Historic Route 66 > Turn by turn > New Mexico > Westbound - La Cienega-Tijeras to Grants
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Pre 1937 alignment Post 1937 alignment

La Cienega

In 2005 there where still open routes through La Bajada Hill, but they're extremely challenging to drive today (as they where back in 1926-32). It's the most difficult stretch of road you can encounter on Route 66 today. High clearance 4x4 only. Expect unmaintained roads. Experienced high altitude drivers only. Don't even think of it in wet weather. Remember even your 4x4 is not built for the same roads as the Ford model T was built for, and the roads are not maintained for many years.
To the top of La Bajada Hill:
You will most likely have to turn back to Santa Fe:
On Cerrillos Rd, turn left onto Airport Rd. (NM-284).
Straight across onto CR-56 at the intersection with Veterans Memorial Hwy. (NM-599).
After 3.3 miles, make a sharp right onto CR-56C.
Continue straight as the road becomes a dirt road.
Continue for about 6 miles in a more or less straight SW direction (It's easiest to follow the power line, it ends at one of the two alignments near the top).
Top of the hill, turn around, head back to Santa Fe.
Or continue if you really are up to it on 28% downhill grades and rejoin the other sidetrips below.

Follow Cerrillos Rd.

Join I-25 south at exit 278.

Some sources suggest the eastern frontage road from exit 276 to the 267 exit, but reaching the soutern frontage road from the exit itself is nearly impossible, one can however use exit 271 and cross to the eastern frontage road there.

Continue on I-24 at exit 264.

Towards the bottom of La Bajada Hill on the 1926-32 alignment:
Use exit 264 (Cochiti Pueblo).
Turn right onto NM-16.
Continue northwest on NM-16 for about 3.5 miles (note: NM-16 is not Route 66, just something to get you there).
At the intersection with Indian Service Route 841:
- to the left (southwest): fenced off westbound Route 66
- to the right (northeast): eastbound Route 66
- at the intersection: marker.
Turn right onto Indian Service Route 841
After 2 miles continue straight on the dirt road, weather permitting.
The dirt road goes to the bottom of the decent of La Bajada Hill, up the hill is beyond most.
Turn back to I-25 where you feel uncomfortable, but do admire the road up (or down) the hill in front beforehand.

Continue on I-25 southbound.

Towards Domingo:
Use exit 256 (to Santa domingo Pueblo).
Turn right onto NM-22.
Continue for 4 miles on NM-22 (Note: NM-22 is not Route 66, just a way to get you there.
After the railroad overpass, turn right, follow the curve to the tracks..
At the T intersection :
- both directions: Route 66, known as BIA-88.
- Left (east) is Domingo, road dead-ends there.

Fred Thompsons' Indian Trading post: check the guestbook.

- Right (west ) is Santa Domingo Pueblo.
Continue on BIA-84 through Santa Domingo Pueblo.
Unpaved section, check road conditions, return back to the Interstate when when wet.
Continue on BIA-84 as it crosses the railroad.
Continue on BIA-84 through San Felipe Pueblo.
Continue straight onto BIA-852 at the intersection with BIA-852.
Turn right just before the Interstate.
Continue on NM313 towards Algodones.

Algodones

Use exit 248 (to Algodones).

Turn right(=northwest) onto NM-474

After 0.3 miles, turn right(=south) NM-313

Continue on NM-313 (El Camino Real, Pan American Central Hwy.) southbound

Bernalillo

Continue on NM-313 (El Camino Real, Pan American Central Hwy.) southbound

Straight across onto NM-313 (Camino Del Pueblo, Pan American Central Hwy.) at the intersection with NM-44.

Continue on NM-313 (El Camino Real, Pan American Central Hwy.) southbound

Continue across the Amafca north Diversion Channel.

Continue as NM-313 curves slightly left onto 4th St.

Cross under I-40.

Turn right (=west) onto Lomas Blvd.

(4th st is interupted further south)

Turn left (=south) onto 6th St.

Originally 4th St continued south, Some sources prefer 2nd St. instead of 6th.

Turn left (=east) onto Central Ave.

Rurn right (=south) onto 4th St.

Tijeras

Turn left at the intersection with NM-14 to stay on NM-333 near exit175.

Immediate continue on NM-333 (highway 66 by follogin the right curve.

Straight across at the intersection with NM-337.

Continue on NM-333 (Old 66, Highway 66, Route 66) as it follows I-40 to the south.

Cross under I-40 as it curves west (no access).

Carnuel

Continue west on NM333 (Highway 66).

Some sources suggest to enter I-40 at exit 170 till exit 167 and continue there on Central Ave. in Albuquerque.

Cross I-40 to the south side near exit 170.

Continue on NM-333 towards Albuquerque.

continue

Albuquerque

map

Pre 1937 alignment Post 1937 alignment

Heading south on 4th St. south of Central Blvd:

The Albuquerque Museum: 2000 Mountain Rd. NW.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: 2401 12th St. NW.

National Atomic Museum: Kirkland Air Force Base; Building 20358, Wyoming Blvd.

Turn right onto Bridge Blvd.

Cross the Rio Grande on the Barelas Bridge

Continue on Bridge Blvd for 0.3 miles.

Turn left onto Isleta Blvd. (NM-314).

Follow left onto Isleta Blvd. (NM314) at the intersection with Arenal Rd./Goff Blvd.

Pajarito

Continue south on Isleta Blvd. (NM-314).

Los Pallidas

Continue south on Isleta Blvd. (NM-314).

Cross I-25 at exit 213.

Isleta

Turn slight left (=south) onto NM-147.

