Bikepacking New Mexico’s Valles Caldera Supervolcano​

What a trip. I can honestly say I was a bit stubborn for the first day. I rode 30 miles from Albuquerque to Kewa Pueblo where I picked up the trailhead for another 8 miles to camp. It’s been a while since having the bike fully loaded and I was exhausted. Pavement turned into dirt and dirt turned into creek hike a bike passes to get to camp. What a day, along with all the drudgery.

I was frantically paranoid of the noises outside my tent that kept me going in and out of R.E.M. sleep all night. I got everything packed to start at 6 am and I rode to the top of the hill to catch the sunrise over the ridge off in the distance. I paused for its breathless view and the pink, orange hues of the serene New Mexico dirt trail. I was excited to take on the day. It was a climb after climb into new scenic ecosystems that New Mexico offers. Rugged mountain passes that climbed 8000 feet, petrified forest burned down to the soil with trees layered down like a box of pencil across the table. The lush green forest hid me from the sun and gave me a cool fan like a breeze.

Entering the Valle Caldera on my last day was a blissful moment. Just past the gate were vast grassland that coats the Caldera floor leading into dirt/ gravel tracks that went up through the tree lines. It’s amazing how the terrain changes from grass, dirt bolder mountain peeks to unfortunate trees that didn’t make it past the fires. This was the last day, and oh a day it was.

Route & Planning

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Ridden & Written by

Dwayne Burgess (Manual Pedal)


  1. mtngrrl

    You might be interested to know a comprehensive trail guide to VCNP has finally been published. It includes guidance for mountain bikers. You can learn about it here:

  2. Claire Allen

    Hey Dwayne! Sweet trip report, did you find your bike setup was sufficient? I’m scheming of doing this on my rigid gravel bike which currently has 32x700c tires… thinking I may want to beef up my tires?

    • Dwayne Burgess

      Thanks, Claire! The bike was was just right on the route. I plus size tires is the way to go as there are very technical sections with steep pitches and downhills with big roots and rocks. With 700×32 tires you may run into some discomforts in my description of the route with that size.

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