #19
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As luck would have it, I'm making my 'things to do' list. These all sound like great stops we are staying at least three days between the two sites, so its nice to get the local perspective.

I will be sure to post as we travel.

SilverPalace - just got new brakes and tires this year, so won't be too bad.

We drove the w.va turnpike many times as a kid before they finished I-77 . Dad drove, but we ALL had white knuckles!
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:11 AM   #20
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I haven't been down that way in years, but somewhere on I-25, perhaps near White Sands, we came to a Border Patrol station where we had to stop. This was before 9/11 and the guy asked us where we were born and that was about it. Since 9/11, our experience at the Canadian border has been the US border guards get nastier and nastier. There are a lot of recent hires who have been taught to be rude and that everyone is a potential criminal. One time they wanted to see if we had anybody hiding the trailer, though usually they are looking for fruit. Fruit is not a problem within the country though. I have read of small towns near the border surrounded with Border Patrol stations where the guards hassle the locals time after time even after they recognize them. Sounds like a police state there.

Since then, we have stayed 100 or more miles north of the Mexican border to keep away from hassles and delays. What have others experienced in that 100 mile band north of the border?

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