Cross-Country Segment 4

Craig, CO to Santa Fe, NM

img_5384-xlSegment 4 is the high-altitude training portion of the cross-country ride, as the route crosses the Continental Divide for the first time, hits its highest elevation of the summer in Colorado, and summits mountain passes over 9,000 feet in three different spots. Ride Day 1 actually begins fairly flat, following the twists and turns of the Yampa River to Steamboat Springs. The climb from Steamboat to Rabbit Ears Pass (9,426 feet) offers several miles of 7% uphill grade, a Continental Divide crossing, and beautiful vistas of the green valleys below. Riders will be one wrong turn from a century ride as we coast downhill to the Colorado River valley and the village of Kremmling.

The air gets even thinner on Day 2, as we head south from Kremmling toward Fremont Pass, which flirts with the treeline at over 11,000 feet. The Front Range will be on our left all day until we reach Leadville – the highest incorporated city in the United States. Gravity finally takes over on Ride Day 3…where big-time elevation loss combined with superb views of Mt. Elbert (the highest peak in the Rockies) makes for a lovely 61 mile ride into Salida. The Rockies have plenty more in store for Day 4, which includes a crossing of the Poncha Pass at over 9,000 feet. The route traverses the Rio Grande River for the first time as we enter Alamosa city limits on this 84 mile day.

Ride Day 5 includes the 5th state line of the summer: New Mexico! The northern New Mexico landscape is dotted with numerous pueblos – Native American villages which have been occupied for a millennium. One such old pueblo, Taos, is our destination after a 92 mile trek around the isolated peaks of the Rio Grande valley. The final ride day of Segment 4 follows the Camino Real (“Royal Road”), a historic trade route for Native tribes and Spanish settlers for hundreds of years, into Santa Fe – the 4th state capital in 4 weeks. Santa Fe is cradled by the gorgeous foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and lays claim to a very rich Native American and Spanish history. A well-deserved off day to peruse the countless art galleries and museums of this storied city will be in order as Segment 4 draws to a close.

Build Days: 0                Bike Days: 6               Total Miles: 484              Average: 81

DateDepart Arrive Mileage
June 25Craig, COCraig, COOff Day
June 26Craig, COKremmling, CO97
June 27Kremmling, COLeadville, CO76
June 28Leadville, COSalida, CO61
June 29Salida, COAlamosa, CO84
June 30Alamosa, COTaos, NM92
July 1Taos, NMSanta Fe, NM74
July 2Santa Fe, NMSanta Fe, NMOff Day

(Note: This mileage is an estimate and could change depending on church host locations, and the major cities are listed although we may stay in a suburb.)

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