To relive early Route 66 travelers’ experience of crossing mile after mile of seemingly endless, empty high desert, divert from Adventure Cycling’s route and ride New Mexico Highway 6 between Los Lunas and I-40 Exit 126.
I was just there, on an automobile-based road trip, and would have to disagree with this suggestion. On a Wednesday morning we encountered a lot of large truck traffic on NM 6. This traffic is why it was not chosen as the Bicycle Route 66 route.
“Sky City” of Acoma Pueblo is well worth the scenic 15-mile side trip south of Route 66. The pueblo, the longest continuously-inhabited community in North America (since 1150) sits atop a 357-foot-high mesa, with spectacular views overlooking a green valley circled by cliffs and mesas. A new museum and visitor center has an extensive collection of art and artifacts, as well as information about the pueblo. Tours of the pueblo (the only way visitors are permitted) are very informative. The visitors’ center has a good restaurant. Roads from I-40 Exits 96 and 108 lead to the pueblo.
On the other hand, I agree and highly recommend visiting Acoma Pueblo. It is an especially gorgeous approach from the west, took my breath away at the top of the rise. This alternate is documented on the Bicycle Route 66 Section 4 map. Remember though that photography is prohibited on the pueblo unless you have a permit.