Sandia Mountain Loop Century
The Sandia Mountain Loop Century includes georgeous scenery and lots of climbing. A portion is on I-25 but it has shoulders so just grin and bear it. Some stretches have no place to stop for food and water so carry plenty. Since this is a loop it can begin and end at any point but this mileage starts and ends at the Four Hills Smiths. The section on I-25 is on and off the frontage road. Stay east of the concrete barriers on the uphill section.
Sandia Century Map
Getting There: Since this is a loop you can start or end anywhere. A good place to avoid if you can be dropped off is the section that uses I-25 from San Felipe to the exit 267 to Waldo.
Distance: 107 Miles, Lots of climbing (~6,000').
Roadway: Mostly rural 2-lane roads. I-25 has shoulders and is used where there are no frontage roads from San Felipe to exit 267. There are rumble strips along the white line. NM22 is a dirt road so is not usable.
Notes: There are places to get food and water along the way but there are some dry stretches so carry adequate water and food. There are places to get food and water at Lone Butte, Madrid, the Triangle, Cedar Crest, Tijeras, 4-Hills, along Tramway, Bernalillo, and the San Felipe Casino.
Sandia Mountain Century CueSheet // 107 Miles
Mileage Leg Description
Four Hills Smiths. Take Tramway, NM556, north. There are plenty of places to stop for food until I-25.
Pass Montgomery. Continue north on Tramway. Tramway has nice smooth clean shoulders from I-40 to I-25. Watch the area in front of the Sandia Casino just east of I-25. The shoulder is a little confusing, do not get on the right side of right turning traffic. The last thing the people coming or going to the casino are looking for is cyclists.
Cross under I-25, still on Tramway. The gas station here is the last food until Bernalillo.
Turn right on NM313 to Bernalillo, signed. NM313 has no shoulders and crumbling edges to Bernalillo with moderate traffic.
NM44. Continue north on NM313. Several gas stations here.
The Country Store on the right (east) - Food! A more pleasant section, rural area with little traffic.
Jct With NM315. Two Options:
1-Turn Right (E) on NM315, 0.4 miles to I-25. Cross over and ride North (left) on the shoulder to the Waldo Exit 267.
2-Continue North on NM313 to the stop sign at San Felipe. Continue below.
Stop Sign at San Felipe: Turn right (east), ride 1/4 mile and cross over I-25 where it dead ends. Carry your bike a few feet to I-25 and ride north on the shoulder. Both options are together again.
Option: Turn left (west) to San Felipe pueblo stop sign. Turn right at the stop sign, ride to the San Felipe Casino. This option avoids about 2.5 miles of interstate but is about 6.3 miles which adds about 4 miles.
Exit 252: San Felipe Casino and gas Station - Food and bathrooms. At 253 begin new pavement, smooth. Hills.
Exit 259 Cochiti Exit: NM22, gas station. NM22 west goes to Cochiti and Pena Blanca. NM22 east is a rough dirt road, too bad, that goes to NM14.
Exit 263: Bottom of Hill, Gallisteo River. Cross over (east) the concrete barriers at their beginning to the frontage road. There is no easy way since a fence is there and it is not designed with bicycles in mind. The barriers seperate the frontage road (2-way) and I-25. These are the usual prefab concrete barriers with the headlight shades on top. Once you pass the beginning you can't get over them due to the shades. The shoulder narrows uncomfortably in a little bit with the 3 lanes of traffic up La Bajada Hill. A paved road goes 6 east miles to the Gallisteo Dam here.
Exit 264: NM16: End of the frontage road again, back on the highway. The highway is older here but the shoulder is adequate, not great.
Exit 267 - Waldo Exit. Follow the frontage road almost to Bonanza Creek Road (Santa Fe County Rd. 45) just before the Turquoise Trading Post. You pass an I-25 rest stop with bathrooms, water, with an information center. Just before the rest area is the top of La Bajada Hill with vistas of the Sandias, Sangre de Cristos, Cerillos Hills, Jemez Mountains, and Ortiz Mountains. The country road goes east here about 1/2 mile before it turns to dirt. It continues to Waldo and the town of Cerillos.
Bonanza Creek Road (SF Country Rd. 45). Turn right (east). Follow this as it winds south then uphill then onto Silver Hills Rd east until NM14. There are no other paved intersections until NM14, just follow the pavement as it turns E, S, E, S, E. 6.8 miles.
NM14: Turn right (south) all the way to I-40. There are several gas stations and a cafe here. The Lone Butte store and Shell station is at the intersection.
Turnoff to Cerrillos. Continue south on NM14.
Madrid. Grocery store, resturants, coffee. Last food until the "Triangle", 16 miles.
Pass NM344 - continue south on NM14.
The "Triangle": Junction with Frost Road, NM14, and the Crest Road. There is a grocery store and a convienence store. Continue south on NM14.
Pass under I-40, junction at the Tijeras traffic light. This is now old RT66, now nameed NM333. Continue west to Albuquerque.
Pass under and over I-40 to the Four Hills traffic light. Smiths is in sight. Turn left at Tramway and the cars!