Once you pass the Rio Grande, water is extremely scarce. Once you return to the John Dunn Bridge, relax in the water and cool off from the ride. Midtown Lounge in Arroyo Hondo has good food and drinks.
This 25-mile route crosses the Rio Grande, travels north on the west side of the gorge past three cerros and one brushy mountain. This high desert ride provides ample opportunities for bikepacking and further exploration of this largely unexplored region on New Mexico.
Take in the stunning cerros jutting out of the desert and all the strange geology happening around you. Explore Brushy Mountain and find the unique white sands pouring out of the south side.
This route begins at either Arroyo Hondo or on the west side of the John Dunn Bridge if you want to avoid pavement. From Arroyo Hondo, ride west on County Road B-007
and cross the John Dunn Bridge spanning the Rio Grande. Climb out of the Rio Grande and take the second right leading to several houses.
Once on this main road, stay on it for the duration of the ride. After 13 miles, you'll start to see Cerro Montoso to the left. Cerro Montoso has lots of bikepacking locations to explore and camp at. Keep going north on the main road until you see the other cerros coming out of the horizon.
Keep going straight until you get to Cerro Chiflo. From Cerro Chiflo, travel east along the north-facing side of the hill until you reach the Rio Grande Gorge opposite of Sheep's Crossing in Wild Rivers National Monument. Once you reach the end, make your way back or explore the countless other roads in the area. I recommend exploring Brushy Mountain to find the dry oasis on the south side of the mountain.