- Itinerary Overview
- Full Itinerary
|Arrival Day, Day 0|
|Day 1 Jamez - Los Alamos||124 KM||2400 M|
|Day 2 Los Alamos - Abiquiu||158 KM||1550 M|
|Day 3 Abiquiu - Taos||199 KM||2561 M|
|Day 4 Taos - High Road||140 KM||1880 M|
|Day 5 High Road - Chimayo||82 KM||1306 M|
|Day 6 Chimayo - Santa Fe||93 KM||1940 M|
|Day 7 Santa Fe - Albuquerque||140 KM||2413 M|
|Day 8, Departure Day|
We suggest you to fly a day early to Albuquerque and self transfer to the Airport Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel & Holiday Inn Express- Bernalillo where the group will meet the following morning to start the trip. This night's accommodation is not included in your itinerary.
Jamez - Los Alamos
The Jemez are primarily farmers, but also gather and hunt, and have lived in the Jemez Valley for hundreds of years and in Northern New Mexico for at least a thousand years. After a 1-hour transfer from Albuquerque, we begin our ride from the Jamez Pueblo & Visitor Center, gradually climbing up through the Jamez Mountains. A quick side trip brings us to the Gillman Tunnels, built in 1920, hanging above the Guadalupe Box Canyon and the river below. If you have seen the movie ‘3:10 to Yuma’, you will recognize these scenic tunnels. The highlight of the day comes when we turn a corner and the grand Valles Caldera National Preserve comes into view. 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide circular depression now known as the Valles Caldera. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. From 8,700’ feet, we roll across the mountain plateau before descending down into the rocky canyons and mesas of Bandelier National Monument, this area has seen human settlements from around 11,000 years ago. Tonight we’ll stay in the small town of Los Alamos, recognized as the birthplace of the first atomic bomb, the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during WW II.
Accommodation: Holiday Inn
Los Alamos - Abiquiu
From Los Alamos we descend through the White Rock Canyon, carved through basalt and tuff by the south-flowing Rio Grande River before we carry on into the Santa Clara Pueblo, where Pueblo potters are best known for their black polished and red polychrome pottery. We will pass through the railroad town of Española, where the first European colony in North America was settled 400 years ago. We will stop for lunch at the famous El Paragua restaurant, sampling El Parasol’s bacon-and-green-chile burrito at the stand outside El Paragua restaurant - not to be missed. From Española, we head deep into the arid and rugged El Rito Mountains, known as the pink mountains. We will pass by the historic Ojo Caliente Hot-springs and through El Rito, one of the first Spanish settlements in Northern New Mexico, where we will visit the oldest church in New Mexico. We finish our nearly 100-mile day in the historic outpost of Abiquiú, the starting point of the pioneering route of the Old Spanish Trail, when a team of sixty mounted men set off with pack animals and goods towards California in 1829, an eighty-six day journey. Artist Georgia O’keeffe lived nearby at her Ghost Ranch and she owned a small studio here in Abiquiú. Tonight we stay and dine at the Abiquiu Inn, set amidst some of the most pristine southwest landscapes in the USA. The modern casitas are finished in southwestern design with Native American-inspired viga ceilings, a truly unique experience.
Accommodation: Abiquiu Inn
Abiquiu - Taos
Anyone searching for solitude and mountain views will love today’s ride through an unfamiliar part of New Mexico. A section of today’s ride, a 49-mile stretch of quiet highway passes through the Carson National Forest, and climbs over the 10,507-foot Brazos Summit. Between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras, US 64 climbs up over a southern extension of the San Juan Range of the Rocky Mountains sometimes called the Tusas Mountains. Along the way, it passes some of the most extensive groves of aspens in the state. At 92 miles, we end our ride in Tres Piedras and shuttle the last 30 miles into Taos. Along the way we will stop to take in the view above from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, resting 565 ft (172 m) above the Rio Grande River, the seventh highest bridge in the US and 82nd highest bridge in the world. We arrive into Taos this afternoon and check into our eclectic B&B for 2-nights, Casa Benavides B&B shines with traditional New Mexico aesthetic, wood burning fireplaces and Mexican-tiled bathrooms. The owner’s family has lived in Taos for generations. Taos, with its roughly 6,000 residents, remains an outpost poised on a rugged frontier. To the east, the Sangre de Cristos Mountains, marbled yellow and orange by aspens, rise more than 13,000 ft, dwarfing Taos.
