Riding XC in Taos or Angel Fire?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Riding XC in Taos or Angel Fire?

    Hello all. Fairly new rider here who lives in TX and I'm planning to make a weekend trip to NM at the end of this month. I'm torn whether to stay in Taos or Angel Fire just because of what to ride? Which is the better use of my time and effort, or rather, which is more fun to ride?

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    South Boundary is about as good as it gets and it starts in Angel Fire and goes toward Taos.

    There is a lot of great riding in either spot, just depends on whether you want to do the lift-accessed stuff at Angel Fire. I believe if you want to take the XC track up, you don't even have to pay to ride Angel Fire's awesome track.

    One thing to consider is that there is nothing in Angel Fire for food or entertainment. There is very little in Taos, but it seems like a major city compared to Angel Fire.

    The drive is relatively short (30 mins) between the two, so if you want to stay in town, have some drinks in Taos, etc., you can easily drive over to Angel Fire to ride.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Chile View Post
    South Boundary is about as good as it gets and it starts in Angel Fire and goes toward Taos.
    Not true. I've done a 7 hour XC loop into the mountains from the town of Angel Fire. None of it was in the ski area. I wish I knew how to explain to do it, but it was way back when the World Cup was at Angel Fire and Tony Farrar led us on that route. I only go Angel Fire to ride DH these days.


    Quote Originally Posted by Green Chile View Post
    One thing to consider is that there is nothing in Angel Fire for food or entertainment. There is very little in Taos, but it seems like a major city compared to Angel Fire.
    The drive is relatively short (30 mins) between the two, so if you want to stay in town, have some drinks in Taos, etc., you can easily drive over to Angel Fire to ride.
    Very true. Angel Fire is only fun at night if you're with a good crew of buddies, a good lady, or if there's a freeride festival that weekend. If you know your way around the alleyways, fun evenings can be found in Taos.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the help guys. Also one question, excuse me if it's dumb, if I do the south boundary, the only way back to the car is to ride possibly back up hill, correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by delnorte View Post
    Not true. I've done a 7 hour XC loop into the mountains from the town of Angel Fire. None of it was in the ski area. I wish I knew how to explain to do it, but it was way back when the World Cup was at Angel Fire and Tony Farrar led us on that route. I only go Angel Fire to ride DH these days.
    Didn't mean to imply that was it. Just saying that the South Boundary is some of the best riding you'll find. There are obviously tons of trails in that area, but sending someone who is unfamiliar with the terrain, altitude, and trails is something I wouldn't do.

    Plenty of people have gotten lost on the South Boundary, which is fairly easy to navigate.

    You can stretch the South Boundary into a monumental ride, if you want. The abundance of great riding and trails in between the Taos and Angel Fire areas is amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus1082 View Post
    thanks for the help guys. Also one question, excuse me if it's dumb, if I do the south boundary, the only way back to the car is to ride possibly back up hill, correct?
    Now that all of the bike shops in Taos have stopped shuttles, the best way is to ride with someone and park one car at one end, another car at the other end.

    Personally, I prefer starting in Garcia Park and bombing back toward Taos. The climb from Angel Fire to Garcia Park is not fun at all. There is a section of about 4 miles of downhill, but you pay dearly for that with the climbing elsewhere. If you start in Garcia Park, you have a small climb to get into the fun stuff.

    One thing you'll want to keep in mind is that when you near the end of the trailhead, the last 1.5 miles are downhill intermediate/advanced level. So, you could ride to that point and turn around back toward Garcia Park.

    Get your maps at Taos Cyclery in town, they're the best, although even those are somewhat confusing. The trails are in incredible shape right now.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Chile View Post
    Personally, I prefer starting in Garcia Park and bombing back toward Taos. The climb from Angel Fire to Garcia Park is not fun at all. There is a section of about 4 miles of downhill, but you pay dearly for that with the climbing elsewhere. If you start in Garcia Park, you have a small climb to get into the fun stuff.
    Hey Green Chile, is the fire road up to Garcia Park accessible by a normal vehicle or do I need 4 Wheel Drive? When I did the SBT a few years ago, the road up to Garcia was mostly ok and I was hoping to do exactly what you described. I'm bringing my sled with me on the family vacation next week and was going to do the SBT one day. Many thanks for the heads up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride4Beer View Post
    Hey Green Chile, is the fire road up to Garcia Park accessible by a normal vehicle or do I need 4 Wheel Drive? When I did the SBT a few years ago, the road up to Garcia was mostly ok and I was hoping to do exactly what you described. I'm bringing my sled with me on the family vacation next week and was going to do the SBT one day. Many thanks for the heads up.
    You should be able to make it up to Garcia Park in a normal vehicle. The harder road to traverse is the forest road from Angel Fire up to the trailhead that eventually takes you Garcia Park (ride is about 7 miles from the trailhead).

  8. #8
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    Thanks. We are actually going to be in the Jemez all week and just heading to Taos for a day. My plan is to have the family drop me off in Garcia Park after coming through Taos and then meeting them at Eske's after I get back to town. Been a while since I've been up there and am really looking forward to it.

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    Hey. I'm heading to Taos this coming week and am planning on riding on Thursday the 9th. I was hoping to do South Boundary. Does anyone want to join? I will be mostly carless but apparently there is a guy who runs a shuttle service.

  10. #10
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    Adam, I have other family commitments in SF on the 9th. I was planning on riding the 10th with one other person. If you can do it Friday, you're more than welcome to join us. I'm not sure on shuttle logistics quite yet, but the plan is to ride from Garcia Park down into Taos. My personal finish line will be Eske's Brew Pub.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride4Beer View Post
    Adam, I have other family commitments in SF on the 9th. I was planning on riding the 10th with one other person. If you can do it Friday, you're more than welcome to join us. I'm not sure on shuttle logistics quite yet, but the plan is to ride from Garcia Park down into Taos. My personal finish line will be Eske's Brew Pub.
    Also check out the new Taos Ale House just up the street (across from Michael's).
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


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    Hey Ride4Beer! That sounds awesome! Let me check the logistics on my end. Sweet!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by delnorte View Post
    I've done a 7 hour XC loop into the mountains from the town of Angel Fire. None of it was in the ski area. I wish I knew how to explain to do it, but it was way back when the World Cup was at Angel Fire and Tony Farrar led us on that route. I only go Angel Fire to ride DH these days.

    .
    This sounds excellent.
    Does anybody know how to piece this together?

    This will be my first time New Mexico trip and looking for suggestions.

    I am trying to put together a NM trip in Sept. or early Oct., and the area around Angel Fire/Taos looks like the ticket. Are there also a few good single track XC trails? Ideally I'd like to get three 15-20 mile days of sweet single track followed up with 2-3 days of lift accessed awesomeness.
    A buddy has offered his cabin in Sipapu. This would be great, as it is free, but I have no clue about any riding in that area. He said that the cabin is about 45 min for both Taos and Angel Fire, but that probably needs to be verified.
    Anyone have any experience/info to help me put this together?

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