State Hwy 152 is the "short cut" betweeen I 25 south of Truth or Consequences and Silver City New Mexico. It passes through the Mimbre mountains.
Here you can see the 2 shortcuts past Las Cruces, NM26 from
Hatch to Deming and NM152 to NM90 from
Don't Lie or You'll pay to Lordsburg
152 really is not as much of shortcut unless you are prepared to drive at performance levels because of the multiple switchbacks and elevation changes. The highest point on the trip is about 8500ft.
Coming from the I25 side you'll exit to a stop sign and make a right. The road will be a wide 2 lane highway with plenty of shoulder area and speed limits up to 55mph for the first 15 or so miles. With long straights and nice sweeping curves you can get up to some enjoyable speeds without much concern. There are plenty of passing areas with few vehicles traveling between the two cities.
As you near the Gila National Forest the road starts to narrow and the legal speeds start to come down. The road is still fairly wide but the shoulder is narrow and the angle of departure if you happen to leave the road gets steeper and steeper.
Ok, I want you to imagine you are driving now so close your eyes as you read this part . You enter the National Forest area and the shoulders are non-exisistant and you become aware of the lack of guardrails. Through much of the way you have either a cliff on the left and a wall on the right or vice versa. The posted speed limit is 25mph and the safe speed signs recommend 10 and 15mph. You will be flying if you can average 40mph through this section.
Sat view of NM152
Click the here for greater detail
After you exit the forest area you're back into a faster section that is much like what lead you into the ride. Speeds start to pick up and the road widens a little bit. It becomes clear in a few miles you have entered a higher traffic area and this is where the Highway Patrol like to hide. Keep the speeds down all the way through Silver City.
As you approach the built up area you will see a sign for Deming. That is the wrong way! I know You will feel like going right at the Y is the wrong way but it is the way to Silver City. A few miles into Silver city you will pass the car dealerships and the you see a sign just a few feet before you need to make the left on to NM90.
Once you get on 90 according to a local resident it is only about "45 minutes" to Lordsburg. I think I did it in about 25.
There are pleanty of straights and lots of visiblity so you can air it out. Shortly after that you make it to US70, go left, and then head south about 2 miles to Lordsburg and get back on the interstate.
I call it the second best ride I have been on because of the variety and safety. In the areas where it is the most fun to drive I may have passed 20 cars. In most of the Gila National Forest area there are only a few places for you to get surprises from the side of the road.
The condition of the asphalt the whole way is really good. Very little trash on the road and I don't remember seeing any patches or pavement type changes. To make it fun and smooth there are only an few increasing radius turns and no abrupt elevation changes. This will allow for smooth transitions and decrease the need for heavy braking. I used this trip to practice on my Heel Toe technique and I was trying to use the brakes as little as possible to become better at saving my car while driving in a performance manner.
This is not a ride I recommend for a bunch of vehicles at one time. There is no cell phone access on much of the ride and I doubt Police radios work very well in much of the area as well.
Enjoy the Ride!