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Thread: Taos Trails

  1. #1
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    Taos Trails

    I am thinking of driving out to Taos for a couple days to cap off my summer riding season. I have a couple questions that I couldn't seem to dig up anywhere else:

    South Boundary Trail - Can you ride the road from the Taos side to the TH near Angelfire, then work your way back? I see a hwy that goes between the two (64 I believe?) but wasn't sure how bad traffic was or what that distance might be. I will likely need to park my truck near Taos and get to the Angelfire TH somehow since I will be solo.

    Also, are there any other trails nearby that are similar in difficulty/length to SBT? I see some other black diamonds but they seem to be short. I will likely have 2-3 days of riding available and would like to do a few big ones if possible.

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    I was up at angel fire last weekend. rt 64 between the two towns is like 20 miles long, narrow, curvy and people drive pretty fast on it. I wouldn't recommend riding your bike there

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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    I am thinking of driving out to Taos for a couple days to cap off my summer riding season. I have a couple questions that I couldn't seem to dig up anywhere else:

    South Boundary Trail - Can you ride the road from the Taos side to the TH near Angelfire, then work your way back? I see a hwy that goes between the two (64 I believe?) but wasn't sure how bad traffic was or what that distance might be. I will likely need to park my truck near Taos and get to the Angelfire TH somehow since I will be solo.

    Also, are there any other trails nearby that are similar in difficulty/length to SBT? I see some other black diamonds but they seem to be short. I will likely have 2-3 days of riding available and would like to do a few big ones if possible.
    There are two different ways to make the South Boundary into a loop. In both cases you will be parking your car at the Devisadero Campground on HWY 64, just east of the town of Taos.

    If you go early in the morning, the HWY traffic is not too bad. Ride up Devisadero to Valle Escondido and make your way to FS RD 70 and then up to the South Boundary (FS Trail 164) and back down to Devisadero.

    The second way is riding from Devisadero back towards Taos to Paseo Del Canon (County RD 585), wind your way through the neighborhood roads to NM Road 518 (The High Road) to the village of Talpa, go south on 518 for just a little bit to FS RD 437. Ride up 437 to Garcia Park where you can find the junction with the South Boundary trail.

    Either way it is about a 40 mile loop.

    Of course, you could also get a shuttle to take you up to Garcia Park too.

  4. #4
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    No offense but some of Beastmaster's info is wrong ~ there is no Devisadero Campground ~ the Devisadero Trail is north of Highway 64 across from the El Nogal trailhead (where the SBT begins/ends) and it does not connect with the SBT or the town of Valle Escondido ~ https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7013439.

    From the El Nogal trailhead, you can ride west on 64 for about 11 miles (passing the El Nogal, La Vinetaria and Las Petacas campgrounds) to Valle Escondido Road (it's another 12+ miles to Angel Fire). This section of HW 64 is a sketchy ride for bikers, it's narrow with no shoulders, blind turns, fast drivers and was recently pitch and chipped so there is loose gravel, I would not recommend riding on this road at any time of the day. If you do choose to ride this route, be alert and ready to react ~ there are a lot of bad drivers here who won't expect to see a biker on the road.

    After about 11 miles on 64 turn right at the Enchanted Moon campground and continue 1/2 mile to Forest Road 437, turn right and climb about 7 miles to Garcia Park, which is in the middle of the SBT. Here you can ride the Heaven on Earth section as an out and back ~
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...eaven-on-earth, then ride the western half of the SBT back to El Nogal and Taos. You can also continue through V.E. and find Forest Road 70, this will eventually lead to the Elliot Barker Trail and the eastern trailhead for the SBT, after several miles.

    The southern half of FR 437 can be accessed from Talpa via the Rio Chiquito Road, this route is much longer and requires good route finding skills, recommended to print or buy a current map if you go this way.

    Signage along all of these routes is unreliable.

