A Beautiful Bike Ride From Los Alamos To Abiquiu Through The Jemez Mountains

100702160_10220756722460885_1013066516066729984_o (1)The Los Alamos Reporter was fascinated by Nathan Burnside’s photos of his recent ride from Los Alamos to Abiquiu through the Jemez Mountains which started out with some dramatic lighting over Los Alamos Canyon. Photo by Nathan Burnside

101428879_10220756719540812_8995619984256270336_oThe view back across Canada Bonita. The rains from the previous evening, and the lingering clouds make for some beautiful light. Photo by Nathan Burnside

100712883_10220756721380858_6940333255283441664_oAfter descending the access road near Canada Bonita, the first view is of Valle de los Posos, a misspelling of pozos, meaning spring or well. Photo by Nathan Burnside

101829782_10220756719340807_2143915629688651776_oThis little pond was hoppin’ with croaking frogs. Photo by Nathan Burnside

83611639_10220756718860795_5167855047417004032_o (1)A small herd of elk was running about and enjoying the moisture. Photo by Nathan Burnside

100100689_10220756718220779_6179394749854646272_o (1)‘Far off I could see the meadow near Garita Peak that I would traverse while climbing  out of the preserve’. Photo by Nathan Burnside

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Valle Toledo is the headwaters for the San Antonio creek and it seems to go on forever. It’s just starting to green-up. Photo by Nathan Burnside

San Antonio creek gathers from hundreds of small springs throughout the Valle Todelo, and has a healthy flow by the time it crosses the road and heads toward the Valle San Antonio. Photo by Nathan Burnside

VC12 doesn’t see much traffic, and it’s mostly carpeted with greenery. Photo by Nathan Burnside
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Finally at the meadow, a view of the entire north side of the preserve comes into view. Photo by Nathan Burnside
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‘Looking back toward Pajarito, I can see the Valle de los Posos (top left) where I took the photo of this meadow.’ Photo by Nathan Burnside 
After a bit of bushwhacking and lifting the bike over logs, I arrive at Chihuahuenos canyon. Photo by Nathan Burnside
After climbing out of Chihuahuenos the terrain starts to look a lot like the Pajarito Plateau–but with Cerro Pedernal in the background. Photo by Nathan Burnside
It appeared, for a moment, to be active! Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
I didn’t get many photos of the descent from Polvadera mesa. It was fast, bumpy and dusty. I was glad to have suspension. Soon Pedernal is just a blip on the horizon. Photo by Nathan Burnside
In these wide open grasslands, the roads seem to stretch out forever. Photo by Nathan Burnside
The final 6 miles or so are screaming descent on a washboarded gravel road. Photo by Nathan Burnside
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Finally Abuquiu comes into sight. Burnside’s route from Los Alamos to Abiquiu started at Pajarito. He rode out past Canada Bonita, dropped into the Valles Caldera and traversed to Valle San Antonio. From there, he headed north on VC12 to climb out of the preserve. He followed FR144 east to the ‘secret’ entrance to Canada de la Mora, then descended through Chihuahuenos canyon until intersecting FR448. He climbed out of the drainage and up to Polvadera mesa, intersecting the great divide mountain bike route. Finally he descended to Abiquiu. Photo by Nathan Burnside