A friend and I did a variation of a portion of the ACA Southern Tier route in Jan 2012 that might be of interest to readers of this forum. We rode from Lordsburg, NM to Silver City on Hwy 90, stayed in Silver City for several days doing day rides to the west and north, & then headed east on Hwys 180/152 over Emory Pass, the high pt of the entire Southern Tier route at 8300'. Then continued south on Hwys 187 & 185 to Las Cruces, where our trip ended (1 of us then took a bus back to our vehicle in Lordsburg from Las Cruces). We stayed in motels mostly but did camp at Percha Dam St Pk along the Rio Grande (highly recommend staying at the Black Range Lodge at the eastern base of Emory Pass).
We avoided the route from 3-Way, AZ up & over the unnamed 6300' pass (Blackjack) on the AZ/NM border b/c it had snowed there at the start of our trip.....but it looked like a beautiful route on Hwys 78/180 to Silver City when we previewed it by car beforehand).
Conditions were very favorable--50s &60s during the days, 30s & 40s at night. No snow or rain for the entire week, & just a little residual snow along the shaded spots along the highway over 7000' approaching Emory Pass....but look for icy spots on the road during the day where snow has melted then refrozen over night.
Am planning to do another trip in the region later this month Jan/Feb 2013, but as this is an El Nino winter it's been colder & wetter in the SW, so may have to stay low and cycle-tour in the Deming, NM area....we'll see.