Albuquerque NM 900 mile loop

Sandia Crest Scenic Byway, near Albuquerque, NM, is the highest scenic byway in the southwest.
Sandia Crest Scenic Byway, near Albuquerque, NM, is the highest scenic byway in the southwest.

 

"Sandia Crest is a mile above the surrounding countryside and 2 miles above sea level. The all- weather, paved Sandia Crest Highway (NM 536) is the highest scenic drive in the southwest."  https://scenicbyways.info/byway/2086.html

 

"The road to the summit is asphalted. It’s called NM-536, also known as Sandia Crest Scenic Byway. The road surface is in good shape, newly resurfaced. Watch for dirt on the tight corners. The drive is also a popular path for motorcycle riders with its miles of winding road to the summit... The highway is a two-lane paved road suitable for all vehicles; there are some sharp curves. This tour of the scenic byway will take you 13.6 miles from the junction with State Highway 14 to the 10,678-foot crest of Sandia Mountain. You will gain 3,828 feet in elevation and temperatures may drop as much as 20 degrees... The road is certainly breathtaking. It climbs nearly 4,000 feet as it travels through the high desert and dense forests of the Sandia Mountains. On the drive you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Albuquerque, the Rio Grande, Mount Taylor, and the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains."  https://www.dangerousroads.org/north-america/usa/4034-sandia-crest.html


The Tinkertown Museum on Sandia Crest Road has unique woodcarving displays. It's earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.  Click the photo for more information.
The Tinkertown Museum on Sandia Crest Road has unique woodcarving displays. It's earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Click the photo for more information.
900 mile motorcycle ride from Albuquerque, NM includes Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
900 mile motorcycle ride from Albuquerque, NM includes Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

 

Iron Creek Campround

 

First come, first serve. All Gila NF campgrounds have a 14 day stay limit.  There is no fee for this campground ($0.00).

 

Area Amenities: Tent camping, Camping trailer, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking, NO Potable Water, It is recommended that visitors bring their own firewood.

 

There is a 14-day stay limit. OHV/ATVs are prohibited in the campground. Hunting and shooting are prohibited in the campground. Stock is not allowed in the immediate campground.

 

The watersheds above the campground were severely burned during the Silver Fire in 2013. Please be aware that flooding could occur during rain storms.

 

Mimbres, NM has a store, gas station and several restaurants. The nearest town for all other amenities is Silver City.   https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gila/recarea/?recid=1975

 

NM Hwy 152 takes you across Emory Pass at 8228 ft, on the way to Iron Creek Campground.
NM Hwy 152 takes you across Emory Pass at 8228 ft, on the way to Iron Creek Campground.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects the world's most extensive Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation and survival. Come experience mountains and canyons, desert and dunes, night skies and spectacular vistas within a place unlike any other within the NPS.  https://www.nps.gov/gumo/index.htm

 

There is no lodging inside the park. However, if you are planning on staying in the park, Guadalupe Mountains operates two frontcountry campgrounds. NOTE: all camping is at a first come, first served basis. There are no reservations for individual sites.  

Pine Springs Campground - 20 tent sites, 20 RV sites (accommodates up to 50 feet), and 1 stock corral site. Campgrounds are accessible.

Dog Canyon Campground - 9 tent sites, 4 RV sites, 1 stock corral site. Campground is accessible.

https://www.nps.gov/gumo/eatingsleeping.htm

 

Carlsbad Cavern is one of over 300 limestone caves in a fossil reef laid down by an inland sea about 265 million years ago. Twelve-to-fourteen thousand years ago, American Indians lived in the Guadalupe Mountains. Some of their cooking ring sites and pictographs have been found within the present day boundaries of the park.  https://www.nps.gov/cave/learn/historyculture/index.htm

Carlsbad Caverns photo by Eric Guinther, User:Marshman - Uploaded to the English Wikipedia August 2003 (deleted page), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64449
Carlsbad Caverns photo by Eric Guinther, User:Marshman - Uploaded to the English Wikipedia August 2003 (deleted page), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64449
Carlsbad Caverns National Park map
Carlsbad Caverns National Park map