For our 2020 calendar we are straying from our European roots to explore further afield, with other tours in the Americas and Asia also added to our schedule. Please contact our experienced team if you have any questions or would like to express interest.
Featuring some of the most secluded roads in the USA, the place-to-place New Mexico Raid is the perfect departure for adventure seekers. Long, hard rides in the desert sun will force you to dig in and get connected to your experience in the way that true cycling does.
The 48th state in the Union claims a unique history and a diverse landscape. Native American nations like the Navajo, Puebloan and Apache lived in the region for centuries before European explorers arrived, leaving a rich cultural history and incredible architectural sites. With expansive deserts and forested highlands, rugged mesas and deep gorges, you would be hard-pressed to design a ride of this length with a broader array of scenery.
The Tour of the Gila, one of the most recognised bike races in the USA, offers a sampling of the fantastic riding in the state. We will complete a more in-depth exploration, navigating the soaring Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Carson National Forest, climbing to Taos Ski Valley, and passing over the Rio Grande. We’ll pack all of these remarkable sights and more into a mammoth eight-day ride sure to leave your legs empty, heart full, and memory replete with more than a few special things to hang on to.
- Excellent accommodation at each location
- All breakfasts and evening meals at the hotel/restaurant
- On the road lunches freshly prepared daily
- Experienced guiding team and dedicated support vehicle on each ride day
- La Fuga welcome pack
- GPX files and route maps for each day of riding
What's Not Included?
Please note tour deposits are non-transferable and non-refundable. Therefore please ensure you have the appropriate travel insurance in place should you have to cancel at the last minute.
Please note: We suggest you fly a day early to Albuquerque and self-transfer to the Airport Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel Where the group will meet the following morning to start the trip. This night’s accommodation is not included in your itinerary.
Day 1 – Sunday 13th September – JAMEZ – LOS ALAMOS
The Jemez have lived in the Jemez Valley for hundreds of years and in Northern New Mexico for at least a thousand years. The Jemez people are primarily farmers, but also gather and hunt. After a 1-hour transfer from Albuquerque, we begin our ride from the Jamez Pueblo & Visitor Centre, gradually climbing up through the Jemez 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 bend a corner and the grand Valles Caldera National Preserve comes into view. 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 21km wide circular depression now known as the Valles Caldera. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. From 2651m, 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.
We overnight 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 WWII.
Day 2 – Monday 14th September – LOS ALAMOS – ABIQUIÚ
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.
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 169km day in the historic outpost of Abiquiú, the starting point of the pioneering route of the Old Spanish Trail, 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. we stay and dine at the Abiquiu Inn this evening.
Day 3 Abiquiú – Tuesday 15th September – ABIQUIÚ – 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 79km stretch of quiet highway passes through the Carson National Forest and climbs over the 3202m Brazos Summit.
At kilometre 28.3 you have the chance to turn left and visit the Echo Amphitheatre where you can hear your voice echoing from impressive geological features steeped in bloody history. Legend has it that a group of settlers were murdered on the rock by Navajos and that their blood still stains the rock to this day.
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 148km, we end our ride in Tres Piedras and shuttle the last 48km into Taos, along the way we will stop to take in the view above from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, resting 172 m above the Rio Grande River, it’s the seventh-highest bridge in the US and 82nd highest bridge in the world.
We arrive into Taos this afternoon and check into our Hacienda del Sol shines with traditional New Mexico aesthetic, with wood-burning fireplaces and Mexican-tiled bathrooms.
Day 4 Taos – Wednesday 16th September – ENCHANTED CIRCLE
Considered one of the most scenic and challenging rides in the country, today we tackle the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. This 139km ride includes passing through Red River, Eagles Nest and Angel Fire and passing the high point of Bobcat Pass at 2993m. A second climb up to 2776m Palo Flechado, contains one of the most memorable descents all the way back into Taos. The Apache Indians lived in the plains east of these mountains and often hunted the wild buffalo that grazed these open plains. We will descend back into Taos and enjoy the afternoon visiting the many galleries and shops in Old Taos.
Day 5 – Thursday 17th September – TAOS PUEBLO & THE HIGH ROAD – CHIMAYÓ
This morning, we will visit 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 an 80+ kilometre 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 make 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 the night in a quiet country retreat in a restored adobe home.
Day 6 – Friday 18th September – CHIMAYÓ – SANTA FE
Rise early this morning to take a walk amongst the Santuario in Chimayó and stop in for a visit to Ortega’s Weaving, an iconic family store that has for generations, been producing authentic New Mexican wares. From Chimayó we descend down 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 favourite. We ascend through forests of ponderosa and aspen in the Santa Fe National Forests on the Scenic Byway, summiting at 3140m above the town. Enjoy the descent all the way back into Santa Fe.
Day 7- Saturday 19th September – 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 95km along Highway 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 22km, gaining 1188m to the crest at 3245m. We descend back into Albuquerque where we will spend the last night before our departure the following morning.
Day 8 – Sunday 20th Septemeber – DEPARTURE DAY
You will have time to enjoy your last morning in New Mexico before taking the transfer back to the airport after an epic week of riding!
AirportsAlbuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
By changing hotels each night, this New Mexico Raid allows you to experience many different aspects of New Mexican hospitality. Many of the establishments are long-standing, family-run hotels with excellent restaurants serving delicious and hearty local delicacies. See below for information on some of the hotels we’ll be visiting in September.
ABIQUIU INN, Abiquiu
The Abiquiu Inn can be found 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, which allow for a truly unique experience.
Hacienda del Sol, Taos
This historical Bed and Breakfast consists of three adobe buildings, with the original building dating back to 1804. Situated on 1.2 acres, the hacienda adjoins 95,000 acres of Taos Pueblo land with Taos Mountain, considered sacred by the Taos Indians, providing a commanding backdrop to two lovely courtyards.
Rancho de Chimayo Hacienda
This restored adobe home is a quiet country retreat offering cosy Victorian-style guest rooms opening onto a private garden. The rooms and personal hospitality of the property’s owner, Mrs J really does give its residents old-world charm at its finest.
As well as charming rooms, the hotel’s restaurant is one of New Mexico’s Culinary Treasures and has recently celebrated it’s 50th anniversary as a world-renowned restaurant in Northern New Mexico.