During my stay at the Angel Fire Resort, I had to check out the Enchanted Circle. The Enchanted Circle is a century road ride around Wheeler Peak. The park host informed me that some of the roads are dangerous but incredibly beautiful.
As you can see from the map, there are many attractions along the way. I set out early on Scenic Byway heading towards Taos from Angel Fire. Right off the bat, there was a pretty good climb to get that heart rate up.
I passed through the tiny, artistic town of Arroyo Seco on the way to the Taos Ski Valley, then continued north to Questa. In the distance, I saw mountain vistas of aspen and pine in the shadow of 13,161 foot Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest point. I made a quick detour to catch the rare river access of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument north of town, then returned to Questa to turn east on NM 38.
I took a lunch break in Red River. This quaint little town nestled in the middle of the mountains had a ton of lodges, resorts, restaurants, and gift shops. Ski runs rise steeply just off the single main street. During the summer months that offer a lift ticket to the summit for lunch and awesome views. This would be a great place to escape from the race of everyday life.
I loaded up on food and water because the ascent out of Red River was steep and long. It was hard to take in the breath taking views being out of breath. At lease someone painted encouraging words on the road, "Halfway there", "1000 more yards", etc... The scenic views were vistas of spruce and aspen as far as the eye could see. There was no time to catch my breath, the descent after cresting the mountain was crazy exciting. Freshly paved roads made for high speeds. Only a few blind corners to negotiate until the level run into Eagle Nest.
I stopped in Eagle Nest for more water and to take in the beauty of Eagle Nest Lake State Park. I was informed at the store, that the picturesque 2,400 acre lake offers trout and kokanee salmon fishing. I thought long and hard about renting some fishing gear. The park is also a great location to see wildlife like, elk, deer bear, and eagles.
Almost home, I made a quick stop at the DAV Vietnam Memorial. The DAV was built by one family as a shrine to their fallen son. This is the only state park dedicated as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Angel Fire Mountain Bike Park
Below is a video which features some of my riding at the Angel Fire Mountain bike park. I posted this before on social media but, the main reason for visiting New Mexico was to kickoff my 2016 mountain bike race season. I registered for a few races in Angel Fire and Santa Fe. I had a breakout first few races with all podium finishes. This is one amazing place for outdoor activities. I made a ton of friends at the park.