Most of the articles I read about lonely roads include information about places to eat, sleep, and shop.
Am I wrong to think that the loneliest road in America would not have places to eat, sleep, and shop?
I enjoy finding scenic roads in America. Even though I have driven in every state, criss-crossed the country several times, and spent over a year on the road, I certainly have not visited every remote road. For instance, I have only been on the main roads in Alaska and I imagine that hundreds of Alaskan roads are lonelier than the loneliest one in the lower 48.
Anyway, the loneliest road I have been on was in the extreme southwestern corner of New Mexico.
I did not see another vehicle, person, or sign of person (house, farm) for 90 minutes of driving. A solid hour and a half of driving (at least 75 miles) before I saw another car.
Needless to say, I was off the grid. No cell service.
Recommended places to eat, stay, and shop. Yeah, good one.
The Geronimo Trail between Douglas, Arizona and the New Mexico border is likely more lonely than most of the published lonely road articles. In an hour and a half, I only saw a handful of vehicles. That was the road I drove to get to the loneliest road.
Most of the Geronimo Trail between Douglas, Arizona and the New Mexico border looks like this.
One side road from the Geronimo Trail was particularly gnarly.
I drove around the farm roads for another 30-45 minutes. The scenery was magnificent–a great valley between the Peloncillo Mountains to the west and the Animas Mountains (and the continental divide leading south to Antelope Wells) to the east. Although I did not see a person or even any farm animals for over an hour, I did see a wild pronghorn herd.
I eventually drove north on County Road C001 (highway 338) from near Cloverdale Cemetery (within a couple of miles from the Mexico border). After about 15 minutes, I saw the first vehicle in 90 minutes (a pickup truck, of course). Soon the road was paved and there were more vehicles.
My GPS marked historical sites in the area.
My original plan was to drive Guadalupe Canyon Road along the extreme southeastern edge of Arizona and into New Mexico. I pulled up to a Border Patrol car a few miles east of Douglas along Guadalupe Canyon Road to ask about the road. He told me that it is impossible to do it. Unpassable road, potential outlaws, and dangerous situations.
If you want to find this approximate route, use Google Maps and Get Directions from Douglas, AZ to Cloverdale Cemetery Animas, NM.
What is the loneliest road you have been on?
Charles McCool is an independent consumer travel advocate.
© 2011, Charles McCool