Sandia Crest is by far New Mexico’s hardest bike climb.
HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN NEW MEXICO
SANDIA CREST - BACKSIDE
View from the top of Sandia Crest.
This is a mildly used and little known route to the top of Sandia Crest which ranks #1 in New Mexico and #33 in the USA, well ahead of the fully paved more traditional route up to Sandia Crest. The climb is 15.8 miles at 5.7% average grade gaining 4,727’ to elevation 10,658’. 3.5 miles of this route is gravel, but manageable on a road bike with 28mm tires.
HARDEST FULLY PAVED BIKE CLIMB IN NEW MEXICO
SANDIA CREST - FRONT SIDE
The traditional, fully paved and more popular route to Sandia Crest is along Highway 536. This climb ranks #68 in the US and #2 in New Mexico, at a distance of 13.5 miles at 5.3% (5.9% climb only) and gains 3,912’ along the way.
NEW MEXICO’S THIRD HARDEST BIKE CLIMB
HIGHWAY 82 TO CLOUDCROFT
Ride 14.2 miles gaining 4,008’ to elevation 8,645’ at 5.2% average grade.
Highway 82 to Cloudcroft is ranked #91 in the US.
This climb is a rarity for Top 100 U.S. Climbs as it travels from one town (La Luz, population 1,697 in 2010) and ends in another town/village (Cloudcroft, population 697 in 2013) 14.2 miles and 3,943' up the mountain. The climb enters Lincoln National Forest at mile one and stays there for the remainder of the climb.