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Discussion Starter #1
My son and I will be camping in northern New Mexico in October and we are looking for "don't miss" roads there and southern Colorado, both blacktop backroads and not too difficult gravel.
Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

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Hi,

Not sure how many days you'll be riding or where camping, but here are a few.

1) Definitely NM 17 (CO? my map isn't detailed. It might change at the border) from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO. Cumbres and LaManga passes. Beautiful area. Historic rail yards in Chama and Antonito.

2) US 64 from Taos westerly is pretty scenic. You cross the Rio Grande Gorge just west of Taos, which was in the movie, Terminator Salvation. I've only ridden from the junction of US 84 and US 64, so I don't know what 64 is like West of there.

3) NM 522 and 38 as it loops north from Taos, east through Questa, Red River and Eagle Nest and back around to Taos. Nice loop.

4) NM 68 from Taos down to Espanola. Nice windy sweepers along the Rio Grande. Pavement so-so. Still a very nice ride if you can catch when traffic is low because the sweepers are lots of fun.

5) US 285 from Antonito, CO down to Espanola, NM. Would make a good loop with number one above.

6) US 64 from Taos east to Cimarron. This is a really nice and twisty section. East of Cimarron, it changes and gets pretty boring.

7) US 84 from Espanola to Chama.

8 Probably the roads around Los Alamos; I've never had the chance to get by there. Twice, the area was burning.

That's mostly northern NM. Not sure how far you want to go into Colorado, but a couple of gems fairly close are:

1) CO 12 out of Trinidad looping west then north back up to Walsenburg. Well worth doing. Very low traffic. Good route for Aspens.

2) CO 149 at US 160 in South Fork, Co up to at least Lake City, CO. But there was a huge fire there this summer, so not sure how it looks now.

3) CO 165 and I-25 in Rye, CO. Take 165 through San Isabel all the way to the junction of CO, 96 and then turn around and go back. (Make sure you stop at Bishop's Castle about 3-5 miles after Lake Isabel. It's at the crest of a hill on the left. You'll see cars along the roadside. And you'll never forget what you saw there. It's a Colorado fixture.) At 96, turn around as mentioned or go west on 96 and stop for pizza in Silver Cliff, CO. Great pizza on the left in building with brick front and glass. In Westcliffe (one mile), turn left on CO 69 and head south back to I-25 at Walsenburg to make a loop.

Is this enough?:mrgreen: Do not, I repeat, do not miss 17 from Chama to Antonito. The Aspens are awesome. All the others are very good too. Bring a fairly warm bag if you will be camping at elevation. NM mountains can get pretty cold.
 

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My son and I will be camping in northern New Mexico in October and we are looking for "don't miss" roads there and southern Colorado, both blacktop backroads and not too difficult gravel.
Any recommendations would be appreciated.
I don't know how far west in No. N.M. you will be, but if you happen to get to the Northwest corner there is a little road that goes through the Navajo Nation, called N.R. 13 (the N.R. stands for Navajo Road). This road goes past the Ship Rock and there is an easy dirt road that will take you right up to it. But the really great section of this road is when it goes through Bear Mt. Many warning signs on these curves recommend 10 and 15 mph. Cool road:thumbup:
Then once you go through Lukachukai you can take in Canyon de Chelly (pronounced shay). Totally awesome. Just remember that you are on the reservation and they enforce their own laws.
 

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Chama CO

John V Strom JR pretty well nailed it.
For sure cross the divide and get to Chama.
I turned around and rode # 17 back and forth from Chama through Cumbres Pass.
WooHoo ! Scenic Sweepers.
 

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I love Colorado! Good friend (and fellow rider) lives in Pagosa Springs. I don't know the road names , But the route from Durango to Ouray is spectacular. Also the run that takes you up to Wolf Creek Pass is also worth mentioning. Those might be spoken of in Johns' post. If not , worth a mention.
 

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I love Colorado! Good friend (and fellow rider) lives in Pagosa Springs. I don't know the road names , But the route from Durango to Ouray is spectacular. Also the run that takes you up to Wolf Creek Pass is also worth mentioning. Those might be spoken of in Johns' post. If not , worth a mention.
Yes, Durango to Ouray, US 550, The Million Dollar Hwy. Great ride. A nice loop is left in Ridgway on CO 62 over to Telluride then S on 145 to Cortez, then back to Durango. Wolf Creek Pass is on US 16O going east out of Pagosa.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Many thanks guys. I've got the maps out and am plotting your recommendations. We probably won't be able to do them all. We've got 2 weeks but have to travel out and back from north Georgia. We hope to camp in/around Pagosa Springs or thereabouts in mid-October so we'll have to take the possibility of snowfall in the higher elevations into account also.
 
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