We used to live in Santa Fe before moving to Durango, CO a few years ago and are pretty familiar with the roads in that area. The obvious route is straight north on HWY 84/285 through Espanola, continuing north on HWY 285 to Alamosa. Left turn on HWY 160 takles you W to South Fork.
Up to Espanola it's mostly four lane but then narrows down pretty much the rest of the way to two lane. You'll find good fuel prices at some of the Indian Pueblo's between Santa Fe & Espanola but fill up as N of Espanola things get very sparse until Alamosa. You'll be traveling through the lower half of the San Luis valley. At over 100 miles N to S and 75 miles E - W it's a lot of open space. Once you make the hill north of Santa Fe it's fairly level the rest of the way but remember we're talking the Rockies here. My definition of level is different from Florida.
If you have the time you could head out of Espanola on HWY 67 to Taos then cut back to 285 via HWY 64. Nice run along the Rio Grande before Taos then spend some time checking out the plaza and pueblo. An added bonus of that route is the bridge crossing over the Rio Grande west of Taos (on 64). Instead of the earlier stretch right along the river here you're crossing a gorge 650' deep.
A completely different route would be to swing farther west. Stay on HWY 84 out of Espanola continuing to Pagosa Springs, CO then E on 160 over Wolf Creek pass. Great scenery but much more elevation change.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Barry, MSgt, USAF, Ret. & Rose
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