New Mexico State Road 7
|Carlsbad Caverns Highway|
NM 7 highlighted in red
|Maintained by NMDOT|
|Length||7.199 mi (11.586 km)|
|East end||US 62 / US 180 at Whites City|
|West end||Carlsbad Caverns National Park|
New Mexico State Road 7 (NM 7) is a 7.199-mile-long (11.586 km) paved, two-lane state highway in Eddy County in the U.S. state of New Mexico. NM 7 east terminus is in Whites City at the road's junction with U.S. Route 62 and U.S. Route 180 which run concurrently at that location. The road travels mostly west from there in a somewhat winding path leading to Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitors Center.
NM 7 starts at the intersection with US 62/US 180 in Whites City right across from Whites City Fire Department. The highway travels north-northwest through Whites City and after 0.5 miles (0.80 km) reaches the boundary of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. From there the road follows the bottom of the Walnut Canyon winding through the northeastern end of the Guadalupe Ridge mountains slowly changing direction from northern to western. Shortly after passing a 5 mile mark, the highway turns sharply south climbing up the ridge, swings east and arrives at the Visitors Center.
The original Route 7 traveled between Route 1 in Alameda through San Ysidro and Jemez to Jemez Springs as can be seen on 1918 and 1923 maps. In 1927, a section between San Ysidro and Alameda was reassigned to Route 44. In 1929 the road was redesignated as Route 4.
After the Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established in 1923 a road was built connecting it to Route 18 (modern day US 62 /US 180). This road was designated as NM 7 in June 1929 by the New Mexico State Highway Commission.
On December 9, 1981, New Mexico State Highway Commission approved the following resolution:
That State Road 7, from its intersection with U.S. 62/180 west to the eastern boundary of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a distance of 0.5 miles [800 m], is designated as Carlsbad Caverns Highway.
The entire route is in Eddy County.
|Whites City||0.000||0.000||US 62 / US 180 (National Parks Highway) – Carlsbad, El Paso, TX||Eastern terminus|
|Carlsbad Caverns National Park||7.199||11.586||Carlsbad Caverns National Park||Western terminus|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "State of New Mexico Memorial Designations & Dedications of Highways, Structures & Buildings" (PDF). New Mexico Department of Transportation. p. 34. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- "Posted Route–Legal Description" (PDF). New Mexico Department of Transportation. March 16, 2010. p. 3. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
- "Details of New Mexico State Routes 1-25". Steve Riner Highways. Retrieved October 29, 2017.[self-published source]
- "TIMS Road Segments by Posted Route/Point with AADT Info; NM, NMX-Routes" (PDF). New Mexico Department of Transportation. June 8, 2016. p. 4. Retrieved November 3, 2017.