New Mexico - Top Bike Climbs

#1
Sandia Crest - Backside
USA, NM
#2
Sandia Crest
USA, NM
#3
Cloudcroft - Hwy 82
USA, NM
#4
Ski Apache
USA, NM
#5
Narbona Pass
USA, NM
#6
Hwy 475
USA, NM
#7
Hwy 4 East
USA, NM
#8
No Name Pass
USA, NM
#9
Mora Wall
USA, NM
#10
Emory Pass East
USA, NM

Climb List: New Mexico
(sort by distance, difficulty, elevation and more)

Cycling New Mexico

sign for Sandia Crest, National Scenic Byway, Cibola National Forest

Sandia Crest is by far New Mexico’s hardest bike climb.

HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN NEW MEXICO

SANDIA CREST - BACKSIDE

View looking down from the top of Sandia Crest, looking down on suburbs below

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

Photo collage including aerial photos of hairpin turns on the climb, snowy day, PJAMM Cyclist rides in the snow

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.

Photo collage - high desert landscape, train bridge