A Desert Escape in New Mexico
This is a simple out-and-back ride from Las Cruces, NM to Leasburg Dam State Park to enjoy the peace of the blooming desert and the company of a good bike-travel friend.
Bicycle Adventurers: Tammy Schurr and her touring buddy, Cindy, both members of ROYALS, a women's cycling group in Las Cruces, NM.
When: Later winter, March 2016.
Accommodations: We love to tent camp and Leasburg Dam State Park has lovely sites with covered picnic tables, a must in the desert sun! The showers are hot, there's a nice two-mile walk around the park, and the evenings feature lovely sunsets over the Robledo Mountains.
Distance: Total round trip, out-and-back distance from Las Cruces, NM: 40 miles.
Bonus tip for this adventure:
- Take a two-mile walk around the park.
- Visit the nearby Fort Selden Historic Site an Army post once occupied by the Buffalo Soldiers.
- If there's water in the Rio Grande, you can go for a dip!
- High Desert Brewing Company on West Hadley Ave. on the return trip.
- Get a taste of Adventue Cycling's Southern Tier Route.
- We used the Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces as our starting point.
Las Cruces, NM lies on Adventure Cycling's Southern Tier Route (Section 2) and follows Highway 185 along the Rio Grande. We traveled west on the route to camp at Leasburg Dam State Park, about 20 miles away.
Since we're locals, we modified the route a bit:
This particular bike overnight for me was to check out using panniers. I've used a BOB trailer for all my self-contained touring and wanted to increase my touring options by using panniers occasionally. It was a success! Panniers are awesome and my Trek 520 handled them beautifully!
After a great night at the campground, we wanted to eat a hearty pancake breakfast after an evening meal of backpacking dinners. We didn't find pancakes and ended up opting for an early lunch at High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces: great bike parking, awesome brews, and food for the meat eaters and vegetarians alike!
Your favorite local bike shop?
Outdoor Adventure, 1424 E. Missouri Ave, Solano Square, Las Cruces, NM 88001, 575-521-1922
Bike overnight tips and tricks?
- My favorite thing about this tour was exploring panniers and discovering what features and size I want in a set of new rear panniers. Plus, this trip helped me decide how to pack them in a way that makes sense to.
- My new favorite gadget is my Nemo sleeping pad with intergrated air pump! So small and light weight and easy to use!
HOW ABOUT YOU? Inspire others by submitting your bike overnight adventure!