Brainstorming trail ideas: Aspen Vista area, SFNF- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brainstorming trail ideas: Aspen Vista area, SFNF

    Backstory: I was riding with a group up Aspen Vista to the Alamo Trail (or Meadow Trail, or whatever you want to call it) and after some brief, but friendly encounters with tourists hiking, I got to thinking about the overall area and ride. Aspen Vista, as a whole, is a fairly straightforward ride from a mountain bikers perspective, so it provides great access to the highest areas in the Santa Fe area, but unfortunately, lacks any real serious downhill trail thereafter. Personally, I ride up so I can go down, so it leaves something to be desired, although the Alamo trail is a blast.

    This got me thinking of some of the systems up north in BC and Oregon/Washington areas where they use existing logging or maintenance roads as their climb and then create descents off of that that vary in technical abilities, length, steepness etc. I wonder if that opportunity doesn't exist right in front of us.

    Brainstorming trail ideas: Aspen Vista area, SFNF-aspen-vista.jpg

    Just playing around on Google Earth, I marked with yellow the Trailheads of both Aspen Vista as well as the drop in on Cornice that connect via the Quad to the Alamo Trail back down to the AV TH. For schnitzle giggles I drew in some simple drop in points off of the AV road to get a feel for steepness and length. You could add 5 trails easily here. The longest would be roughly 3-4 miles, depending on how twisty it is, while the shortest 1 mile with a 800' drop. Because of the terrain, the trees provide great technical obstacles that could help reduce pressure on Winsor and be kinda the MTB version of the ski basin on the other side.

    Anyways, thinking outloud in a public forum to get some brainstorming going.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    ehh, do the hike a bike up to ravens ridge. There is some serious downhill action, which will lead you into REM. Grab a handful of brakes and drop your seat.

  3. #3
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    Understood, but I feel like that hasn't and still won't address the user conflicts on Winsor

  4. #4
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    That mountain lion that is stalking people (if not attacking dogs) on the Winsor will address the user conflicts!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    That mountain lion that is stalking people (if not attacking dogs) on the Winsor will address the user conflicts!
    I sure hope so! At least cut down on the poodle population. Last ride on the upper mountain I counted over 18 dogs, not a single one on a leash. Get at em!

  6. #6
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    Nope, I don't ride there, I ride in the Manzanitas and Sandias mostly. I do ski there. That said I think this idea is awesome and would love to ride those trails.

    Mom: Johny, do you want more ice cream?
    Johny: No I want more broccoli!!!

    Really?

    Huge obstacles to overcome but I think that it would be worth a try. It might even be easier than convincing the Abruzzos to put in a bike park.

  7. #7
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    It's one of the few access roads we have in the high country (Pacheco being the other) that provides and easy start and finish without needing to do some crazy climbs or big loops.

    Given the fact there's an active 2 track and gobs of people already in the area, I can't imagine the 'environmental impact' assessment could find anyhting wrong with it.

  8. #8
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    Time to talk to SFFTS and the forest service trails guy. You might also need to put something in the 15 year FS plan that they are currently redoing. Other than those suggestions I can't help you much.

  9. #9
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    Already doing all those things, thanks! Just trying to see if other people have looked at the area with the same idea or if i am missing something.

  10. #10
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    Hope this gets some traction. I've heard that the Forest Service is more than willing to look at a bike only downhill trail, especially if it can/will take some DH pressure off the Winsor. If someone comes up with a track for a shuttle-able DH trail, even if there's a little climbing at the start, The SFFTS will deliver it to the FS and help make it happen.

    And yes, sending comments to [email protected] that there need to be more trails, both bike specific and multi-user, in the Santa Fe area to meet current and future demand will be helpful.

  11. #11
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    I have heard the SFFTS and the FS have talked about a new trail which could be built from somewhere near the top of Aspen Vista Road along the ridge line extending down toward Hyde Park or Black Canyon. I don't recall who mentioned it, but they would've known. That was several years ago now. There is lots of terrain up in that area. I don't believe any of it is restricted.

