New Mexico highway ranked the ‘most feared’ road trip

According to a QuestionPro survey commissioned by Gunther Mitsubishi of 3,000 regular road-trippers, New Mexico’s U.S. Route 285, which spans from Denver, Colorado, down to Sanderson, Texas, was ranked the most feared road trip.

Z News Service reported, “The most feared route among American roadtrippers is along US Route 285 in New Mexico. This stretch of road traverses vast areas with limited access to services and amenities. Its remoteness means that breakdowns could leave travelers stranded for extended periods before help arrives.”

Map of U.S. Route 285 going through New Mexico. Screenshot via Wikimedia Commons.

“The route often passes through arid desert regions, where extreme temperatures can take a toll on both vehicles and individuals. Moreover, the highway stretches across long distances between towns and gas stations, increasing the risk of running out of fuel or encountering mechanical issues without immediate assistance.”

Gunther Mitsubishi added, “US Route 285 – The stretch between Vaughn and Roswell can be desolate, with long distances between towns and limited services available.” 

Route 285 is followed by California’s Death Valley Road (S.R.-190), Texas’ U.S. Route 90, Hawaii’s Saddle Road (Hawaii Route 200), Nevada’s U.S. Route 50 (Loneliest Road in America), Kentucky’s Mountain Parkway (K.Y.-9002), and South Dakota’s U.S. Route 14A (Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway).

Jamie Street via Unsplash.

“Road trips are a cherished American tradition. The freedom of the open road, discovering new destinations, and sharing laughter with loved ones make road trips truly exhilarating experiences. However, amidst the excitement, it is crucial to recognize the importance of being prepared for any unforeseen circumstances,” said Gunther Mitsubishi’s Joseph Gunther IV. 

He added, “While breakdowns may be rare, they can dampen the spirit of the journey if not properly anticipated. So, embrace the thrill of the road trip, but remember, the best adventures are built on a foundation of preparedness, enabling you to tackle any challenges and keep the joy of the journey alive.”

The survey was conducted in Junee 2023 with a sample of 3,000. See the full list of the 50 most feared road trips here.


30 thoughts on “New Mexico highway ranked the ‘most feared’ road trip”

  1. Driving US Route 285 in NM does not bother me.
    With one exception, if I had to drive it in an EV (electric vehicle) I would be scared to death.
    MLG can stick her EV plans for NM!

    1. It’s 110 miles from Alamosa, CO to Hernandez, NM on Hwy 285. There are charging stations in Alamosa & Hernandez. My EV has 320 mile range. I would not hesitate to make that trip. Would definitely be prepared, however.

    2. Watch out for Elk at night driving in southern Colorado / Northern New Mexico. Do not speed at night because Elk pop up so fast you don’t have time to react if you are speeding. Very dangerous.

      1. The elk are much heavier than a deer and harder to kill. Also watch out for the new groups of thieves traveling on this stretch of road even during the day. They will steal your car and dump you in the desert. In the heat your cellphone battery discharges twice as fast as usual. Be careful out there. Make sure someone knows you are traveling that stretch of road, make sure you have left them with the make and model and license plate on your car. Phone them when you start that route and again when you reach either civilization or a UFO.

  2. Another road is the one between Carrozozo and San Antonio. Although a beautiful drive it can be dangerous. Driving these N.M. roads in the heat of summer can take a toll on a vehicle. Would not want to drive them in an EV for fear of overheating and the car catching fire.

  3. In NM one always needs to be prepared. I never go anywhere of any distance without water, food, some tools and protection. I actually enjoy being in the middle of nowhere. Too many people today are totally unprepared for anything. Such is our soft, woke and social media obsessed culture.

    1. Woke? What does awareness of systemic racism (the only correct definition of the term) have to do with driving distances without available services?

      1. Let’s see how your marvelous awareness of “systemic racism” works for you when your EV runs out of juice in Ramon, NM. Best avoid it I’d say.

      2. Being “woke” means you believe in the stupid idea of whatever “systemic racism” means. There is no such thing. Being woke means being so unaware of the real world you are most often soft, unprepared and weak. Do not depend on my help if you are broke down. I will not waste my time on an un-American socialist.

    2. And how exactly do you define “woke”? Your definition must be different from mine as I like to consider myself a woke white person. At least I try to be.

  4. 285 enters new mexico in northern corrupt counties, the state police
    are corrupt and susana martinez and michelle grisham have weaponized them. You are not always going to get protection from
    them but predation. In middle of new mexico , services are few and far betwen, have a second mode of transportation, e.g. bicycle, electric bicycle, motorcycle, all terrain vehicle. Something that will
    get you a hundred miles without having to walk. In the winter you may consider a snowmobile or snow shoes. Not rare for snow to drift and close stretches of the highway for 200 miles.

  5. Baloney. A gorgeous, although challenging drive. Always exhilarating, always calls for the best from driver and vehicle.

    1. I agree….I was born in bernallio county…now I live in Roswell..I’ve made the trip between the two more times than I can count…I’ve even walked it…common sense is to be prepared if you are you’ve got nothing to worry about..just be sure you’re vehicle is running decent….AND DONT TRY IT IN AN EV!….

  6. That’s actually my favorite route. Less traffic, few twists and turns, just smooth cruising.
    I guess it’d be different if you break down on it though. Everyone should at least be trained and prepared for resolving tire issues.

  7. Love that road. Very light traffic over long distances. Easy route into Denver without taking I-25. You should have a good vehicle, though. Take water and food in case of breakdown, but you are not out in the outback!

  8. Saddle Road use to be terrible but has been replaced with a new road which might be the best road on the island now. It’s also very cool can seem like another world at times.

  9. I just drove 285 between Santa Fe/Lamy and Encino- besides Clines Corners, there’s really no rest areas, not even any roadside pull-off places. Why so cruel, NMDOT?

  10. I have elderly parents in Bosque Farms and have to drive 285 all the time, since i moved to Roswell in 2004. The last few years i have had to drive it more often and alone due to my dads failing health. I never drive it at night for fear of breaking down and no place to get help. Also there is a dead zone for cell phone service from around 40 miles out of Roswell until you get to Vaughn. I just always pray my car is okay and i’ll make it okay.

    1. If you can get a satellite phone, you won’t have dead spots for coverage. Just use it only in emergencies. The price has come down a lot on them. Top off all fluids in the car and carry extra, just in case, and make sure you have hydration for your trip, you should be good. I always carry an emergency kit in my car, extra water for my dogs and myself, and a fire extinguisher for cars, just in case. The latter is always in the car, even for short road trips. A solar battery pack can keep you from running out of charge on your cell phone or satellite phone if you do get stranded.

  11. 285 from Carlsbad south is to be avoided! Head on collisions have taken lives. Potholes contribute to the dangers. Truck drivers without licenses or training are yet another danger. It only gets worse with more details.

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