Gallup/Zuni Mountains Questions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gallup/Zuni Mountains Questions

    We rode a few trails in the Zuni Mtns 6 or 7 years ago and enjoyed it.

    We camped at the Quaking Aspen Campground and rode Quaking Aspen Trail (never saw an aspen) and a nice loop on the Milk Ranch Canyon, using the Waypoints guidebook. Also hit one of the High Mesa trails using the in-town trail head for access.

    We're headed back to the Gallup area to ride in a few days.
    It seems the Waypoints Web site is no longer up and I don't know if the Waypoints guide book is still available.

    My original copy of Waypoints was lent out at some point in the past and not returned.

    Questions:
    Is there currently a bike shop in Gallup? There has been a High Mesa Bike and Gear shop in years past; is it still operational?

    Is the Waypoints guidebook still published?

    Yes, I've read through the threads and looked for information online, but there doesn't seem to be much current information.

    Links to current information would also be appreciated. (Have been to the MtnBikeProject trails info)

    Also, recommendations for mellow intermediate trails other than the ones referenced above would be great. We'll be camping again at Quaking Aspen Campground.
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
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  2. #2
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    The trails in that area have been effectively signed in the last couple of years. I have never stopped to look at the little mapzoids, since I know the area intimately, but I know people who have said they've ridden throughout the area just following the signs. On the other hand, I could give you a gps of the entire area, if that would help.

    Furthermore, the singletrack in that area is very homogeneous (imo). There is only one trail that I would say is somewhat more demanding than the rest, and that's about 3 mi out of about 25 mi of interconnecting trails. There's also quite a bit of forest road to ride.

  3. #3
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    Pm user bsieb on here, I think he's kinda the Gallup/Grants ambassador of sorts.

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    Ditto on contacting bsieb directly - he is the goto contact for all things Gallup trails. You can PM him through MTBR or via this site which has a lot of trail information: Gallup Area Trails INFO - Gallup Trails

    After looking that over you can decide if you need additional info.

    Currently there are two clusters of developed trail in the Gallup area, both of which are fabulous. The first is the High Desert Trail system that is just north of Gallup. The second is the area around Quaking Aspen, Hilso, etc. inside the Cibola National Forest near the former town of McGaffey. That's where you camped before, but I think since then there has been a lot of trail work. It has has a wide range of trails. As Garson mentioned, there is not much that is grueling or especially challenging. Very flowy and fast. Great for all skill levels.

    All this info is in the link, including pdfs of trail maps and a few gpx files.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the responses, all. We rode Grindstone Trail and Grindstone Mesa in Ruidoso today. So fun.

    Gallup tomorrow.
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
    Jon Stewart

  6. #6
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    There is also the Twin Springs area, about 15 miles beyond McGaffey/end of pavement. It's a little hard to find the trails out there without a guide, but well worth exploring. Some great red rock outcroppings to ride, much primitive singletrack. Lots more trail development out here in the future, including a McKenzie Ridge connector to the McGaffey area.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  7. #7
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    The maps are great. I've made a little map of the marked trails from Hilso Trailhead. We'll stick to those, I think. We're by ourselves, we're old, so we need to be a bit conservative. The McGaffey Lake area looks intriguing; we couldn't get up there (closed road) when we were there previously.

    We'll camp at Quaking Aspen tonight - pending an available site. Maybe ride this afternoon or tomorrow. If you see an older couple (Trek Superfly and Salsa Spearfish, both black) or a gray Mazda MPV with Texas plates, say hi.
    I'm assuming that, on the maps, the increasing trail marker numbers indicate a better direction to proceed.

    We'll also likely do the High Desert system using the east trail head if we get there early in the morning while it is still cool



    Many, many thanks to those whose hard work has created this great trail system.
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
    Jon Stewart

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  9. #9
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    Riding is great in the Zunis, cool temps*, luxurious green, colorful flowers, blue puffy cloud skies, hero tread, the odd light shower for a few minutes, no dust, no mud, happy, happy!

