Turquoise trail motorcycle ride to Cerrillos Ghost town and Madrid, NM

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees this past weekend in Santa Fe, we were itching for a ride somewhere and Sunday morning was our best option.  We woke up at 7:00am for coffee and weather reports before gearing up to get out while the weather was cool enough to enjoy the mountainside views of New Mexico.  We made the 14 mile ride from our campground on the Turquoise Trail to Cerrillos, stopping at the only gas station on our way to top off our tanks.  When you only have a 1.78 gallon gas tank you have to always be mindful of it, even when you get 70+mpg. (I fear the day we run out of gas)


We only had about a 3 hour window before the noon sun would really start to heat up.  We rode to Cerrillos Ghost Town, which used to be a mining town and happens to have a building with the name “Tiffany’s” on it, they took advantage of the turquoise rocks from local mines to be turned into fancy jewelry back in the day. We rode all around the small town and eventually over to Cerrillo’s State park, but the park was small and many of the trails were mainly for hiking, biking and equestrian use.   Below is a pic where we stopped for a water break and a couple of photo opps in front of Mary’s Bar before planning our next spot to hit on the TW200’s.IMG_6153

After driving throughout the town we came across Waldo Canyon Road, which had everything we needed to finish our ride; plenty of room, zero traffic and lots of dirt.  After about 8  miles of easy terrain with some nice inclines and twists in the road we finally reached payment and decided to turn around and backtracked towards the fun where Denny wanted to get off road and try some of the smaller trails we passed up along the way and even up some steeper hills where I had my first (I’m going to call it.. tip-over) since I was in the wrong gear but was too exited chasing Denny up a hill that my rookie-self wasn’t ready for yet 🙂  No harm, just a lot of adrenaline and the bike came to slow stop and finally resting on it side spilling out some precious fuel, but Denny circled back to save the day and commended me on getting so far and encouraging my efforts.   We did a couple more smaller trails which were the most fun especially some of the “Is this trail?” kinda of paths.  We stopped again for another water break and some nice shots but unfortunately we forgot the GoPro.  Oh well, directly below is a mining map which shows pretty much the ride we did minus all of the loop-backs and joy riding around town.


(Veronica with her Ear to Ear smiles covered by her helmet) (Nice boots)IMG_6160 IMG_6154

In the end is was a nice way to start off our morning and getting some hours on the bikes.  Pretty soon we will be stars of Motorcross.. ha…  Below are some google street view shots from the Waldo Canyon Road.  It was pretty amazing and for a beginner like me a continuous dream coming true.

After reaching back to the town of Cerrillos we decided that it was time to start heading back home, but before that we decided to take a quick ride through Madrid, NM as it was only another 3 miles in the opposite direction but such nice town to visit.   It was cool to see a group of Harley riders give a double take and a thumbs up as we slowly passed through the quaint one lane town.


In the end it was a full day all before noon and boy does it take a lot out you.

  1. Fun ride! I love tiny desert towns. You guys should check out Jerome, Arizona sometime. The road there is perfect for bikes (not rvs though) and the area around has lots of old mining roads.

    • ibanesve@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you Kat! Will try to check out Jerome 🙂

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