Cycling Raton Pass - Colorado / New Mexico State Line

A Challenging Ride For Bicyclists
Since living in Trinidad, I've found the best uphill climbing is at Raton Pass. No, it's not ideal to be cycling on Interstate 25, but it is legal and there is shoulder all of the way. Personally, I'll take a highway like this over a road with no shoulder and blind curves anyday. Because Raton Pass sits at the Colorado and New Mexico state line, you'll enjoy the novelty of crossing into another state.

From Trinidad, a good starting spot is exit 11 where it becomes legal to bike on the highway all the way to Raton. Park in the Walmart lot and head south on I-25, where it's 11 miles to Raton Pass with an 1800 foot elevation gain. On the Raton side, if you start at exit 454 (the northernmost exit in Raton), it's an 1100 foot gain and 6.5 miles to the top.

Raton Pass, CO
My bicycle at the "Welcome to Colorado" sign. It's fun to chat with tourists who often stop to get a picture there. :)

Photos by Steve Garufi a.k.a. Colorado Guy. Social media links: Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

In 2016, I've biked many times to Raton Pass. Here are some of my better photos.

Raton Pass Cycling
A rest break at exit 2 on the Colorado side.

Cycling Raton Pass
On the Colorado side, the steepest section is between milemarker 2 and 0. My gosh, it is steep! Nice scenery though. :)
Biking Raton Pass
While you're toiling at 3 or 4 mph up the steepest grade, large semi-trucks will be struggling as well at 20 to 25 mph. That fact may comfort you.
Cycling Raton Pass
On the New Mexico side, it's only 113 miles to Las Vegas, but don't get excited... that's Las Vegas, NEW MEXICO, not Las Vegas, Nevada. <:0

In the non-winter months, many snakes are out in southeast Colorado. Be on the lookout! I passed this fella in October. A friend told me this is a harmless bullsnake, and he/she was likely on the pavement seeking warmth.
Interstate 25 near Raton Pass
At exit 6 (Colorado side), I once passed these two traveling cyclists. We had a nice talk. :)

Nice documentation of an autumn ride.

On a warm winter day.

Bill and I driving around Raton Pass.

Raton Pass is in my "not too shabby" video series. :)

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