    *still in the 30's at night.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gallup/Zuni Mountains Questions-dsc02154-copy.jpg  

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    Sounds delightful. Our Angel Fire N.M. / Durango CO. Trip has been scrapped due to my wife's father's health concerns. We may be driving to Idaho and making designated stops to ride new trails along the way. This has been on my radar for a number of years, and would be cool to check out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    Riding is great in the Zunis, cool temps*, luxurious green, colorful flowers, blue puffy cloud skies, hero tread, the odd light shower for a few minutes, no dust, no mud, happy, happy!

    *still in the 30's at night.
    What is the closest weather station to the McGaffey area? Google weather for Gallup puts the temps at the low 90's for the race weekend but I know it should be cooler at the trails. Still going to be some pretty warm mid day laps I think. At least night laps will be cool but hopefully don't have to put too many layers on.

  12. #12
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    National Weather Service

    Should be great weather!
    I ride with the best dogs.




  13. #13
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    Remembered that the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest would be wrapping up today. We ran into people pre-riding for the 24 Hours during our ride.

    These trails were great and we'll be back. We rode the recommended direction and trails: Y2K, then up to the Lost Lake Rim , Smokin Handlebars, then back via Berma, then over to Quaking Aspen Campground.

    For some reason, just couldn't find the in-town trail head for the High Desert System, but it will be great for another time.
    The trails we rode are mellow, enjoyable, interesting, fun throughout and it's a beautiful area. We had one afternoon of heavy rain and the trails handled moisture without complaint and drained very well.

    We'll be back to spend more time and ride more of the trails

    As a side note, I wanted to visit El Morro National Monument before we left and we decided to go the back way, past McGaffey, and past the sign that said, "Road not maintained past this point. Travel at your own risk."
    Someone had driven on that road while it was wet and left 6" deep ruts. Otherwise passable, but not recommended for low clearance cars. We were in a Mazda van and it was a little dicey in a few spots. We came back the long way, through Gallup.
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithrad View Post
    Sounds delightful. Our Angel Fire N.M. / Durango CO. Trip has been scrapped due to my wife's father's health concerns. We may be driving to Idaho and making designated stops to ride new trails along the way. This has been on my radar for a number of years, and would be cool to check out!
    This area is ponderosa forest, so cool nights and pleasant days.

    Very easy to get to off I 40 and straight shot through Ft. Wingate and up to the campground and trailhead. However, get your shopping done in Gallup or Grants if you are camping. The Quaking Aspen Campground has no water, so have to bring your own. Gallup has a lot of motels and there is a new Fairfield Inn and Suites.

    The ladies at the little convenience store/gas pumps in Ft. Wingate were very friendly. They have wi fi and some tables if you need to hang out for awhile to check email or catch up with the world.

    Wish I could be back there right now!
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
    Jon Stewart

  15. #15
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    The Zuni Mountain Trails Project comment period ends July 29, 2015. This project would authorize or create up to 200+ miles of new mountain bike trail network. We are asking for Alternative C to be implemented, as it provides trail network connectivity to more of our Zuni Mountain Perimeter Communities.
    Project documents, including maps (AppA): Forest Service
    Comments info: http://a123.g.akamai.net//www/nepa/...T3_2539518.pdf
    Please take time to read the documents and send a brief email or letter detailing your use of the Zuni Mountain recreational trail resources and what you would like to see in the future.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  16. #16
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    Done. Really excited that this process is picking up again!

    "Construct about 157 miles of new mountain bike trails" Yes, please!

  17. #17
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    ^Yeah, hoping to make the final push to signature by the end of August, it's been a long and arduous process. We have had an incredible amount of support for this project from all involved, and have raised and spent about $300,000 just on the process.

    Some super new trail routes in this project, including McKenzie Ridge and Grasshopper Canyon, some of the most spectacular scenery in the Zunis.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  18. #18
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    You all seem to have done a very good job of not letting the plan die (which I know from experience takes a lot of commitment, effort and follow-through) so kudos!

    Between this and the management plan for the Zunis, that area is going to see some major changes all of which I think are good for the residents and the health of the forestland.

    Hoping to be riding out in the SE end this weekend...

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