Route Overview


Southern New Mexico



Days Out


Recommended Tire Size

1.8 to 2.6``


Late April to

Elevation Gain



7/10 Physical
5/10 Technical

Primary Surface(s)

81% gravel and 4x4 roads
5% singletrack
14% paved

Route Map

Route Details

Primarily using well maintained gravel, this high altitude route offers respite from the summer heat in the surrounding lowlands. Endless climbs along creeks, through aspen groves, and past elk herds, are only broken up momentarily when passing through tiny mountain villages. Climb, descend, repeat.

Rollin’ and Tumblin’ is a rarity in southern New Mexico cycling. Not only is the route completely devoid of sand, it’s also best enjoyed during the summer months. The Sacramento Mountains rise over 5,000 feet from the Tularosa Basin as one chunk of limestone gently shaped into pleasing curves and welcoming canyons. Nearly every canyon has a dirt road and most of them make for lovely riding. We pieced together our favorites and included some classic country stores to ensure nobody goes hungry.

Rolling down Burro Avenue through Cloudcroft (pop. 674) is about the only flat bit of this route. Almost immediately out of town the route starts up the first climb towards Wofford Lookout. Beyond the tower is series of climbs and descents weaving through the mountains. The longest climb begins near Weed (pop. 63) and follows the Aqua Chiquita River 25 miles and 3,000 feet up the high point at 9,550. The bulk of the roads are well maintained gravel but where there was option between pavement or bumpy forest roads to connect it all, we chose the forest. Zinker and Lucas Canyon are especially enjoyable descents that’ll please the mountain bikers.

Again, in contrast to much of southern New Mexico this route is blessed with water. Springs and creeks are plentiful. Food is also easy to come by. The small villages of Mayhill, Weed, and High Rolls make resupplying simple and enjoyable. Selection and quantity is limited as these towns are extremely small and isolated.

All in, Rollin’ and Tumblin’ is a pleasant and engaging tour through the Sacramento Mountains. We recommend enjoying the route at a relaxed pace with your mates but it could easily be seen as a challenge for those into pushing hard up big hills.

  • Paved: 14%
  • Smooth Gravel: 51%
  • Rough Gravel: 15%
  • 4×4 Road: 15%
  • Singletrack: 5%

Parking in Cloudcroft is somewhat limited.  The USFS Office has a large parking lot and it makes it easy to check current conditions.

Food and Lodging options in Cloudcroft, and along the entire route, are limited.  If you need specialty foods for any reason it’s best to bring them from home.

The majority of the route is in Lincoln National Forest. Around the villages there is often private land bordering the road so be aware of this when choosing camp sites.

We highly discourage having a campfire in these mountains.

During dry years the forest is often closed due to extreme fire danger. Fire restrictions of some level are usually in effect. Please check the Lincoln USFS Office for the latest information.

Matt Mason created this route, along with Phil Simpson.

Additional thanks to Drew Gaines and Stephen Haynes for providing route information and a base of operations in Lost Lodge.

Here is a little about Matt in his own words:

My route making started early in a small creek in Iowa.  I was asked by my parents not to go in the nearby creek but I knew every bend of the few miles that flowed through my neighborhood. More recently I created, then edited, shaped, and reshaped the Monumental Loop.  That project taught me a lot about what riders are looking for in routes.  Initially I focused on remoteness, natural beauty, and deprioritized the rider experience.  Using rfeedback and years of continuing to use the route myself I shifted to a rider first perspective. The shift, at least on the Monumental Loop, means more spicy resupply options, mellow miles replacing sand pits, yet it still maintains much of the natural beauty.   Rollin’ and Tumblin’ benefitted immediately from this new approach.  Instead of making routes I’m focused on creating the space and opportunities for riders to have transformative experiences.  Ideally folks come away from these routes knowing more about themselves and the region.  

Matt has offered to be available to answer questions if you are planning a trip on this route. Please also get in touch with any updates on route conditions that may be relevant to other riders.

Please submit your questions and comments on the route via the contact form below.

    This route traverses the traditional lands of the Mescalero Apache people.