Alternatively: continue on NM-314 southbound.

Cross the railroad.

Follow as NM-147 curves left.

Cross the Rio Grande.

Isleta Pueblo

Turn right (=south) onto NM-47.

Continue south on NM-47.

Bosque Farms

Continue south on Bosque Farms Blvd. (NM-47).

Los Lunas

Continue south on Main St. (NM-47).

Continue straight onto NM-6 (Main St.) at the intersection with NM-6. (leave NM-47 as it turns left).

Continue on NM-6 (Main St.) as it curves west.

Cross I-25 at exit 203.

Continue on NM-6 westbound.

Route 66 and NM-6 switched numbering in some places during the 1937 realingment, so take care with old information, as there have been substantial swithings of names.

Sandia

Cross over the railroad.

Continue on NM-6 westbound.

Rio Puerco

Continue on NM-6 westbound.

An older alignment of Route 66 is to the left of NM-6, it's undrivable however, admire from the newer road.

South Garcia

South Garcia is a bit more southeast than NM-6.

Continue on NM-6 westbound.

Suwanee

Continue on NM-6 westbound.

Correo

Quite some maps name this place Suwanee, but you're through there already.

Continue straight on NM-6 at the intersection of Highland Mdws. (Route 66) and NM-6 which curves north.

See further laft and right at this intersection for old route 66 alignments. (right is a dead-end, left is unpaved).

Continue on NM-6 for 1.8 miles.

Cross I-40.

Join I-40 westbound at exit 126.

Unpaved alternative:
In Correo, turn right onto Highland Mdws (Route 66).
Cross over the railroad.
Continue west for 4.5 miles.
Continue as the road curves right.
Continue northwest for 3.1 miles.
Cross I-40 (no access). Continue to Mesita on the norther frontage road.
Rejoin with the other alignment near exit 117

If on the Interstate, take exit 167 (Central Ave./Tramway) and turn right onto Central Ave. once to the south of I-40.

Continue straight onto Central Ave. (NM-333) at the intersection with Four Hills Rd.

Continue straight onto Central Ave (Route 66) at the intersection with Tramway Blvd. (NM-556).

La Puerta Motor Lodge on the left

Luna Lodge on the right.

Pinon Lodge on the right.

Budget 8 Inn (Lo-La-Mi Court) on the left.

Bow and Arrow Lodge (Urban Motor Court) on the left.

Route 66 Inn (El Jardin Lodge & Cafe) on the left.

Route 66 service center on the left.

La Mesa court on the right.

Tewa Motor Hotel on the right.

Desert Sands Motor Hotel on the left.

Hiland Theatre on the left.

Zia Lodge on the right.

De Anza Motor Logde on the right.

Aztec Motel on the right.

Nob hill business center on the left.

Cross I25.

Cross the Railroad.

Continue straight onto Cantral Ave at the intersection with 1st St.

Stay with Central Ave. as it bends right at the intersection with 8th St.

Route 66 auto detailing on the left.

Kimo theatre on the right.

Lindy's Coffee Shop on the left.

Skip Maisel Indian Jewelry on the left.

El Rey Theatre on the left.

Bell's trading post on the right.

Stay with Central Ave at the intersection with Lomas Blvd.

Stay with Central Ave. as it swings left.

Tower Court on the right.

Cross the Rio Grande (Old Town Bridge).

Continue on Central Ave. as it cruves right.

66 Court Motel on the left.

Westward Ho motel on the left.

Unser garage on the left.

Just before exit 149: turn left onto Paseo Del Volcan Rd.

Cross I-40 to the north.

Turn right onto the northern forntage road (Central Ave, Route 66).

Cross the old bridge.

This is a 1933 bridge, and it was saved by the New Mexico Historic Route 66 Association.

Join the interstate at exit 140.

Continue on I-40 at exit 126.

Other alignment joins here optionally.

Use exit 117 and turn right into Mesita.

continue

Mesita

Continue west on the north frontage road.

Owl rock on the right 2 miles after Mesita.

Deadman's curve: a 180 degree bend in the road to the left.

Turn right onto NM-124 (near exit 114).

To the left is Route 66 as well.

Laguna

Continue on NM-124.

Cross the railroad tracks.

Continue on NM-124.

New Laguna

Continue on NM-124.

Paraje

Continue on NM-124.

sidetrip: Acoma Pueblo, "Sky City" featuring the San Esteban Del Rey Mission is 12 miles south of I-40 on NM-23. Foresee enough time: You must use the bus and must get licenses for each of your cameras at.

Continue on NM-124.

Budville

At the Intersection with Old 66:

Pre 1937 Post 1937

Turn right on Old 66.

Continue north on Old 66 for 1 mile.

Cubero

Follow as the road curves to the left

Cubero itself its to the right here.

Continue to the west after the curve.

Continue Straight a the intersection with BIA-45.

Villa De Cubero is to the south here.

After 1.1 mile, turn left onto NM-124.

Continue straight on NM124.

Villa De Cubero

Stories have it that Ernest Hemmingway wrote here The old man and the sea.

Continue on NM-124.

continue

San Fidel

Continue on NM-124.

Cross over I-40 at exit 96 (McCartys)

Large vehicles ought to join I-40 till exit 89, due to a low underpass further ahead.

McCartys

Continue on the south frontage road (NM-124)

Follow NM-124 through the tunnel to the north side of I-40 (=right)

Turn right (=north) onto NM-117 near exit 89.

Continue onto NM-117 toward Grants..

Cross the railroad.

Grants

enter on Santa Fe Ave.

west of town, cross over the railroad (=follow)

follow NM-122