Overall Route Rating
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3.2 out of 5 Rider Rating 3.2
5 Reviews

Motorcycle Route Author

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By MCR Contributor (1032 McR Points) on May 22, 2011

Rider Reviews

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Guest
May 30, 2013
180 was ok. But took 12 back west and that was a…
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Dan Erhard
49 McR Points
December 10, 2020
Very nice route though New Mexico forests, but do…
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Written Directions

This route begins in extreme eastern Arizona in a little town called Alpine, AZ at the intersection of US 191 (Coronado Scenic Byway) and US 180. You will travel Southeast through the Gila National Forest, the small towns of Pleasonton and Buckhorn, the large mining and college town of Silver City and culminate in Deming, NM at I-10.

Scenery

Climb out of the alpine meadows of Apline, AZ and travel through nearly all of the habitat zones available in New Mexico. As you descend through the pine forests you notice the gradual climb in temp and by the mid-point Buckhorn, you will need to start shedding some layers. Leaving Silver City, the road flattens out onto a high desert with tall grasses and few if any trees. Plenty places to pull over for photos and include the USFS Leopold picnic area. It is a nice area with an excellent description/map of the Gila Wilderness in the distance.

Drive Enjoyment

Frost heaves took their toll on the early portion of the road in New Mexico. Watch out for areas where the asphalt seems spread apart as your tires will give quite a jerk when they track into one. Otherwise, good roads with little or any debris in the road. The drive from the AZ/NM line begins with a few twisties and transitions into sweeping curves as you descend the mountain. Watch for critters, especially cattle on the wrong side of the fence.

Tourism Opportunities

Nothing to speak of until Buckhorn, which is limited. Silver City is the best bet for major needs, otherwise, pack it on the bike.

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Guest
May 30, 2013
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
180 was ok. But took 12 back west and that was a mistake. Very boring ride across open desert.
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Dan Erhard
December 10, 2020
49 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
Very nice route though New Mexico forests, but do get gas when you can if you don't have a real big tank. Take the short side trip to Mogollon, on NM 59 if you want some really nice hairpins. The main route on 180 has that a plenty, but more of the sweeper type. Near Mogollon, the catwalk is a cool short hike through a canyon so tight the trail is all bridges. If you are into stargazing, camp at the new campground for astronomers just north of Alma. Dark skies there. Or ride into Alpine, Egar, or Show low for the night. At that point, its your perfect chance to ride the spectacular Coronado highway back to Silver City, doing the big loop. I have done the big loop in one day, but it was a too long day. In miles it looks ok, in hours a bit much.
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J.C.Whitehead
July 17, 2016
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
Once you're up in the Gila, 180 is great. Between Deming and the town of Gila, not so much. Amazing scenery up north though.
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