Which way to Santa Fe?
January 19, 2012 10:03 AM   Subscribe

DrivingFilter - I will be going on a short road trip from Salt Lake City to Santa Fe via Moab. Which highways road will be the safest and most scenic.

My wife and I are planning a quick trip where we will be flying into SLC and then driving down to Santa Fe. According to the google maps there are two main ways to get there - 84E or 491S/550S. Link!
Which way/road are 1) the safest to travel in terms of weather, closures, etc. 2) Which is the most scenic/most amenities. We will most likely be travelling them during the afternoon. I am from the northeast so snow/ice doesnt necessarily concern me.
posted by burlsube to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Most of the time either road will be clear, but if you hit a storm neither road is going to be any fun at all. They are almost all high elevation the whole length and you can go a long way between towns. The towns will also be small and no garuntee the gas station (sometimes there will only be one or none in the smallest)will be open past normal business hours (or open at all during a storm). This is a long trip BTW. This past summer, in good weather it took me 12 hours to get from Salt Lake City to Albuquerque (only an hour south of Santa Fe). The good news is if you do get into trouble some helpful rancher/farmer/hunter will be along shortly to help you out most likely. I like taking the smallest road (usually the one with the most numbers in its designation) as you see more of the country, you have less traffic and you see the towns your do go through, not the kitschy, corporate america you see on the interstates. It is a great trip in either highway.
posted by bartonlong at 11:11 AM on January 19, 2012

Having just moved to Los Alamos, NM I can't answer your questions but I can offer this:

New Mexico Road Conditions.
posted by inviolable at 11:58 AM on January 19, 2012

491 through shiprock. more scenic, faster roads, less snow.
posted by H. Roark at 12:14 PM on January 19, 2012

Having almost run out of gas 3 times in one day between moab and slc (yeah, we were lost and there was a lot of human error involved) the only advice I can give you is to get gas every time you see a gas station. They are SO much farther apart than I could ever have imagined.
posted by juliapangolin at 12:43 PM on January 19, 2012

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