Must-see places/routes/things in South of South West

Discussion in 'Americas' started by wanderind, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. wanderind

    wanderind kailasv.com

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Hornet's Nest
    I am planning a cross-country trip from California to East this December. The default zone on which I plan to travel is through the Desert South of California, Arizona and New Mexico. Areas South of Phoenix in general. If weather is warmer, I may venture a bit north but will never go north of I-40.

    asdad.PNG

    This is the rough zone I want to see and explore. Apart from Coastal California, What are some of the nicest routes in this region? Quirky, interesting towns are good too. If there are special, relatively less known places to visit, I would love to know them. Interesting motels, eateries, hostels? Never-miss, must-see things? Would appreciate any suggestion

    I eventually will end up in North Carolina but would like to spend more time in the relatively warm southern deserts.

    Thank you in advance!
    #1
  2. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,968
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    If you want remote paved roads, old route 66 would be interesting. Near Yucca Valley, Pappy and Harriets in an interesting restaurant. Then there is Joshua Tree National Park and the nearby city of Joshua Tree (some like it, others don't). Then take Amboy Rd to Amboy for a photo at Roy's. Old route 66 is closed just east of there last I checked but the ride to Kelso (old train depot with Mojave Nat'l Preserve info) and Cima is interesting. Check out Nipton - a few buildings that are supposed to be turned into some kind of marijuana recreation site. Ride to the Colorado River, cross and catch old route 66 to Oatman, AZ which has some really fun riding.
    #2
    wanderind and ArrinD like this.
  3. ArrinD

    ArrinD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Atascadero
    +1 for Old Route 66.
    #3
    wanderind and wilsonjw42 like this.
  4. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,786
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    In Benson,AZ we like Mi Casa and Pablo's Steakhouse (I eat Mexican both places) and on I-40 in Weatherford, OK we like Lucille's food and RT66 flavor too. I'm not that hung up on RT66 as it's during my time so nostalgia not history to me. Reminds me of burning up in the back seat, headed west in cars with no A/C!
    On paved roads do the ones between the border and I-10 in that SE corner of AZ. Couple of good highways in SW corner of NM. The elevation matters more in cold there but does get cold at night either way. In NM the lowest elevation in the entire state is like 2,800 ft so most of it gets cold in Dec.!
    Big Bend in Texas for riding and weather.
    Say what riding you like and you'll hear more here...
    #4
    wanderind likes this.
  5. wanderind

    wanderind kailasv.com

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Hornet's Nest
    Thanks jonz, ArrinD, kantuckid!

    I have vstrom and ride mostly on paved roads but wont mind a few gravel sections. I ride to explore places and regions. I try to get a whiff of the local towns and culture as I go through them. I make photographs of landscapes. I am highly observant about geography and weather related subjects. So those are my interests

    If I can find a good way to wrap myself up for wintry weather I may explore more areas in New Mexico (which is probably my favorite state). But I will see how comfortable I get when I am there.


    #5
  6. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,786
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Anywhere near I-40 can be sub zero temps! in Dec. Touristy but still interesting-go to Tombstone,AZ & Yuma, AZ. Try the popular Mexican food in Yuma-"where the Marines go eat"!
    The Sonoran desert park loop is worth a look see as is Katchener Caverns SP.
    White Sands in NM.
    #6
    wanderind likes this.
  7. wanderind

    wanderind kailasv.com

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Hornet's Nest
    Thanks Kantuckid.

    What are some good non-interstate routes between S.California and S. New Mexico ?
    #7
  8. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,656
    Location:
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    Here's a few things:
    A lot of good riding in So Cal, but you probably already know that.
    Kitt Peak observatory southwest of Tucson.
    Gila NP north of Silver City, NM and some good twistys over towards I25.
    Showlow, AZ down through Globe to Phoenix. Or from Globe up towards Pason.
    89A from Flagstaff to Prescott.

    From my wanderings, it seems like a lot of the east west routes are the interstates and the more interesting ones run north-south. Could just be me.....
    #8
  9. pranajerni

    pranajerni Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    164
    world class desert museum close to west saguaro national park just outside[west] of tuscon. great little $10 campground close by. all very close to a little elevation that people from tuscon drive to watch the sunset from.
    #9
    kantuckid likes this.
  10. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,968
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Keep going west on 89 from Presoctt. Really fun road
    #10
  11. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,656
    Location:
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    Oh yeah. That, too.
    #11
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,786
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    On any good AZ road map find Roosevelt Lake-the road, 188 I think?, that runs from Jakes Corner past the lake is very scenic. One half is paved, the other well maintained dirt that can be ridden on any MC. Takes several hours to do it. The area below PHX & nearer Tuscon can easily take most all of your time to play .
    I'm the wrong person to ask for the S CA to S NM non interstate routes. Walmart Rand-McNally knows that answer?
    I've never lived in CA or NM and always was going cross country on those east /west routes-in a car.
    #12
  13. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,092
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Be sure to incorporate the section of US 191 between Alpine AZ and Clifton AZ into your trip. A good way to get there is US 60 and NM 12, US 180 across New Mexico. This is a little north of your route and involves mountains which could be cold in the winter.
    #13
  14. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,682
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    And there is also the Pima Air and Space Museum, outside of Tucson:
    http://www.pimaair.org/
    #14
  15. wanderind

    wanderind kailasv.com

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Hornet's Nest
    Woow! Thank you guys ! advrider is goldmine

    I am hoping for some sunny weather (even if cold) and non-icy roads. Are roads in NM gonna be icy?
    #15
  16. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,786
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    On the morning hike the day after it was 29Degs at night in Patagonia SP we were in T-shirts. It can get very windy in SE AZ. Sun is a for sure. You will be there the perfect time of year when AZ folks come out of doors.
    Last year winter hiking @ White Sands in NM it was warm & pleasant too.
    #16
  17. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,092
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Roads will be icy for about a day after a snowstorm in both the desert and mountains. Shady spots on north-facing slopes will be the worst.
    #17
  18. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,646
    Location:
    West Texas/Rico
    Mexico would be more fun. Just sayin'.
    #18
    severely likes this.
  19. black 8

    black 8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    856
    Location:
    33.2295 -117.3711
    Untitled.jpg

    A few links for you:

    Salton Sea
    Salvation Mountain
    Julian & Pie

    The SR-78 is a nice ride into San Diego with places to stop and explore instead of doing the slab... I also recommend riding the Pacific Coast Highway along the beach from Oceanside to downtown San Diego.

    For a virtual tour of San Diego - here are my day trips in and around San Diego: Here
    #19