Northern New Mexico Classic Cycling Tour
Dates: (10 days, 9 nights; Fri-Sun)
Assembly Point: Albuquerque
|Tour Cost: $3,460
(includes all lodging, breakfasts and dinners, support van, transfers, leaders, tour maps & narratives)
In our earliest years, as we searched for new biking trips beyond the borders of Colorado, we headed to northern New Mexico to see what the Enchanted Circle around Taos was all about. It would be fair to say that we liked what we saw—the Enchanted Circle, Taos, Red River, Santa Fe and Bandelier Monument have been a part of our cycling tours for the past 27 years. Many years later, in the context of Chasing the Great Divide, as we traced the Continental Divide from Lordsburg through the entire length of New Mexico into Colorado (and ultimately on to Jasper, AB), we were embarrassed by all that we have overlooked for so long. Without a doubt, we learned that there is so much more to New Mexico than Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
In the season ahead, we’ll again share our discoveries in the context of the Northern New Mexico Classic. We’ll continue to embrace the Enchanted Circle, but we’ll explore well beyond as we ride the San Luis Valley northward into Colorado, visit Great Sand Dunes National Park and then challenge the mighty Southern San Juans that guard the approach to Chama. Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, Bandelier and Jemez Springs are only a part of the excitement that we’ll experience on our return to Albuquerque.
Northern New Mexico Classic Cycling Tour assembles in Albuquerque, and we’ll climb the Sandia Crest on Day 1 as we ride the Turquoise Trail through historic Madrid to Santa Fe. Following an overnight at Garrett’s Desert Inn adjacent to the plaza in Santa Fe, we’ll ride the backroads through the Nambe and Tesuque Pueblos to Chimayo, where we’ll visit the mystical Santuario and sample some of Leona’s freshly-fired tortillas. And then it’s on to the challenge of the High Road as we climb to Truchas, gateway to the Carson National Forest. Ojo Sarco, Las Trampas, Chamisal, Penasco—these are the villages that we’ll visit along the High Road—they are the essence of northern New Mexico. We’ll spend the evening in Taos at the Sagebrush Inn with its welcome pool and hot tub and incredible northern New Mexican cuisine.
Early morning of Day 3, we’ll ride beautiful Taos Canyon as it climbs gently along Taos Creek to the crest of Palo Flechado Pass (9,101') and then descend into the ethereal Merino Valley for a visit to the DAV Vietnam War Memorial at Angel Fire. It’s then up and over Bobcat Pass (9,820') on the way to Red River for the evening at The River's Edge and a delicious western meal at Texas Red’s.
We’ll leave Red River early morning of Day 4 and trace the downhill course of the river as it plunges toward its confluence with the Rio Grande. We’ll turn north from Questa and ride the beautiful San Luis Valley into Colorado and an overnight in Great Sand Dunes National Park at the Sand Dunes Lodge. As you may have guessed, we can’t leave the Dunes until we have “played” in the sand, if you consider climbing 700-foot High Dune “playing”. We’ll climb the dune before breakfast on Day 5, eat that well deserved breakfast, and then ride the short distance through the valley to Alamosa.
Day 6, we’ll climb from the valley into the heart of the Southern San Juans. We’ll crest at La Manga Pass (10,230') and then again atop beautiful Cumbres (10,022') before descending into Chama, where we’ll spend the evening at the Branding Iron. We’re headed to Georgia O’Keefe country on Day 7 as we descend along the Rio Chama to Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu, where we’ll overnight. On Day 8, we’ll return briefly to the Rio Grande Valley and then climb to Los Alamos and a visit to the renowned Bradbury Science Museum.
The brooding Jemez Mountains dominate the skyline to the west as we ride to Bandelier National Monument early morning of Day 9. We’ll tour the Anasazi cliff dwellings in Frijoles Canyon before climbing to the crest of the Jemez. A long descent follows through the vastness of the Grand Valle as we trace the Jemez River in its plunge to Jemez Springs. We’ll conclude this extraordinary day with a soak in the natural hot springs of the Jemez River and spend our final evening at the Cañon del Rio. Our descent continues into the Rio Grande River Valley on our final day as we return to Albuquerque, where our Northern New Mexico Classic Cycling Tour concludes.
|Day 1||Albuquerque - Sandia Crest - Madrid - Santa Fe||62 miles|
|Day 2||Santa Fe - Chimayo - High Road - Truchas - Las Trampas - Penasco - U.S. Hill - Taos||70 miles|
|Day 3||Taos - Palo Flechado Pass (9,101’) - Moreno Valley - D.A.V. Vietnam War Memorial – Eagles Nest - Bobcat Pass (9,820') - Red River||48 miles|
|Day 4||Red River - Questa - San Luis – Great Sand Dunes N.P.||85 miles|
|Day 5||Sand Dunes N.P.— Hike High Dune (3 miles); cycle to Alamosa||37 miles|
|Day 6||Alamosa—Antonito—La Manga Pass (10,230’) —Cumbres Pass (10,022’) —Chama, NM||77 miles|
|Day 7||Chama—Tierra Amarilla—Ghost Ranch—Abiquiu||58 miles|
|Day 8||Abiquiu—Espanola—Los Alamos||40 miles|
|Day 9||Los Alamos—Bandelier National Monument—Jemez Springs||40 miles|
|Day 10||Jemez Springs — Jemez Pueblo — Bernalillo — Albuquerque||55 miles|
Total Cycling Mileage – 572