    Making dedicated downhill trails from Aspen Vista and down the natural drainages wouldn't be as interesting as a long, flowy single track (with technical alternate routes in places) from the radio towers (or near) and down to Hyde Memorial Park. If built correctly, it could be multidirectional in certain places while in others being dedicated downhill only.

    The other place I heard was under consideration was above Black Canyon Campground along the ridge line to the bottom of Nun's Corner at the Little Tesuque. The top of that ridge has a big fire break in it. Going towards the Ski Basin Road off that ridge to the north is all permissible terrain while the south side of that ridge goes into the SF Water Shed and therefore not permissible. Actually this route wouldn't be very difficult to develop because of the fire break along the top of the ridge. It is somewhat ridable now, but there's lots of tree slash and unstable erosion along much of the cut path. With some bench cut trails, switchbacks and cleaning up, it could be done in fairly short order. This seems very doable!

  12. #12
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    Right, the conversation I recall was from AV trailhead down towards Hyde park in a sort of 'flow' trail. Sure, flow trails are fun, but given the natural terrain higher up, pure singletrack gold lies in them hills!

    Been noticing jumps being built on DB, some other mountain trails in recent weeks. The younger crew (not naming names, but I know who they are), clearly are trying to find something more challenging than an 8% buffed out trail.

    The other half of me thinks that trying to get people off the Chamisa/Sidewinder section of road would be huge. It seems with the creek on that side of the road, you could build a narrow bit of singletrack for mtbhers going up and down that section and getting them away from cars. Likewise, something more rideable up and over the nuns corner ridgeline would be useful.

  13. #13
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    I think what the FS is most interested in is a trail for the riders that want jumps, etc. They really want to stop people from building features on heavily traveled multi-use trails, and keep "full face helmet, full pads" riders from shuttling Winsor. Any chance you can get that "younger crowd" to scout a potential DH trail somewhere on the mountain? The Towers to Hyde Park and Black Canyon to Chamisa trials can be part of the trail expansion plans presented to the FS.

    RE Chamisa to Nuns, there's private land near Nuns that will make it difficult. La Piedra's switchback madness is due to that being the only corridor for trail that the City/Santa Fe Conservation Trust could negotiate with private land owners. The Santa Fe County Assessors office has an online tool that shows property ownership. Any new trails will need to be on public lands or with a permanent trail easement from the (private) land owner. https://www.santafecountynm.gov/asse...roperty_search

  14. #14
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    Possibly, but you know kids these days.... I'm also guilty of not helping scope that. I had that in my list of things to do this summer and it hasn't happened yet. Heck, still got some time. Still thinking AV to Borregoish?

    I used the blue bus for a big ride over the weekend and two dual crown bikes with full armored guys hopped on. Teased them quite a bit (not being a dick, but trying to show some silliness in it) during the ride since our little XC machines kept catching them. I'd be terrified as a hiker to see that coming at me.

    The Black Canyon to Chamisa could be a simpler trail just for the sake of getting people off the road.

  15. #15
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    The ridge above Black Canyon to the bottom of Nun's is not privately owned. The only privately owned land up there is down in Apache Springs, Hyde Park Estates, and some parcels at the end of Camino Del Oso (the road across from Santa Fe Summit). There is a way to miss all of that for a new trail up there.

    The FS/SFFTS plan I heard about goes up high on Aspen Vista (requiring a ride up to somewhere near "stonehenge" at a minimum), then traversing across the ridges to just above Hyde Memorial State Park, and finally coming down somewhere in that area. It could be designed to have very technical sections as well as flowy parts. It could be quite good if designed well.

    Since I don't shuttle, or ride a dedicated DH rig, I can't speak to what that is all about. That kind of stuff is idea for lift service riding. Get the Abruzzos to built something in the Ski Basin for that kind of riding!. It could be great up there! I see how well AF does with their summer season and I can only imagine that the SFSB would do even better with such a larger biking community between town and ABQ.

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