Alamosa – Chama – Taos

ROUTE DESCRIPTION:From Alamosa to Antonito Hwy 285 has a good
shoulder but is busy. We rode the farm roads on either side of 285 to avoid all
but a few miles of busy highway. Take Route 17 over La Manga and Cumbres
Passes from Antonito to Chama. The ride begins with a gradual uphill that
becomes a steep climb for the last few miles to the top. Between the two passes
the highway rolls pleasantly through beautiful countryside before a screaming
downhill off Cumbres Pass right into Chama. The Chama Station Inn has a hot
tub!

This off the beaten track route into Taos is a wonderful ride. We did it in the
spring and pondered how lovely the expansive green views back into the valley
would be in fall color. Between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras is a twenty-
mile or so climb to a pass with no name. The backside has a screaming
downhill into Tres Piedras. The ride into Taos descends gradually all the way
to the bridge at the Rio Grande River. However, the road is without shoulder
(but we experienced very little traffic).

On our layover day several of us rode from Taos toward Las Vegas; a perfect out
and back day trip. We could have made this a loop (longer ride – about 100
miles) through Angel Fire. Another century ride leaves Taos on 65 through
Eagle Nest, 38 to Questa and back into Taos on the main highway (522).
Check which direction is better for these rides.

The back road to Chimayo passes many historic towns with lots of ups and
downs. Follow the map carefully to avoid wrong turns. There is a fast, winding
downhill off the plateau into Chimayo. Make reservations at Rancho Chimayo
for lunch, in the garden is best if the weather is good. Enjoy.

INTINERARY:
This route starts in Alamosa, CO. Dinner for those who want to meet on
the way: Il Vicino in Salida. Follow signs to historic downtown Salida.
Located between E & F Streets on 2nd. (136 E 2nd St) 718-539-5219.
Day’s Inn, Alamosa, CO, 719-589-9037

Day 1
Route: From Alamosa to Antonito on Hwy 285 or side roads. From
Antonito to Chama take Route 17 over Cumbres Pass (48 miles).
Chama Station Inn, 423 Terrace (Hwy 17), Chama, NM
(across the street from train depot) 575-756-2315

Day 2
Route: South out of Chama on Route 17/84 about 13 miles. Then, at Tierra
Amarilla, turn east on Hwy 64. It is 49 miles to Tres Piedras and another 31
miles to Taos. Four miles out of town, Hwy 64 joins Route 522. Turn right,
going south into Taos.
Reservations: Premier Properties, 800-987-8423

Day 3
Layover day in Taos. Ride, shop, read, sleep, eat…

Day 4
Route: Ride south out of Taos toward Santa Fe. At Ranchos de Taos turn
left on Route 518. Ride 15 miles to the intersection with Route 75 and/or 76.
Ride this back road through Vadito, Penasco, Las Trampas, Truchas, Cordova,
Santa Cruz finishing in Chimayo (about 37 miles). Lunch at Rancho Chimayo!
Or option#2 might be to ride from Taos over to Las Vegas which is a
highly recommended ride for its beauty. There is a pass, however, but
they say riding from Taos is easier than the other direction!