Cycling Navajo Dam
Ride 1.9 miles gaining 541’ at 5% average grade (7.2% climb only)
Climb summary by PJAMM ambassador Dan Razum, San Jose, CA.
This is a short but fun climb in northern New Mexico. The reservoir looks out of place in the dry landscape, an oasis of sorts.
We start at the bottom of the dam, near the spillway. The face of the dam is the steepest part but it isn't too long. The road is visible along the face so we know exactly how much more to go.
But we aren't finished after reaching the top of the dam; the road intersects with Rte 539 and we bear to the left to continue climbing some more, at a more gentle gradient. We have a nice view of the reservoir and the marina as we climb and shortly after passing the entrance to the lake we reach the top, which is unmarked.
As a bonus, at the top of the dam we can turn right on Rte 539 and climb on the south side of the lake. There is a narrow straight section along the top of the dam before we start climbing. The south side is a little steeper than the north side (after the top of the dam) but not as steep as the face of the dam. It also isn't too long, maybe half a mile or so. Ultimately, both sides reach about the same elevation. There is a nice view of the entire reservoir and spillway from the south side, so it is worth doing for the view.