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Driving in New Mexico in December

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My husband and I are driving from Chicago to Phoenix, Az in early December. My biggest concern is driving thru New Mexico. I don't like driving mountain roads that are snowy, steep or have dropoffs, hairpin turns, etc. We are thinking of avoiding I-40from Albuquerque to Flagstaff. I know Flagstaff can have a lot of snow at that time. Considering 2 routes, Alb I-25 to Las Cruces and picking up I-10 and coming up through Tucson, Az to Phx. Or taking US 54 at Santa Rosa to Alamagordo to US 70 to Las Cruces; however I am not sure of those roads.
I know it adds time to our travels, but I want a safe road.
Any help would be very much appreciated.

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