This is a "not to be missed" stretch of road if you are ever riding northern New Mexico. This route runs right through the Carson National Forest and offers spectacular views of the Brazos Cliffs at the summit. Moving east to west, the east side surface is excellent with great sweepers that can be done at a very fast pace moving up hill. The, shorter, west side is a little bumpy and a bit twisty at the top so you'll have to slow it down till you ride back onto new asphalt.
Just returned from a four-wheel review of this route, and we hit the spectacular fall foliage. If you enjoy scenery, shoot for the first week of October...at more than 9000 feet above sea level, the leaves peaked in color, mostly the shimmery gold of the aspens waving in the breeze. We met a flock of 500 sheep being herded up the road to winter pasture...leaving an unusual road hazard. The best scenes are from the middle of the route to the western terminus at Route 84. The ride up from 84 up 285 is mostly nauseating, straight boring and not much to see except the back of the RV in front of you. I recommend that one make the ride over from Taos instead.
Fantastic scenary with green meadows and lakes viewed mostly from on high. This section offers a great selection of fast sweepers and medium speed switchbacks. Well worth a look.