New Mexico July 28, 2017
A Drive Down New Mexico’s Loneliest Road Will Take You Miles And Miles Away
With miles between cities, New Mexico doesn’t want for lonely roads. Take a random exit off the interstate and within minutes it seems you can be miles away from everything. But there is one road less traveled in New Mexico where passing cars are scant and the scenery flows from rolling llanos to steep plateaus – New Mexico State Road 104. This is the road trip you want you want to take when you truly want to get away from it all.
From rolling plains to steep overlooks, oft-overlooked NM 104 offers solitude and stunning views.
Traveling west out of Tucumcari, most opt for I-40, or the Mother Road, Route 66. But for those who wish to veer north and escape for a couple hours, NM 104 awaits.
Did we mention this is a lonely road? There are no services here. Be sure to have a full tank of gas and snacks for the road before you head out.
The two-hour drive along NM 104 runs for 108 miles from Tucumcari to Las Vegas, NM. Crossing parts of Quay and San Miquel Counties, there is nothing here but road.
As you head north out of Tucumcari, the city's namesake mountain grows smaller in your rear view mirror.
NM 104, though often disregarded, is a favorite route for knowing motorcyclists and geology junkies.
Coves, Canyons and Sandy Beaches await at Conchas Lake State Park.
About 30 miles west of Tucumcari, a quick turn off 104 at mile marker 75 takes you to the south section of Conchas Lake, one of the state's largest. This is a great place for hiking, birding, water recreation, or throwing in a line.
If you ever wondered where New Mexico tucked its tiny towns, you will find them along this drive.
Trementina, Trujillo, Alta Vista - unless you live there, or travel NM 104, you likely haven't heard of these tiny New Mexico villes. As you get closer to Trementina, you'll see mesas in the distance.
Even though you have never been here, some of these places look familiar because you have seen them in the movies.
The chilling coin toss scene in the movie "No Country for Old Men" was filmed at this closed-down gas station outside Trementina, near Laguna Huerfana. Scenes from the 1978 trucker classic, "Convoy," and a handful of westerns also were filmed off NM 104, closer to Vegas.
Twists and turns and awesome views await as you climb Corazon Hill.
It's up, then down again, as you draw closer to Las Vegas. At the end of your lonely drive, the ground gets flat again. But you can see the peaks of the Sangre de Cristos in the distance. They are a distant destination for another drive on another day.
Have you ever traveled this road before? What is your favorite road to travel in New Mexico? Share your photos and experiences with us! Be sure to tag us with #onlyinnewmexico on Instagram.
For more scenic drives in New Mexico, check out
9 Incredible Drives Through The Backroads Of New Mexico and 9 Prettiest Scenic Byways In New Mexico.