    There are other rides worth considering ~ none in this area including the SBT are true black diamonds, advanced intermediate terrain is the most difficult here. The Lost Lake and East Fork trails accessed from Red River form one of the best alpine rides in New Mexico ~
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...k-to-lost-lake ~ this area is easier to find and safer than riding along 64 and trying to find your way to the SBT on unfamiliar routes which have garnered a lot of misinformation on these forums. Northside at Taos Ski Valley has about 20 miles of alpine trails, it's $10 for a day pass and worth it ~ https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7008629. Horsethief Mesa in Arroyo Hondo is a nice intermediate ride along the Rio Grande Gorge, with amazing views ~
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/4440009.

    If you are set on riding the SBT, the best option is to buy a shuttle ride with Turquoise Tours, it's not very expensive and they will get you to either the eastern trailhead or Garcia Park without having to ride on the highway, and they're the only licensed and legit shuttle service in the Carson National Forest.

    It's always a good idea to post on here or on the local FB groups before your planned ride, may meet some locals who are down to shuttle some laps. Mountain Bike Taos ~ https://www.facebook.com/groups/194377460955913/. And visit either of the bike shops in town for more info and face to face conversation. I know Gearing Up has a pretty good collection of maps they've put together over the past couple decades.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienTrees View Post
    No offense but some of Beastmaster's info is wrong ~ there is no Devisadero Campground ~ the Devisadero Trail is north of Highway 64 across from the El Nogal trailhead (where the SBT begins/ends) and it does not connect with the SBT or the town of Valle Escondido ~ https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7013439.

    From the El Nogal trailhead, you can ride west on 64 for about 11 miles (passing the El Nogal, La Vinetaria and Las Petacas campgrounds) to Valle Escondido Road (it's another 12+ miles to Angel Fire). This section of HW 64 is a sketchy ride for bikers, it's narrow with no shoulders, blind turns, fast drivers and was recently pitch and chipped so there is loose gravel, I would not recommend riding on this road at any time of the day. If you do choose to ride this route, be alert and ready to react ~ there are a lot of bad drivers here who won't expect to see a biker on the road.

    After about 11 miles on 64 turn right at the Enchanted Moon campground and continue 1/2 mile to Forest Road 437, turn right and climb about 7 miles to Garcia Park, which is in the middle of the SBT. Here you can ride the Heaven on Earth section as an out and back ~
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...eaven-on-earth, then ride the western half of the SBT back to El Nogal and Taos. You can also continue through V.E. and find Forest Road 70, this will eventually lead to the Elliot Barker Trail and the eastern trailhead for the SBT, after several miles.

    The southern half of FR 437 can be accessed from Talpa via the Rio Chiquito Road, this route is much longer and requires good route finding skills, recommended to print or buy a current map if you go this way.

    Signage along all of these routes is unreliable.

    There are other rides worth considering ~ none in this area including the SBT are true black diamonds, advanced intermediate terrain is the most difficult here. The Lost Lake and East Fork trails accessed from Red River form one of the best alpine rides in New Mexico ~
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...k-to-lost-lake ~ this area is easier to find and safer than riding along 64 and trying to find your way to the SBT on unfamiliar routes which have garnered a lot of misinformation on these forums. Northside at Taos Ski Valley has about 20 miles of alpine trails, it's $10 for a day pass and worth it ~ https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7008629. Horsethief Mesa in Arroyo Hondo is a nice intermediate ride along the Rio Grande Gorge, with amazing views ~
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/4440009.

    If you are set on riding the SBT, the best option is to buy a shuttle ride with Turquoise Tours, it's not very expensive and they will get you to either the eastern trailhead or Garcia Park without having to ride on the highway, and they're the only licensed and legit shuttle service in the Carson National Forest.

    It's always a good idea to post on here or on the local FB groups before your planned ride, may meet some locals who are down to shuttle some laps. Mountain Bike Taos ~ https://www.facebook.com/groups/194377460955913/. And visit either of the bike shops in town for more info and face to face conversation. I know Gearing Up has a pretty good collection of maps they've put together over the past couple decades.
    Oops, my bad! I thought the name of that campground was Devisadero--named after the trail. El Nogal it is! Good to know.

    I rode the SBT yesterday via "11 Mile Climb" (FS RD 437) to Jarrito Trail to Garcia Park and back down the SBT to Devisadero. 40 miles, 4800 vert, 4 hours. Good ride!

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