Anasazi Indian Country Tour + ADD NEW ROUTE
8 in New Mexico New Mexico160 Miles
By Hector Paiz
on February 1, 2000
- Trip Toolbox
The route starts in the town of Bernalillo, NM just off of I-25. From Bernalillo, take US 550 (Rte 44) north for about 20 miles and then get on Rte 4 heading north to the town of San Ysidro. Stay on this road until you go through the town of Totavi and then look for Rte 30. Take route 30 heading north towards the town of Espanola. Before you get to Espanola, Rte 4 will run into Rte 84 which you want to take north (left) towards the town of Abiquiu. Continue on Rte 84 past Abiquiu till you reach the routes end at the Echo Amphitheater.
On this route you will see some great New Mexico scenery and get to see some really significant historical sites that include ancient Indian cliff dwellings and the famous town where the Atomic Bomb was developed. Part of the great beauty of this route is that you get to see so some of the great varieties of Southwestern US scenery. You start out traveling through arid, orange colored rocky canyons that are a great display of classic southwest scenery. The walls of rock line the road and look as though they are going to escort the road forever. Later on the route you'll climb into the mountains and be taken to lush, alpine scenery that you normally picture when you think of states like Colorado or Montana. Then you'll find yourself finishing the route back in an area that is known for its colorful canyons, red hills and rock bluffs and has inspired famous painters.
Photo contributed by "Geezy Rider" in May 09: "I did this route on my son's borrowed BMW R1200RS a week ago. Thought I would add some photos to a great ride. Taken on the Yemez Pueblo"
The roads on this route are pretty nice. The surface conditions are good. The amount of twists and turns leave something to be desired if you are in to that type of driving. However, elevation changes keep you from getting bored. I give it a 3 for average.
Photo contributed by "Geezy Rider" in May 09: "Soda Dam, west of the Yemez Reservation on State road 4"
Contributed by visitor in Sep 09: "Great ride along Rt. 4 North - rented a HD in albuquerque and made the trek myself - Spectacular experience! Thanks New Mexico!This shot taken near Jemez Pueblo"
There is a lot to do on this route in terms of parks and historical sites:The town of Jemez Pueblo holds a popular Feast Day on both August 2nd and November 12th.Jemez Springs gets its name from the hot springs that are open to visitors who enjoy bathing in the pools on cool winter nights. The town is also home to a very old Spanish Missionary pueblo and church that has become a state monument. Also, if you stop here, be sure and see the 'Soda Dam.' This is a dam made by nature that stands about 40 feet tall and has been built over the years by rock deposits. It continues to grow today and actually chokes off part of the Jemez River.You will love when you reach the 'Valle Grande' area. The scenery just opens up and gives you a great view. Apparently this area was actually at one time a huge volcanic mountain that erupted and then later collapsed creating the valley.The Bandelier National Monument is a neat place to see some ancient Indian cliff dwellings. These dwellings were inhabited by the remarkable Anasazi Indians thousands of years ago. You can visit the nearby visitor center to learn about the history and culture of these ancient Americans or personally walk around in the dwellings.Not far off the route, on Rte 501, is the famous Los Alamos nuclear development center that during World War II developed the Atom Bomb. This town has a museum that will tell you all about the history of the development of the A-bomb and how this has impacted the entire world. The town also has a lot to offer in terms of other tourist attractions.The White Rock overlook is placed next to a 700-foot cliff to give you an awesome view of the Rio Grande Valley.If you take a detour off of Rte. 30 on to 565, you can travel to the Puye Cliff Dwellings and see more of the Anasazi Indian's ancient structures. One of the structures housed about 700 people at one point. The cliff dwellings here are easier to get to than the ones at Bandelier National Monument. Rte. 84 heading north is where you will see some of the most colorful southwestern landscapes in New Mexico. Further up the road you can end your trip at a couple of the route's real highlights - the Ghost Ranch and the Echo Amphitheater. The Ghost Ranch has a zoo and museum.
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Nickname (optional) : Hector Paiz