Madrid Gold Rush

Climb South of Madrid

Climb South Of Madrid

The Madrid Gold Rush is more fun than an ornery pack mule in a minefield. Begin and end at 4-Hills Smiths. This classic club ride is in the rural setting of the east mountains, east of the Sandia Mountains. The ride is somewhat challenging but has stunning views of the Sandias, Ortiz Mountains, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This is a good ride to escape the heat of the city but it can get really hot and windy out here too. The route is mainly on NM14 which goes through open pinon and juniper forests and hilly terrain.

The route can be shortened by 12 miles by starting at the Tijeras library. Madrid has a lower elevation than the start from Tijeras so this ride is harder on the return, so be prepared. There is no water available north of San Antonito (Sandia Crest Cutoff) until Madrid, so carry plenty of water. There are a few stores or coffee shops in Madrid where you can buy snacks. The climbs north, out of Madrid are short (several miles) but steep. The route goes through Golden, where not much is going on, but has the often photographed Catholic church of San Francisco just off the NM14. It can get pretty hot and windy in the summer afternoons.


Area Map

Getting There: Start at the 4-Hills Smiths at the junction of Tramway, Central, and I-40 or Tijeras which cuts off 14 miles.


Roadway: NM14 is 4-laned with a narrow shoulder from Tijeras to Frost Rd but with light traffic on weekends. NM14 north from Frost Rd is 2-laned with no shoulders but with very light traffic.


Notes: See NM Ghost Towns, Madrid. There are several stores or coffee shops in Madrid to get snacks, coffee, or water. (The mines at Madrid are for coal, not gold by the way...). There a two convenience stores in Cedar Crest and one at NM14 & Frost Rd. but nothing between Frost Rd and Madrid.

Madrid Gold Rush Cue Sheet // 72 Miles, 3750' Elevation Gain from Tijeras
Mileage Waypoint Leg Description


4-Hills Smiths Ride East on NM333 (old Rt. 66) to Tijeras at I-40. Continue straight through the Stop Light at NM333 & NM337 (S14) and curve left (north) under I-40.


Jct I-40 & NM14 Ride Straight (north) on NM14 past the Sandia Crest Turnoff (NM536 or Frost Rd.), past the Heartbreak Hill (NM344) turnoff (at 22 miles) to Madrid.


Madrid Return by the same route. This includes a pretty hard 4-mile climb south out of Madrid.

Madrid Gold Rush Elevation Profile

For those starting in Tijeras note that Madrid is lower than Tijeras. On the return there is a big climb out of Madrid, a climb out of Golden. The climb up NM14 to the Crest Rd is not bad. Finally, it's downhill all the way to Tijeras or 4-Hills..

Elevation Profile