Trip Report – Exploring the Caja del Rio by Bike

Trip Report – Exploring the Caja del Rio by Bike

Autumn is finally in full swing and the higher terrains are beginning to see their first snows. In light of this transition, it was time to seek lower ground and explore possibilities otherwise forgotten. Fortunately for me I have a friend and neighbor whose deep local knowledge is always a great resource to tap. Where to this time? Out beyond the west side of the city and into the Caja del Rio area of the Santa Fe National Forest.

The Caja itself is a large shelf of basalt ending with a dramatic thousand foot cliff down to the Rio Grande. Opposite of the Caja is Bandelier National Monument, the Jemez Mountains, and the town of White Rock. These places almost exclusively have access to grand vistas and views into the White Rock Canyon and Rio Grande. Rarely have I seen (or frankly, ever seen) photos from the Santa Fe side of the river.


With this and the promise of warmer weather as our inspiration I was lead out various dirt roads, cut-throughs, and rough jeep track to Indian Ruins, views of the Rio Grande, and fast descents that were hobbled only by unstable and rocky terrain.

Here are some shots of a place little traveled by those on two wheels…