“Cebolla Mesa is a sprawling mesa that offers tons of opportunities for lightning fast descents or slow bikepacking.”
— DeArmond lopez
Cebolla Mesa spans Garapata Ridge to the south and the Red River Fish Hatchery to the north with pristine desert and pinion forests in the middle. Any direction you ride will have scenic rolling hills leading to either the Rio Grande Gorge or a stunning ridge.
This area offers excellent bikepacking in the area with facilities at the Rio Grande to make it even more luxurious. The adjacent forests on the mesa offer great wild camping for the more adventurous.
Need to Know
Completely impassable during rainstorms or when muddy, the mud damages bikes. No water in the area. Bathroom at the rest area right on the gorge.
The ride either begins at the mail boxes on the highway in Lama or at Garapata Ridge a mile or so south of Lama.
From Lama, head south on the main dirt road heading west. This first section is private property so be respectful to boundaries. Take the first right you can past the small fenced area and keep going west. Once under the power lines, cross the fence that has the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps sign. Take the left road as opposed to the right road.
Once you're going west again, you can continue going west or you can take the northern leading roads to explore different parts of the mesa. The western roads will eventually lead to the Cebolla Mesa rest area after several miles. The rest area has bathrooms and free camping opportunities right along the Rio Grande Gorge.
Once at the rest area, travel east on the main road for several miles then take either the second right or the right turn after the cattle guard. Keep traveling south after that turn to reach Garapata Ridge. Once at the ridge, you can travel west once again to reach a stunning vista of the Rio Grande. Travel east up Garapata Ridge to eventually reach the highway to conclude the ride. You can also explore the numerous side roads in the area to make the ride even longer.
The ride can also be started from Garapata Ridge and ridden in the opposite direction. Doing this provides four miles of fast and flowy downhill right to the Rio Grande Gorge. You can also descend from either Lama or Garapata Ridge then spend all day exploring the various roads in the area while making your own route.
History & Background
There is an abandoned water treatment plant a mile or so west of the highway on Garapata Ridge.