It's hot, dry, and there's no place to ride my MTB...
So last Friday night I headed up to one of my favorite spots just north of Chama - Cumbres Pass. There is a nice little camp spot just behind the train depot right at the pass. From there the Continental Divide Trail runs almost through camp. What more could a mountain biker ask for?
Well, I for one like great scenery and awesome single track of course.
As soon as you start the ride you catch a glimpse of the highway up to the pass. Could be a nice road ride if one were so inclined.
After a few quick ups and downs I saw this fall - I think it is part of Wolf Creek. There were a couple of dudes and a dog camped near there as their dog came to greet me as I came too near.
Once you finally clear the first half of the climb you roll out onto this ledge with awesome views of the Archuleta drainage below and the South San Juan Wilderness to the north.
I spied this fella. By his chirp I'm guessing it was a baby marmot?
More views. Such a grand place.
And another. You can't help but stop a lot.
And some switchbacks. They're much easier than they look despite being above treeline.
Once you make it above tree line there is still some good technical climbing to be had. Much of the trail hugs the steep side slopes. But you are so stoked to be up there that you seem to get super hero lungs and just make everything.
The place I call the Wilderness Boundary. Not sure where it really is but this post is about right. I left my bike here and then hiked the rest of the way to the top.
There's a nice rock house to hide out of the wind if need be. Amazing scenery - looking down into the headwaters of the Chama River. Others here have referenced a ride down there. The area is overrun with ATV's and horses. If you stay on the eastern edge there is a nice trail that gets little use and there are a few small ponds near the top which make good camp sites.
The view back from where I came.
On the way back down I began to hear the train struggling to make progress. I kept hearing it chugging steam as I was struggling to make the short steep climbs back up out of the drainages I had crossed on the way out. I caught a few good glimpses of the train from up above.
And I caught this shot right where the CDT is about to duck under the trestle and make its way south back in to NM. The engineer was spraying down the coal in the bed as it went by 5 feet from me. Pretty awesome seeing that steam train up close and personal.
Trail through the area where the VOC did a bunch of work a couple of summers ago now has significant dead fall again. Nothing a few dudes with some real saws can't fix in an afternoon though. If this ride isn't on IMBA's Epic Ride list, it should be. Ride it
Results 1 to 12 of 12
Thread: Heading north
Check out hottest mountain bike products from these brands!
See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »