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"All the earth colors of the painter's palette are out there." (Georgia O'Keeffe)
Flame-red chiles; golden adobe; snow-white peaks and sapphire sky: Ansel Adams, Thomas Wolfe and Georgia O'Keeffe were all smitten with New Mexico’s intensity. Enjoy a multitude of options for cycling, hiking, culture and history – and feast richly on the region's phenomenal cuisine. Ride the stunning High Road to Taos and the Enchanted Circle. Spend a half-day rafting the Rio Grande River; explore ancient dwellings in Bandelier and Taos Pueblo, and still have time to wander Santa Fe’s renowned art district.
National Parks on This Tour: Bandelier National Monument
Guide Teri Smith Loves This Tour Because: "The Santa Fe region is generally colorful, where everyone and everything is bright, happy and beautiful. You see everything from high snow-capped peaks to rose-colored desert to broken mesas. The first time I saw it I thought, 'I should marry a cowboy, because then I could see this every day!' Being here lets you learn a lot about the past and how it relates to our present. It makes you appreciate your life in a way that few places can. And being on a bike tour, you have that time to get up close."
Teri recommends this trip for: "Someone who is looking for a good trip to lengthen their riding season. Anyone who is keen for a challenge a bit beyond beginner-level - it's good for intermediate and advanced riders too."
Meet in Santa Fe. Explore Canyon Road’s art galleries and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Ride into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Meet us in Santa Fe (public shuttle available from/to Albuquerque). Santa Fe boasts the third largest fine art market in the United States, and it's one of the greatest cities in the world for dining! Galleries and museums abound; local artists peddle their jewelry and crafts in the city’s plaza. Go for a morning bicycle ride in the outskirts of Santa Fe. Explore the town's rich culture this afternoon. Stay tonight at the Inn of the Governors, in the heart of downtown. Savor one of the city's fabulous restaurants for tonight's dinner.
Pore over mysterious Bandelier National Monument. Hike the Frey Trail, with overviews of Frijoles Canyon and Tyuonyi Ruin. Ride to Chimayo.
Head to Bandelier National Monument. Stroll through ancient cliff dwellings carved high on the canyon walls, where Ancestral Pueblo people made their home nearly 1,000 years ago. Ride north after lunch - through mesas and red hills to the town of Chimayo, famous for its weavings and its church. Spend tonight at the intimate Casa Escondida, with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountain ranges.
Visit Ortega’s iconic weaving shop. Ride the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway, with its tiny Spanish towns and expansive views.
Bicycle the scenic High Road to Taos today, through endless panoramas of pine forests, snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, and remote cottonwood-filled valleys. Stop along the way for a weaving demonstration by local artisans. Spend the next three nights at Casa Benavides in Taos, a beautiful adobe inn ranked by Sunset Magazine as one of the best in the Southwest.
Raft the Rio Grande. Peruse Taos Pueblo. Ride Blueberry Hill or to Taos Ski Valley.
Raft the Rio Grande Canyon this morning! Paddle Class II and III rapids carved through the desert rock, with the help of local guides and instructors. Visit storied Taos Pueblo this afternoon. This is the largest existing multi-storied Pueblo structure in the United States, and home to Taos Native Americans for more than 1,000 years. Hankering for some down time? Explore Taos' shops and artists’ galleries, or get a massage.
Ride the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway.
Ride the Enchanted Circle, a view-crammed loop north of Taos circling the highest peak in New Mexico: Wheeler Peak. The landscape is quite diverse: alpine forests, open range, cattle country, lakes and fascinating small towns. The eastern half of the Enchanted Circle features long, gradual downhills through peaceful valleys of pasture and forest as it winds back to Taos. Bicycle 62 miles of this amazing loop (with boost options for the climbs) or the whole 85 miles.
Ride to picturesque Arroyo Seco before heading back to Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Pedal your bicycle down a quiet side road beside a creek, into beautiful Arroyo Seco valley. Descend a total of 3,000 feet today - a lovely cruise to finish off a marvelous week. Finish at Millicent Rogers Museum. Explore local art and enjoy a final celebratory lunch before shuttling to either Santa Fe (if you're staying for a bit longer) or onward to Albuquerque and the airport.
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As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.