Hello MTBR Friends!
I am an active equine trail rider in the East Mountains of New Mexico and an organizer of small trail rides for friends and am also involved in our East Mountain trail riding and horsemen's community. I am always searching for new and special places to ride our equines and had been wanting to explore Golden Open Space for quite some time. I finally got the opportunity on Saturday, October 19th and must say that this Open Space area is truly phenomenal and has become one of my Top Ten Favorite Places to Visit and Ride in New Mexico.
This Open Space is a true gem, and for anyone interested in impressive geology and fascinating terrain, this will become one of their favorite places to explore. I imagine when more trails, and especially trail loops are created, and those trails travel further and deeper into those canyons, the GOS is going to be even more amazing and very popular for those willing to explore off the beaten path in a place of beautiful solitude and beauty.
Now with all of that said, there is a downfall to GOS, especially for horseback riders and when looking towards any future growth. There isn't enough adequate parking at the trail head. As it is now, only 2-3 cars can comfortable pull off onto that narrow parking shelf, and the steep dirt berms make it challenging to get back down onto the gravel/dirt road. Horseback riders will have an even more difficult time, especially if they are hauling anything bigger than a 2-horse straight load mini-trailer. That is what we were towing, and it was still very challenging to get it turned around when we were ready to leave. We had to get the horse trailer turned around before the horses were loaded, because we knew it was going to be a rough deal and we even high centered when the truck wheels were on the high dirt berm across the road, and the trailer wheels were still on the Open Space parking shelf. If the steep dirt berms had been muddy, we would have gotten stuck for sure.
As the parking is now, no more than one horse trailer can park on that narrow shelf, and if several cars are already there, no horse trailers will be able to park or ride in the GOS at all.
The Golden Open Space facility has the space, just behind the perimeter fence, behind the Open Space sign, to create a large circular parking area conducive to trailer parking as well as room for more than the 2-3 vehicles alongside the roadway, as the facility has now. That specific area is already clear of trees and would be a generous, wide, circular parking area where several horse trailers, along with numerous cars or trucks would be able to enter, exit and park safely.
I already emailed Jim Sattler to ask him if he think this parking project might be budgeted and built with the help of volunteers. I would be willing to rally up our horseback riding community to assist and along with the awesome mountain biking volunteer community, I think this project could become a reality. I would love to see this happen, because I believe that Golden Open Space is one very special place that more folks should visit. And I am sure that riding this area on a mountain bike is amazing, because on horseback it was a truly a breathtaking experience.
If you would like to see the photos I took from my ride there on Saturday, if you have a Facebook account, you should be able to click the link below to visit my public Facebook page.
I also turned on my GPS on Saturday and you can see our route......which by the way, is one very creative, lively, fun, and beautiful trail course. Jim Sattler and all the fantastic volunteer trail builders were ingenious for it's creation and the trail builders did an amazing job of cutting the trail.
Golden Open Space - Horseback Riding trip | EveryTrail
Oh, and by the way, the section that zigs and zags into and out of, and up and down, into the tiny side canyons, off of the main canyon? I decided to name it The Rattlesnake Narrows. What a fun section! And not only did it remind me of a snake, a little green rattlesnake revealed itself to me, just off the trail in one of the little side canyons. Thankfully he rattled to let me know he was there, and my horse and I safely passed.
Thanks for letting me register and post this thread here.
See ya out on the trails!
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Thread: Golden Open Space