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  1. #1
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    El Cerro de Los Lunas

    With snow in the foothills I looked around for alternatives with lower elevation. Foo Loop area ranges from about 5750 to 6150 ft. I noticed that El Cerro de Los Lunas, the volcano just west of I-25, is about 5000 to 5800 ft. So it tops out about where Foo begins.

    An exploratory ride showed this to be Open Space with a good workout between the silt, steeps, and basalt baby heads. And some snow of course. The area is, well, sporting I guess you could say.

    Here is what I mapped so far:

    South Cerro Mountain Bike Trail, Los Lunas, NM

    Huning Ranch Mountain Bike Trail, Los Lunas, NM

    Cerro West Escarpment Mountain Bike Trail, Los Lunas, NM

  2. #2
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    Nice. Never knew about those trails. Thanks for postung.

  3. #3
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    LL Hill - I used to explore on foot back in that area some from 79-82 since I grew up in the LL area. Never thought about cycling there since I had a Schwinn 10 speed at the time.
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  4. #4
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    Interesting trail info site. I see there is nothing for Red Mesa though..

    Mountain Bike Trails near Albuquerque, New Mexico
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    Interesting trail info site. I see there is nothing for Red Mesa though..

    Mountain Bike Trails near Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Yeah nothing for Golden either.... guess it's a work in progress.

    I've ridden the volcanoes over on the west side a bunch and if LL is anything like that, bring a tube and a dollar bill!!!
    Dug-Da-Goat

    Something changes at 12,000'
    ...so welcome to the Odyssey!

    Building your trails at FooMTB

  6. #6
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    It's a crowd sourcing type thing. You don't see it, go gps it and submit. There's still a lot missing.

  7. #7
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    My pleasure.

    Yes, the goathead density is impressive even by NM standards.

    Weather permitting, I'm planning to return this weekend and map the west approach and the trail that goes over the north peak. Would be great to get some stills and vid of riders if anyone wants to check it out

  8. #8
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    ....and the secret is out... There is a back way to Magdelena
    too. Lot of land to traverse.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    ....and the secret is out... There is a back way to Magdelena
    too. Lot of land to traverse.
    There is a bit of Civil War of history out there on the westside of the Rio Grande.

    Following the Confederate Army's defeat at Glorieta Pass, and subsequent retreat south from Santa Fe thru ABQ they crossed over to the west side of the Rio Grande at Peralta where there was a minor engagement. A similar battle is shown in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" which is loosely based on the NM Campaign.

    One Last Battle of New Mexico | Civil War Daily Gazette

    New Mexico Rebels Week-Long Waterless Retreat | Civil War Daily Gazette

    From there the Confederate Army withdrew down the west bank of the river until they decided to go around the west side of the Magdelena Mts to give the Federals following them on the east bank the slip and avoid their forces at Ft Craig.

    It's rough country out on that side and I've hiked a bit of it but the idea of cycling across it would be a tough prospect.
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  10. #10
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    It's rough country out on that side and I've hiked a bit of it but the idea of cycling across it would be a tough prospect.
    Apparently there is an MTB route on the west side of Ladrone Peak, around Riley:

    New Mexico Cycling

    The "Socorro Fat Tire Guide" hearkens back to the days when "mountain biking" meant off-pavement rather than GPS-driven single-track, FS, etc. I'm planning to check out some of these old trails in the spring.

  11. #11
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    El Cerro de Los Lunas trail mapping completed

    Yesterday I circumnavigated the north peak. Unfortunately this trail requires a hike-a-bike of several hundred feet across an ancient landslide area. Also there does not seem to be any way to ride to the north peak.

    But it is an interesting area and the Bowl is pretty nice. In all about 16 miles of exploratory riding are shown here on Google Earth. This includes roads and getting lost that I did not include in the final trail maps.

    El Cerro de Los Lunas-2013-12-13_elcerro_ge.jpg

    The starting trail is El Cerro Bowl Mountain Bike Trail, Los Lunas, NM which gives general area info.

    To see the other trails, scroll down to "To do a loop on the upper mountain..." and click on their names (they don't appear to be clickable, but they are).

