The ÷ Ride

Stage V
Summer 2001

**Incomplete WORKING DRAFT**

Daily mileages will be longer this year, in order to have time to pedal from Antelope Wells to El Paso. Unless we are stymied by weather (rain or desert heat), this "should" work. (Famous last words!) Some infomation taken from Ken/Rita's Great Divide journal on the web at: www. And also from Mac McCoy's Cycling the Great Divide. (By the way, Mac's book has great information about the area, not just route notes, and I would encourage you all to read it.)

In planning the route this year, I opted more for the alternative pavement ACA suggestions. My general reasoning was that by doing so, we can:

1. Have time to enjoy not just scenery but also time to investigate a variety of interesting sites (Chaco Cultural National Historical Park, Abique, Silver City, some dirt side routes, etc.)

2. Although "afternoon thunderstorms make the roads only temporarily impassible, they do tend to dry our by morning." (McCoy) This time delay, if we run into it more than once or twice, would seriously mess up our itinerary.

3. Get to El Past on time.




~Alt. Gain





July 6

Home -> ABQ -> Santa Fe



646 Cerillos Rd.
Santa Fe


Shuttle bus to Santa Fe.

Huerra Shuttle (aka Sandia Shuttle) (a bus probably the one we used last year from SF to ABQ) leaves fromt he Southwest Airlines baggage claim area near the "commercial" land. (Probably well signed.) Departs for SF 11:45 a.m., 1:50 p.m., 3 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 8 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. (also earlier morning departures but I didn't write those down). $21 one way ($19 for seniors). Takes 1.5 hrs. 1-888-833-2300.


July 7

Santa Fe -> Taos



El Pueblo Lodge
(505) 758-8700.
I talked with "Carmen" to make our reservations.

Reservations are under "Divide Ride Dogs." Call and confirm a room, or book your own (I didn't reserve any single rooms).

I reserved two 3-bed rooms (I have one; Carl has reserved the other); two queen doubles and two king bed rooms. The reserved rooms will disappear after June 5th.


Shuttle bus to Taos.

Taos Pueblo Pow-Wow
Second weekend
Taos Pueblo, 758-9593


July 8




El Pueblo Lodge



Make route decision TODAY for Taos to Abique, as if there has been rain, the off-roads will be a wheel-sucking muck. We would, instead, take Hwy. 64 fro Taos to Tierra Amarillo and south on 84 to Abique (and not go to Hopewell Lake). "If roads are wet, evade wheel-sucking muck & take alt. route (64/84) to Abiquiu." (McCoy)

If we take this route, Ghost Ranch Living Museum (this is Georgia O'Keeffe territory) will occur several miles prior to arriving in Abiquiu. Also, if we take this route, it is a slight backtrack to Rte. 96 which goes to Cuba. Also, "about a mile north of the museum, on the opposite side of the highway begins FR 151, a dirt road leading 12-13 mi. up to the wilderness-surrounded Rio Chama Canyon. It makes for a great ride ending at the absolutely suprising Christ of the Desert Monestary, whose Benedictine monks raise funds by designing religious internet sites. [interesting] Visitors are welcome." (McCoy)

3 Options for Days 1 & 2

Option 1            


July 9



->Tres Piedras -> Hopewell Lake (??)




Unk. Generally "up."

Hopewell Lake

(According to ACA updates, Hopewell Lake is now only a picnic site.)

Lunch at Tres Piedras

Long day. No usual first day dwaddling at breakfast. :-) Pavement the whole way, however.


July 10


Hopewell Lake (??) -> El Rito -> Abiquiu



Villages of: Canon Plaza & Vallecitos.

Camping at Abiquiu Inn. (?) (JC to call and find out.)

If coming in on alternate [paved] route from Taos, consider camping at Abiquiu Res. (7 mi. NW) prior to reaching Abiquiu.

Snacks (maybe) at mile 106.1 (Canon Plaza) on map.

El Rito for late lunch.

Abiquiu for dinner.

Finish climbing Burned Mt. right out of camp, and "generally" downhill to El Rito (sort of).

"Surface water encountered frequently." (McCoy)

Villages of: Canon Plaza & Vallecitos. Both are farming communities.

Spend some time in Abiquiu to appreciate what Georgia O'Keeffe found absolutely enchanting. Be a tourist for a bit.

End the day before entering rough stretch of "road."

Last 20 miles are on pavement.

Option 2            

July 9

Taos -> ~Canon Plaza     Informal camping said to be available just prior to reaching Canon Plaza   Route:
- Taos, west on 64;
- South on FR 42 (also called 111 ?);
- Join ACA route where 91B joins 42.

July 10


Canon Plaza ->Abiquiu/Ghost Ranch (?)        

- South on 42 (111 ?) towards Vallecitos and La Madera;
- About 1 mi south of La Madera, right on 554 and up paved road to El Rito;
- Follow ACA route to Abiquiu/Ghost Ranch.

Option 3


July 9

(this option may save us a day in the early part of the route...which may be very advantageous later on.)

Taos -> El Rito or so        

- South on 68 out of Taos;
- Right on 570 (going north for a mile or two);
- Left (west) on 567;
- Left at junction onto 285;

(Option: continue south on 285 for about 1 mi to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs Revisitation.<smile>; backtrack then to Rte. 111)

- Right at junction with 111;
- Left (west) at 554 uphill to El Rito.
- Follow ACA route to Abiquiu.

End of early options            

3/ Wed.

July 11

Abiquiu -> Cuba





Circle A Ranch Hostel, 5 mi. NE from town (uphill). 505-289-3350. $10/bed. "Worth the effort" according to ACA update.


This is the alternate pavement route.

