US 60 in New Mexico


US 60
Get started Red Hill
End texico
Length 398 mi
Length 640 km


Socorro – Las Nutrias:

mountain air


Fort Sumner




US 60 is a US Highway in the US state of New Mexico. The road forms a long east-west route through the center of the state, from the Arizona border through Socorro and Clovis to the Texas border. The road is about 640 kilometers long.

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Travel directions

US 60 at Socorro.

West of Red Hill, US 60 enters Arizona from Phoenix State of New Mexicoinside, in the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of about 2300 meters. The road then begins on a lonely 225-kilometer route to Socorro, through various ridges of the Rocky Mountains. There are a number of villages on the road, but no other important roads are crossed. Pie Town crosses the Continental Divide, the watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Then you pass through a large valley where the Very Large Array radio telescope is located, the largest in the world. These are large radio dishes located within 36 kilometers of each other. These telescopes can be moved on rails, and one of the branches crosses the US 60. You then descend to the town of Socorro. Socorro has 9,000 inhabitants, but is one of the largest towns along Interstate 25between Las Cruces and Albuquerque. The road then merges with I-25 for about 25 miles to the north, along the Rio Grande.

At the village of Bernardo, US 60 turns east again, and I-25 continues north to Albuquerque. The road then rises to a higher plateau, running east for about 175 kilometers before encountering a larger village, Vaughn. Just before Vaughn, US 285 is already merging from Santa Fe for a short double numbering. At Vaughn, one also crosses US 54, the main road from Alamogordo to Santa Rosa. After Vaughn, the road begins on a 180-kilometer route to the next larger town, Clovis. After about 90 kilometers, at Fort Sumner the US 84. joinsfrom Santa Rosa for double numbering for the rest of the route in New Mexico. The road leads here over desolate steppes. One crosses the Pecos River, one of the larger tributaries of the Rio Grande. The road descends slowly here, and further east the desert turns into an irrigated agricultural area. You then reach Clovis, with 42,000 inhabitants the largest town on the route, and also one of the larger cities in New Mexico. The US 70 from Roswell inserts here, creating a double numbering of US 60, US 70 and US 84. In Texico, on the Texas border, the roads split again, US 60 in Texas continues to Amarillo, and US 70 in Texas and US 84 in Texasgo to Lubbock.

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US 60 on the continental divide.

US 60 was created in 1926, although the route was not yet through the west of the country. In 1932 the route was extended from Amarillo, Texas to San Bernardino, California. The route of US 60 in New Mexico has not changed since, although part of the route was replaced by Interstate 25 for about 40 kilometers. The US 60 runs here a bit north-south. The US 60 leads through a lonely area, only eastern New Mexico is more densely populated around the city of Clovis, here the route is also a divided highway.

After the extension of US 60 through New Mexico, in 1935 mainly the eastern part was paved, at the time from Fort Sumner to the Texas border, as well as a shorter part between Magdalena and Socorro. By 1938, the section between Vaughn and Fort Sumner had also been paved. To the west, work was also carried out on extending the asphalted parts, namely around Willard and west of Magdalena. By 1940, US 60 was completely paved between Datil and the Texas border. The western section across the Continental Divide was delayed by World War II and was paved in the late 1940s.

Only a small portion of US 60 has been widened into a 2×2 divided highway, as early as the 1960s around Clovis in eastern New Mexico, and around 2005 the section coinciding with US 285 between Encino and Vaughn followed.

US 60 has never been expanded like many other US Highways in eastern New Mexico due to its low population density. The parallel I-40 handles through east-west traffic and there are hardly any larger towns on the route, only Clovis is a somewhat larger city and is a short distance from the Texas border.

Traffic intensities

US 60 at Vaughn.

Due to the remoteness of most areas through which US 60 passes, the road is very quiet, even through traffic is very limited. The section from the border with Arizona to Socorro mainly has 700 vehicles per day, which is slightly higher for Socorro. The double numbering with the I-25 has 11,000 vehicles, and east of the I-25 700 to 1200 vehicles drive per day. The double numbering with US 285 has 3300 vehicles, but east of Vaughn only 600 vehicles drive per day. When US 84 merges, this increases a bit, about 3,000 vehicles to Clovis, and 12,000 between Clovis and the Texas border.

US 60 in New Mexico