New Mexico’s nickname is the Land of Enchantment, and it is a truly, unique slice of America that blends the sparse beauty of the vast desert Southwest with rugged mountain scenery. It is also a state that celebrates the Old West and its Native American culture, as well as its outlaw history. This is beautiful country, perfect for exploring by motorcycle.
A great way to start your exploration of New Mexico is to take the 84-mile Billy the Kid National Scenic & Historic Byway. This road gives riders a good look at some of this state’s history mixed with lots of scenery. Some of the more interesting sites that lay along this loop include the Billy the Kid Interpretive Center, Mescalero Apache land, and Fort Stanton, which once housed the famous Buffalo Soldiers. This byway also travels through the Smoky Bear Historical Park and the little town of Lincoln, where Billy the Kid was once jailed. If you have the time and want a little fun diversion, Ruidoso Downs, which is located on this route, has a quarter horse racetrack that holds races between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Riders can begin this loop in Ruidoso and take Highway 70 to Hondo, where they will then take Highway 380 to Capitan. From Capitan, riders will then take NM-48 back to Ruidoso.
For motorcyclists who prefer their rides to have more twisties than history, Forest Road 537 is an entertaining and scenic route that cuts through the Lincoln National Forest on its way from Cloudcroft to Timberon. This is an approximately 45-mile ride that starts off through farmland and then twists, turns and roller coasters through beautiful canyons. To run this route, riders can take US-70 to Route 244, which they will then ride to US-82. Riders then continue on this road to and through Cloudcroft. On the other side of Cloudcroft, riders will head south on 6563, which is also known as Sunspot Scenic Byway. This road eventually becomes Forest Road 537, which is also known as Country Road C001. Stay on this route until you reach Timberon.
The Santa Fe area is home to Route 4, which is another route that boasts some twisties, rolling terrain, elevation changes, and sweepers. This 47-mile road runs from White Rock to Jemez Springs through the pretty Santa Fe National Forest. Riders wanting to access this route should head to White Rock, where they will take Route 4 north until it hits SR-502, which they will then take west until it becomes SR-501. Near Los Alamos, SR-501 intersects with Route 4. At this point, riders will stay on Route 4 until it ends in Jemez Springs.
This next route travels through some classic Southwest landscape, as well as beautiful mountain scenery. In addition, riders on this trip will pass through the Bandelier National Monument, which is home to Anasazi cliff dwellings. This is a route that doesn’t throw a bunch of hairpins or twisties at its riders, but is a very interesting and scenic journey through gorgeous red rock canyons and pretty forests. To enjoy this route, riders head north from the town of Bernalillo on US-550 -- also known as Route 44 -- until it reaches Route 4. At this point, riders will take Route 4 north. After passing through the town of Totavi, riders turn on Route 30, which they will stay on until they reach Route 4. This road eventually changes to Route 84, which riders will continue on until it ends at the Echo Amphitheater.
New Mexico hosts a number of rallies, rides and shows each year including the Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally held in Red River. This event attracts thousands of bikers each year to enjoy six days of food, live music, and fun.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.
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