Holman Hill summit

The most imposing view involving this summit just may from the bottom, and not from the top. Looking east from the town of Mora, the Sangre de Cristo mountains are a green eminence with a few teeth like cliffs eroded into its top row of giant green gums. However the road to the summit never comes close to this area, and instead diverts to the right into a verdant, green valley.

Except for a few locations mentioned below, there is no road shoulder, but the road is wide and traffic is relatively sparse, so that it makes a pretty good cycling route anyway. The summit is identified in the appendix of Marshall Sprague's book "the Great Gates".

01.(7170ft,mile00) START-END WEST: Mora
02.(7380ft,mile03) Cleveland
03.(7560ft,mile07) Holman
04.(7610ft,mile08) stay left up hill
05.(9469ft,mile14) TOP: Holman Hill Summit
06.(8550ft,mile19) FR76 joins from right, just before a spot named Tres Ritos
07.(7750ft,mile28) START-END EAST: jct 518 to US Hill Summit and NM75 to Penasco


From East. It is worth mentioning that NM518 below Mora and below the starting point of the profile is rumble stripped and difficult to bicycle. However the initial miles upwards of Mora have a wide shoulder, on which the cyclist can safely enjoy the ride, marvel at all the shining chrome on the car wrecks displayed in the yards, savor the smell of wood smoke on a late October morning, or just count all the disposed Bud Light bottles next to the road. This scene stretches through Cordillera and Cleveland to Holman. Here NM518 leaves the Mora valley, the shoulder ends and the climb begins in earnest. It is a green scene all the way to the top, something that could be straight out of Appalachia. At one point the road near the summit comes into view, and gives the impression that this is quite a climb wherever it is. An alternate dirt road approach which looks like an old highway merges with the modern road. Gaining altitude the road meanders through high forested meadows and then traverses to the top. Approaching the summit the distant straight drop-offs of Hermit Peak  form an interesting landmark. There is no official indication of a summit. But the viewshed changes dramatically to a few bread loaf like mountains to the west, with their rounded tops raising above timber line.

From West. (described down hill). It is a long, shallow, straight descent. Brakes almost seem like optional equipment for this roll. The road passes many resorts with a strong rustic quality, one of them named "el Lodge". I wonder how you pronounce "Lodge" in Spanish. During my traversal on a late October, early afternoon, the temperatures became surprisingly colder as I lost altitude. The long roll ends at the junction with US Hill summit. Alternatively the ride can also continue for more downhill interuptus to the Rio Grande.




(paved): A loop ride, starting at Coyote Creek state park > Mora > Holman Hill Summit > US Hill Summit > Taos > Palo Flechado Pass > Angel Fire > back to the starting point measured 105 miles with 6500 ft of climbing in 7:4 hours using a Vetta cycle computer with altimeter (r2:07.10.25).

(MTB+paved): Another loop ride from Coyote Creek State Park > NM434 > FR 76 summit(u) > Tres Ritos > Holman Hill summit > Mora > Guadalupita > back to the starting point measured 84 miles with 6000ft of climbing in 7:4 hours, using a VDO MC1.0 cycle computer (m3:07.10.27).

pictures: 1: from summit looking north east, 2: Sangre de Cristo range from Mora, 3: approaching summit looking east, 4: summit looking west, 5: town of Mora, 6 Hermit Peak to the south

back to New Mexico's Summits and Passes by Bicycle

Connecting Routes
US Hill summit (eastern approach)