New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment
New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment
Bienvenido a Santa Fe! From the earth-toned adobe walls, the bright red strings of chiles hanging in doorways to the smoky fragrance of pinon wood burning, Northern New Mexico is just about as close as you can get to bicycling in a foreign country without leaving the states. This cycling tour lets you experience New Mexico’s magic from the bike.
We’ll cycle into New Mexico’s colonial past and ride through old Spanish villages, where 17th-century mission churches stand alongside modern and artisan workshops. At times you may feel like you’re in a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, and you are! These colorful mesas, towering cliffs and unusual rock formations inspired the famous painter’s work.
You’ll be fueled by frito pie and New Mexico green chile while riding at elevations between 5,800 and 8,500 feet–the Southern Rockies to the east, the volcanic Jemez Range to the west. The hills are tough in the high desert, and some people have a hard time adjusting to the elevation, but the Support Vehicle is there to help make this challenging ride possible.
This tour features the entire High Road to Taos, a scenic byway north out of Santa Fe, as well as a loop around Los Alamos & Bandelier (cliff dwellings), and backroads west across the Rio Grande Gorge and south through the small villages of Ojo Caliente (hot springs) and Abiquiu (O’Keeffe’s home). So pack your sense of adventure and get ready for a feeling of “enchantment” you won’t find anywhere else. No passport required!
FUN FACT: New Mexico’s lowest elevation is higher than any other state’s low point.
Santa Fe's historic plaza and the Palace of the Governors
Historic paths, Old Santa Fe Trail and El Camino Real
Cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument
Secret City and birthplace of the atomic bomb
Santuario de Chimayo, a famous pilgramage site
The High Road to Taos
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Mineral Springs of Ojo Caliente
Inn of the Governors
Casa Benavides Inn
Ojo Caliente Resort & Spa
Day 1: Your Southwest cycle tour starts off in Santa Fe where we will take a morning spin negotiating narrow streets around the plaza and following historic paths like Old Santa Trail and El Camino Real. Time to sightsee and lodging adjacent to the well-known art district provides ample opportunity to get used to the elevation (7,000 feet). After our ride, we will take a historic walking tour of the area.
Day 2: Transport to Frijoles Mesa above the Rio Grande to ride the finger-like mesas cut by steep canyons in Los Alamos County. The loop has a remote feel with incredible views, and a side trip to the Secret City allows for lunch and a visit to the birthplace of the atomic bomb. Post-ride, we’ll drive down into Bandelier National Monument. We return to Santa Fe for a 2nd night at Inn on the Governors.
Day 3: Today we begin the High Road to Taos, a state scenic byway starting with a climb out of Santa Fe. During lunch we can discover the mysterious legend of the tiny chapel of Santuario de Chimayo. We’ll stay at a local bed and breakfast and dine at the historic Rancho de Chimayo.
Day 4: Another day along the High Road. After an optional 10-mile climb to Truchas, we ride the rolling terrain of several river valleys through old Spanish villages that have seen little development. Highlights include several of the most beautiful churches in the Southwest. In Penasco, grab a bite before tackling U.S. Hill, then descend from Carson National Forest into Taos.
Day 5: Heading west out of Taos our first stop is the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, an area landmark 650 feet above the river. Our last night we land at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, a remote retreat dating back to 1916 with pools, mud baths and a hiking trail up the sandstone to the ancient ruins of Posi Pueblo.
Day 6: O’Keeffe loved the Southwest, and on our last day we pedal through a small piece of the landscape that captivated her. We also ride along rivers–Rio Ojo Caliente, El Rito and the larger Rio Chama. After the ride and lunch, we head to visit the home and art studio of O’Keeffe herself to end the trip!
5 Breakfasts | 4 Lunches | 3 Dinners
PP Double Occupancy
Standard Bike Rental
*This is required if you are traveling solo or if you are traveling with someone but require separate beds.