    Also the "Take a virtual ride" button runs GE and gives you a sense of the terrain.

    Enjoy.

  12. #12
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    Just curious how you chose to post the ride on MTB Project vs Singletracks.com. I've found Singletracks has a lot more trails listed, but MTB Project has better features.

    To avoid highjacking your useful thread, I'll start a new one over in General Discussion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jg1990 View Post
    Yesterday I circumnavigated the north peak. Unfortunately this trail requires a hike-a-bike of several hundred feet across an ancient landslide area. Also there does not seem to be any way to ride to the north peak.

    But it is an interesting area and the Bowl is pretty nice. In all about 16 miles of exploratory riding are shown here on Google Earth. This includes roads and getting lost that I did not include in the final trail maps.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013-12-13_ElCerro_GE.jpg 
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ID:	854774

    The starting trail is El Cerro Bowl Mountain Bike Trail, Los Lunas, NM which gives general area info.

    To see the other trails, scroll down to "To do a loop on the upper mountain..." and click on their names (they don't appear to be clickable, but they are).

    Also the "Take a virtual ride" button runs GE and gives you a sense of the terrain.

    Enjoy.
    What agency controls that land? The hill is wide enough to make easy long switch back that are frendly to somone climbing with a 8" bike . The hill is also high enough and steep enough to make the climb worth while. 45 min up 1 min down... sounds like exercise to me bit I still like to scout it and check out the options

  14. #14
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    Los Lunas Open Space

    Los Lunas, NM - Official Site - El Cerro de Los Lunas Preserve

    The acreage was donated by the Hunings a few years ago. The emphasis is on hiking and equestrians. Visitation appears quite low.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jg1990 View Post
    Apparently there is an MTB route on the west side of Ladrone Peak, around Riley:

    New Mexico Cycling

    The "Socorro Fat Tire Guide" hearkens back to the days when "mountain biking" meant off-pavement rather than GPS-driven single-track, FS, etc. I'm planning to check out some of these old trails in the spring.
    If you start at HWY 6 near the landfill you can zig-zag some access roads (or follow game trails) and get pretty far back in there.

    El Cerro de Los Lunas-ml1.jpg

    El Cerro de Los Lunas-ml2.jpg

  16. #16
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    Ive been wanting to Ride out there since I read this thread. I finally made it.

    Well sorta, We only did about 5 total miles. We started at the trail head parking lot off of Highway 6.

    The first mile is a wide gravel path that undulates toward the main trail area. Its a very fast section and its best to carry lots of speed to avoid unnecessary effort on the two short climbs it has.

     photo 0125141452.jpg

    Once in the main trail area you get to ride a fire road that some bunghole poured sand all over. Then the single track starts.

     photo 0125141503.jpg

    Take the first left to ride the ridge line or head straight to ride "the bowl". Ive never turned down a bowl so down we went.

     photo 0125141516b.jpg

    A few views of the ridge line.* it may have been a better option to ride the ridge line a drop into the bowl at the end

     photo 0125141520.jpg

     photo 0125141535.jpg


    Once in the bowl there was lots of sandy short climbs short descents and water bars made by burying flat rocks side ways. It made for some techy climbing and some bike pushing.

     photo 0125141523-2.jpg

    The bowl is in a valley filled with deep sand. The down hills had me holding the handle bars side ways to go straight more then once(awesome). The bowl trail dips up and down in the valley and then starts to climb up and out towards the water tank.

     photo 0125141546b.jpg

     photo 0125141548.jpg

    Its a nice push up the dirt road to to water tank. The trail continues passed the big green cylinder then rewards you with HUGE views of Grants Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

     photo 0125141620b.jpg

     photo 0125141624.jpg

    ...

    One reason i was excited to get out to Los Lunas was to check out a giant sand dune that looked, on google earth, like you could shred down with enough skills and balls. one look at it in person and i said fck no. but some one else could, It would suck if the sand avalanches on them though

     photo 0125141627.jpg

     photo 0125141711.jpg


    ...


