Sunspot Scenic Byway Cruise

Cloudcroft, New Mexico 88317

Sunspot Scenic Byway Cruise

Sunspot Scenic Byway Cruise Professional Review and Guide

"The ride up to the National Solar Observatory along the Sunspot Scenic Byway is a great workout without being as steep and grueling as some of the state’s ski area roads. Along the way you can stop at overlooks with views of the Tularosa Basin, including White Sands National Monument.

You’ll be riding the crest of the Sacramento Mountains through Lincoln National Forest; and at the terminus of the byway, you can follow a self-guided trail and learn more about the observatory and its telescopes. Terrain: A hill climb with a good shoulder and gradual grade; some up and down in both directions."

Sunspot Scenic Byway Cruise Reviews

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The drive to the parking area in Cloudcroft is gorgeous. From Alamagordo to Cloudcroft you climb about 4,000 in 16 miles, with gorgeous viewing spots on the side of the road. The ride itself was not as enjoyable. Most of the ride is met with headwind or crosswind coming through the different valleys and due to the proximity of the canopy, you don't ever get a really nice view aside from the two peak points and the Solar Observatory. Make note the visitor center is only open Thursday-Sunday 10am-4pm. No vending machines and bathrooms are locked in the winter. Would be a nice drive, but with most of the ride's exertion being spent going up and 8% grade in a headwind....not the best ride.

Sunspot Scenic Byway Cruise Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
8,800 feet
Trailhead Elevation
9,400 feet
Top Elevation
DeLorme New Mexico Atlas and Gazetteer; USGS Cloudcroft, High Rolls, and Sacramento Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018