There are two main routings of Route 66 thru the state. The older one was used until 1937 incorporating Santa Fe while following old trails, before turning south to Los Lunas from where it went further westbound (today's NM6). There were no direct crossings of the Rios Grande and Puerco, so the later straight highway from Albuquerque to Laguna was not possible until those bridges were built in 1937/1938. The Santa Fe loop was decommissioned in 1937 when the direct highway thru Moriarty took over.
Most of the 1926 alignment is still in existence if not overlayed by interstates or later Federal Highways like US84/85. Unfortunately the most interestings remains are on private or Indian land and not accessible. Please respect all those "No Trespassing" signs for preservation and confirm to Indian law.
The most beautiful sections of US66 can be found between East of Santa Rosa and on the Santa Fe / Los Lunas loops.
You can take a virtual travel through New Mexico using the following NM atlas links :
|Glenrio to Santa Rosa|
|Santa Rosa to Albuquerque (pre 1937 alignment)|
|Albuquerque to Mesita (pre 1938 alignment)|
|Santa Rosa to Mesita (later alignment)|
|Mesita to Arizona stateline|
new arrangement: 08/15/2009
lot of corrections: 12/27/2011 - whole NM section will be revised during the next weeks - stay alert