    From above the water tank you can go around the mountain towards the East or keep heading South and pick up the ridge line trail. We went back the way we came but even if we wanted to head south the trail was very steep and very rocky(I was so disheartened by the prospect of trying to climb it i forgot to snap a picture),
    One of the reasons i want to start with the ridge trail is because the descent looks like a blast.
    The east trail around the mountain was real rocky but look wide with out too many obstacles.

     photo 0125141639a.jpg


    We headed back into the sand bowl. If you got a fat bike do yourself a favor and check out the bowl trail. even with maxxis 2.7 we were sliding and sinking. A fat bike would have been at home. Then again I don't know how well fat tires handle goat heads, we were picking em up and shedding them by the hundred.

     photo 0125141636a.jpg

    The sand did make for some cool trail spotting. Lots of creatures you don't normally see make themselves known by the unique tracks they leave behind.

     photo 0125141709.jpg

    On the way back we caught the sun set and made it to the car just before dark.

     photo 0125141735-1.jpg

     photo 0125141735b.jpg



    I need to get back out there and check out the rest of the loops. Its definitely good riding. I was worried Los Lunas would be too tame,not the case. It has hard climbs and at least a few good descents.El Cerro has character and is a unique spot that will be in my ride rotation from here on out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Ive been wanting to Ride out there since I read this thread. I finally made it.

    ...

    I need to get back out there and check out the rest of the loops. Its definitely good riding. I was worried Los Lunas would be too tame,not the case. It has hard climbs and at least a few good descents.El Cerro has character and is a unique spot that will be in my ride rotation from here on out.
    Nice TR, Fugs.

    I think with more riders and creative input, Los Lunas and surrounding areas have a good future.

    The Fat Bastards shed goaties just fine with a Tubless setup. Although, the pink stuff that was in PJ's took a while. As your manager, I'd probably recommend Stans as an alternative.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetwothree View Post
    I think with more riders and creative input, Los Lunas and surrounding areas have a good future.

    Hey they have a good present.


    Quote Originally Posted by onetwothree View Post

    The Fat Bastards shed goaties just fine with a Tubless setup. Although, the pink stuff that was in PJ's took a while. As your manager, I'd probably recommend Stans as an alternative.

    I think the best goat head defense is a dual ply dh tire.but if goat heads arnt a problem that place is kind of a fat bike paradise.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Hey they have a good present.
    Ok, "gooder" then!

  20. #20
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    > El Cerro has character

    Well said! That sand / silt builds character too

    We have an amazing variety of riding around Abq from slickrock to trees to sand

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jg1990 View Post
    > El Cerro has character

    Well said! That sand / silt builds character too

    We have an amazing variety of riding around Abq from slickrock to trees to sand
    Theres lots of fruit on the tree of mtb destinations. I was glad to see that el cerro was differnt then the other areas. It really is unique... Did you ride up the ridge line from the parking lot? did you take the trail down to the water tank? Would it be better to skip the ridge trail? Is there anywhere thats not filled with sand?

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    My 12/14/13 post image shows everything I have ridden to date. (The big north loop through the housing development was done because it was getting dark and I had to get back to my car on the east side at Huning. Not recommended.)

    It seemed like everything around the Rt6 parking lot was silty so I was happy to take the gravel road. This same ridge line is "Escarpment" to the east and it is so silty there that I only recommend it in the downhill direction

    El Cerro West Escarpment Mountain Bike Trail, Los Lunas, NM

    > Is there anywhere thats not filled with sand?

    The silt turns to coarser sand the higher you go, and there are baby heads too On El Cerro North and South the challenge shifts from softness to roughness and pedal-grabbing embedded boulders.

    The area really does have a remarkable range of challenges.

  23. #23
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    I did another ride out there yesterday. This place might be my new stomping grounds. I was the only rider and i saw 3 hikers. Very quite. The trails are some of the hardest ive ridden 4 miles in los lunas will tire out anyone. From hard climbs steep descents technical in both directions. The terrain is very unforgiving. If you want to challenge your self physically and technically bring your A game cause los lunas chewed me up and spit me out yesterday

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    Good job!

    Wow. Sounds like the black diamond ratings are accurate

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