New Mexico offers some of the most unique landscapes in the United States, and there’s no better way to see them than on the back of a motorcycle. As injury attorneys who represent bikers in claims against negligent motorists and motorcycle riders ourselves, we love to share what our beautiful state has to offer. Whether you want a challenging ride, a tour through historical sites, or a relaxing cruise through beautiful scenery, we have something for you!
Top-Rated Motorcycle Routes in New Mexico
With mountain passes, vibrant deserts, and historical sites everywhere you look, it’s hard to go wrong when choosing a route through New Mexico. If there is something in particular you’d like to see, you can make that your starting point and head in almost any direction. For a pre-planned route, consider one of the following:
- Taos—Angel Fire—Mora. This 105-mile circuit starts in the artsy town of Taos and cuts through the Pecos Natural Historic Pass for 12 miles of sweeping bends as you make your way into the ski resort town of Angel Fire. More gentle bends on NM-434 keep the ride interesting as you come into the small town of Mora, but northbound 518 between Mora and Taos is not to be missed. The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway offers overlooks that are worth multiple stops. This 2.5-hour excursion will give you elevation changes, mountain scenery, and challenging twists and turns.
- Route 536 to Sandia Crest. This short stretch just northeast of Albuquerque is as challenging as it is beautiful. Arguably the most fun ride in the state, it’s packed with hairpin turns as you make your way through high desert and dense forest to the peak of Sandia Crest Mountain. It’s a steep grade, but well worth the climb to see the spectacular views from the top. Coming back down will require control and frequent downshifts, but you’ll have so much fun that you might just turn around and do it again!
- Silver City Loop. This 80-mile circle starts and ends in the historic town of Silver City, where you might catch a glimpse of the ghosts of Billy the Kid or Butch Cassidy as you fuel up before the ride. Heading east towards Santa Clara, you’ll pick up the beautifully maintained route 35 in San Lorenzo on your way to the Gila Wilderness. Route 15 is seriously curvy and treats you to unspoiled wilderness as you pass through Pinos Altos on your way back to Silver City. Fun fact: you will cross the Continental Divide twice on this awe-inspiring ride.
These are just a few of the beautiful motorcycle routes in New Mexico. Depending on the time of year, you have lots more options to discover!
As Always, Be Prepared for Potential Hazards
As an experienced rider, you are well aware that your safety is up to you. As you enjoy the road and views along these amazing routes, don’t forget about the dangers all around you. Motorcyclists are most at risk from:
- Distracted drivers. The biggest threats to bikers are drivers who aren’t looking out for them. Whether someone is glancing down to read a text, consult their GPS, or eat a french fry, it only takes a second for them to fail to see a motorcycle in their path, which could be deadly for the rider. Bikers must assume at all times that they are invisible to cars.
- Speeders. Motorists who exceed the speed limit are not going to be able to stop in time or swerve safely to avoid a crash with a motorcycle they only see at the last second. Be aware of speeders, and stay far away from them.
- Road hazards. As you take in the sites along your scenic route, don’t forget to also be on the lookout for potholes, roadkill, debris, flooding, and sand on the road—all of which could send your ride into a skid and throw you off into the sand.