Questa is a popular destination for cyclists, whether it is a point on the popular Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour each September, or a summer morning ride up from Taos, or a loop into the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument adjacent to the village.
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument: 32 mile roundtrip from Questa
Continue north from Questa on highway 522. Watch for the brown signs for the Monument. In 2.6 miles turn west/left onto the paved road, highway 378. This road dead-ends in the monument and is well marked with mileage prior to the entrance, as you make a couple initial curves through the scattered settlement of Cerro. (a bonus: Tia’s Cafe is on your right, mid-town, so to speak!)
The monument entrance is 3.5 miles from highway 522. Once there, you have beautiful, open scenery that very quickly puts you on the east rim of the Rio Grande Gorge. This road does not (yet!) have much traffic, is fairly flat, with some gentle rolling ups and downs and only one half-mile-long hill south of the Bear Crossing trail. The road loops at the end, with the La Junta Point Overlook marking the furthest point.
*Find stunning views of the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grande.
*The Visitor Center is on the east side of the loop road, offering restrooms, water, book and map sales and a knowledgable staff of rangers and volunteers.
Taos to Questa: 24 miles, one-way
Follow Highway 522 straight north out of Taos. This route offers wide open views across Hondo Mesa and a long downhill swoop into the Arroyo Hondo area before rising up toward San Christobal. Many long, steady ups and downs follow, with “Mile Hill” leading to the top of Garrapata ridge. From there the ride is almost all downhill into Questa.
*continue north for the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
*turn east at the intersection onto highway 38 for Red River and the Enchanted Circle.
Vistas de Questa Trail: almost 7 miles one-way
This trail is accessed off highway 522, about 1.5 miles north of Questa. Watch for the small brown sign, and turn west/left onto Don Martinez Road. Continue to end of road and park in small lot. The trail is rough, with a 300′-500′ elevation rise, depending on your choice to visit the east-facing overlook on your way.
*At the end of the trail, you can follow a dirt road 1 mile west to the paved monument road and enjoy a 12-mile paved loop past dramatic overlooks.
*Return on the mountainbike trail or stay on the paved road to exit onto highway 522 again one mile north of where you left it.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway: 84 mile roundtrip
Highways 522, 64, and 38 form a circle around Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico. The route passes through Taos and Questa in the Rio Grande valley, following highway 522 north, winds uphill on highway 38 alongside bighorn sheep to the activity-filled town of Red River, follows the left-hand fork out of town to climb then descend the beautiful, open mountain scenery of Bobcat Pass to the historic mining town of Eagle Nest. Picking up highway 64 and turning south passes Eagle Nest Lake and continues to the resort town of Angel Fire, before returning to Taos.
*the areas of road between Questa and Red River, and again between Angel Fire and Taos are narrow without much shoulder. Wildlife abounds, as do cars driving too fast. Please be cautious.
Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour: find more information HERE.
Area bike club:
Del Norte MtB Alliance, this local club, based just north of Taos organizes rides throughout the area. Find info. and announcements on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/DelNorteMtBAlliance/