City Escape: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Text: Brittany Morrow • Photography: Brittany Morrow

This day ride stretches out through ancient ruins and historic mining communities in Albuquerque. With little traffic, it all but guarantees solitary motorcycling bliss. The tail end of the route includes a ride up and down Sandia Crest to take in some astounding views before returning to the city limits. There’s also a stint on the legendary Route 66!

Length

Approximately 211 miles

Meetup Spot

Einstein Bros. Bagels, 13170 Central Ave SE Ste A, Albuquerque, NM. 

Lunch Stop

The Wild West BBQ & Santa Fe Trading Co. serves delicious smoked BBQ with homemade sides and sauces. Find it at 121 Rte 66 E, Moriarty, NM, (505) 832-5496.

Scenery (5 out of 5) 

Secondary highways wind through wooded hills and high bluffs and along clear, flowing streams and lake shorelines. 

Difficulty (4 out of 5) 

About two-thirds of the ride happens on leisurely two-lane roads that snake through the foothills and plains. The other third is a twisty two-lane road that ranges from fast sweepers to tight switchbacks and everything in between. Wildlife, like rabbits and squirrels, will play chicken with your bike, but just stay relaxed and keep moving forward.

Road Conditions (3 out of 5) 

Road conditions vary, especially on Sandia Crest Scenic Hwy, and change quickly according to the weather. Gravel and dust can be a problem after rainfall and high winds. 

Points of Interest

  1. Quarai Mission Ruins, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
    Built in the early 1600s by Spanish missionaries in an attempt to convert the native Puebloans, Quarai Mission and Convento is a historical treat complete with a mysterious square kiva (they’re traditionally round). There is a $ 3 parking fee. www.tinyurl.com/quarai-mission
  2. Los Cerillos
    Los Cerillos is touted—at least by the locals—to be the “best village in New Mexico.” Located on the Turquoise Trail stretch of Hwy 14, Los Cerillos is home to a true Old West main street complete with small trading shops and a saloon. The village was also the filming location for the classic western Young Guns. www.cerrillosnewmexico.com
  3. Sandia Crest House
    Offering breathtaking views, an estuary, hiking trails, a gift shop, and the Two Mile High Cafe, the Sandia Crest House sits at an impressive 10,678 feet above sea level. There is a $ 3 parking fee. www.sandiacresthouse.com