Accommodation: Casa Benavides
Taos - High Road
Considered one of the most scenic and challenging rides in the country, today we tackle the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. This 86-mile ride includes passing through Red River, Eagles Nest and Angel Fire and passing the high point of Bobcat Pass at 9,820 feet. The Apache Indians, lived in the plains east of these mountains and often hunted the wild buffalo that grazed these open plains. A second climb up to 9,109 Palo Flechado, features one of the most memorable descents all the way back into Taos, to enjoy the afternoon visiting the many galleries and shops in Old Taos.
Accommodation: Casa Benavides
High Road - Chimayo
This morning, we will catch the sunrise as it rises over the ancient Taos Pueblo, the multi-storied adobe village that has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. We will walk amongst the pueblo this morning before we head out on our adventure over the High Road towards Santa Fe. The High Road is a 50+ mile scenic, winding and quiet road through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Taos and Santa Fe. It winds through high desert, lush forests, high mountains, tiny farms and small Spanish Land Grant Pueblo Indian villages dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Highlights along the route are many, including visiting the Mission in Truchas, the Las Trampas’ San José de Gracia cathedral and the Santuario in Chimayó, one of the most important Catholic pilgrimage sites in the country, the picturesque adobe church draws 300,000 visitors a year. The exterior is captivating, but be sure to see the retablos, or devotional paintings, inside. We will stop along the way in the tiny mountain town of Truchas, where artisans along the High Road keep Spanish traditions alive with Spanish wood carvings, paintings and Indian quilting. We finish this remarkable day in Chimayó, where we go back in time and stay in a quiet country retreat in a restored adobe home offering cozy Victorian-style guest rooms opening onto a private garden - old world charm at its finest. The highlights don’t end here, as tonight we enjoy dining at Rancho de Chimayó one of New Mexico’s Culinary Treasures, celebrating 50+ years as a world-renowned restaurant in Northern New Mexico.
Accommodation: Hacienda Chimayo
Chimayo - Santa Fe
We’ll rise early this morning to take a morning walk amongst the Santuario in Chimayó and stop in for a visit to the Ortega’s Weaving, an iconic family store that has been producing authentic New Mexican wares for generations. From Chimayó we descend into the Pojoaque Valley, home to the Nambé Pueblo, one of the historic pueblos that participated in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, trying to expel the Spanish from the area. We ride through small settlements before our gradual climb into Santa Fe and further up to the Santa Fe Ski Area, a local hill climb favorite. We climb through forests of ponderosa and aspen in the Santa Fe National Forests on the Scenic Byway, and will summit at 10,305’ above town. Enjoy the descent all the way back into Santa Fe. Rising above 7,000 feet, the high-desert, historical city of Santa Fe, with its adobe architecture, popular plaza, the Cross of the Martyrs and San Miguel Mission, comes alive as the cultural epicenter with deep roots in Mexican, Spanish and Native American traditions. The 400-year old state capital is a haven for diverse art galleries and museums, music and superb Southwestern cuisine. Perched in the shade of the Sagre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe welcomes a host of travelers from afar.
Accommodation: Santa Fe Sage Inn
Santa Fe - Albuquerque
Today we embark on our Turquoise Trail and Sandia Peak adventure. First off we leave Santa Fe via Canyon Road, passing many of the famous art galleries. We will then begin our ride along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, through the heart of central New Mexico linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The ride, about 50 miles along Hwy 14 takes you back in history through the old mining towns of Golden, Madrid and Cerillos, now coming alive with art, crafts, music and many cafés and restaurants. We’ll stop along the way for one last strong coffee before we attempt climbing Sandia Peak, high above our final destination of Albuquerque. Winding along the high ridge of the Sandia Mountains, this well paved, quiet road winds up through cactus, pine, fir, oak and aspens, through spectacular scenery for thirteen and a half miles, gaining 3,900’ to the crest at 10,648’ feet. We descend back into Albuquerque where we will spend one last night before our departures the following morning.