If spending the night in Abiquiu, because we came in on the pavement route from Taos, backtrack on Hwy 84 to resume route to Cuba.

Otherwise (on route), proceed Abiquiu -> Polvadera Mesa at mile 168 (23 miles of "the steepest climb on the DR" according to Mac McCoy) for one night ("today's effort will be consierable" (McCoy).)

"Take plenty of water as this is all on a dry ridge." (McCoy)

Then on to Cuba (54 miles) the next. (Push whole itinerary forward a day, and eliminate extra fun day in Silver City (or "emergency day") if we don't do today as a pavement day. We need the extra day so preferred choice will be pavement. If it's muddy, this is the only choice.)

Not much of anything in Cuba. (Been there, seen it.)


July 12

Cuba -> near Pueblo Pintado

(Hwy 197 -> 9)





(Alternative pavement route still.)

See Chaco Culture National Historic Park at Pueblo Pintado. Access to dirt roads to CCNHP - "one of America's most impresive & beautiful archeological sites." (McCoy)

These are long days on the pavement, but I'm taking the mileages from Ken/Rita's journal mentioned earlier.


July 13

Pueblo Pintado -> Grants

Hwy 9 -> 509 -> 605 -> 117 (Route 66!)



Lavaland RV Park. (The only one which allows tenting.)


Interesting things in Grants. It's on Route 66.


July 14

Rest Day in Grants



Lavaland RV Park. (The only one which allows tenting.)





July 15

Grants -> The Narrows

(ACA main route.)







Main route is all on pavement.

If the weather is poor or the roads muddy, or arroyos washed out (or other reasons not considered here-such as exhaustion <grin>) pick up ACA paved alternate route out of Grants.

[Most, but not all, of the rest of the days are generally based on recommendations of ACA in McCoy's book.]


July 16

The Narrows -> Pie Town






Pie Town.
Free camping at Jackson Park

Wate is available at Jackson Park.

Cafe and PIE!

10 miles of pavement and then dirt. "A bonanza of mt. bike rides through this area. (See the visitor map for Cibole NF Ranger District.)

Pie Town settlement began as a service station and expanded. The pies became famous.


July 17

Pie Town -> Ville Vinces





Take plenty of water with you as you leave Pie Town.

Water is said to be available in stock tanks at Ville Vinces.

Cross Divide 3 times today.

Can take side trip to viewpoint at Mangas Lookout (elev. 9,500').

Cross Divide about 8 times getting to Silver City.

10/ Wed

July 18

Valle Vinces c.g. -> Dispersed campsites (mi. 70 or so on the map)




Camp in the general vicinity of mile 43.5.


"Day is spent on gently graded dirt and gravel roads. You will pass a couple of windmills and a pair of small reservoirs."(McCoy)

11/ Thur

July 19

Dispersed camping at ~ mi 70 -> Wall Lake c.g. (mile 107)




Wall Lake FS c.g.

Water at Beavearhead Work Ctr. (mile 26 of the ride).

Water at Wall Lake.

"These two days (today and tomorrow) combine roller coaster tough hills, up & down, grunt & grin riding unlike anything encountered on the DR....Terrain is tightly timbered, the roads steep and serpentine." (McCoy) (See the topo map for the close drainage patterns.)

12/ Fri

July 20

Wall Lake c.g. (mile 107) -> camp at mile 140-ish


see if we can get toRio Mimbres Lodge (mile 153)


Mimbres (mile 155)



Camping at mile 140 or so,


Rio Mimbres Lodge, 2.5 mi. N. of Mimbres. (With restaurant.)

Mimbes RV Park (1 mi. south of town).

Stock up on water before leaving Black Canyon c.g. area.

Mimbres: Groceries & restaurant


July 21

~Mile 140 (or mile 155) -> Silver City


23 (from Mimbres area)


RV Park;

All services.

Much to see and do in Silver City.


July 22

Silver City

Rest Day







July 23

Silver City

Rest Day



"Buy enough food to get to Mexico." (McCoy)


16/Tues July 24

Silver City -> High Lonesome camp site



High Lonesome camp site.

This is the middle of nowhere.

"Carry enough water to get to Separ" (tomorrow, 51 miles from Silver City).

"It may be very HOT! You are going into the heart of the Chichuahuan Desert....It is thorny country, beware of flats." (McCoy)

17/Wed July 25

High Lonesome camp site -> Separ -> Hachita


Bumps and grinds.

Trailer park.
RV park.
Hachita Inn has rooms. Inquire at the Cafe.

Separ: limited groceries.

Hachita: Restaurant, groceries (limited), service station.

Separ is 21 mi. from High Lonesome camping.

Cross Divide for the 27th time.

Keep watch for javelinas (very mean wild pigs with nasty tusks). They attack, vigorious, if cornered. (And the don't see well in bright light so may not be able to "see and avoid" you.) "They also smell a bit like a skunk, so heads up. Make lots of noise before entering tights spots, especially if you smell something 'musky.'" (McCoy)

18/Thur July 26

Hachita -> Antelope Wells -> Hachita

92 (If the weather is very hot, this may be too ambitious.)

Relatively flat


Hachita Inn has rooms. Inquire at the Cafe.

Antelope Wells: no services.

Leave some baggage at Hachita for fast long ride to Antelope Wells & back.

This road to Antelope Wells can be called the loneliest paved road in America.

The border: Savor the moment. We did it!

19/Fri July 27

Hachita -> Columbus



Camping at Columbus



20/Sat July 28

Columbus, NM -> El Paso, TX (!)






21/Sun July 29

El Paso






22/Mon July 30

Fly out






Last Updated: June 24, 2001