What/where to ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Big Mac
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    What/where to ride

    My family and I will take our annual multi-week trip west in August. Weíre driving from Asheville North Carolina to Santa Fe, and will likely focus our trip in the 4 corners area. Iíve ridden in the Chama area before, but Iím looking for something different, like mountains and trees. I like it rough, remote, and technical. The wife and kid, not so much. What yíall suggest? My rides will likely be solo with a dog, so water is a plus. Are there places we can all be happy? Thanks for your input.


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  2. #2
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    Red River - https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8021514/red-river, read up about the Middle Fork, East Fork and Lost Lake trails for you and your dog, and the many forest roads like Greenie Peak may be nice for all of you. Dogs are allowed off leash everywhere on the Carson National Forest besides developed campgrounds and recreations sites, if your dog is cool and doesn't chase wildlife and sticks with you the 14 mile East Fork to Lost Lake loop is some of the best rough, remote and technical trail around. Either trail gives you the option to ride up as far as you want then turn around and head down, there's more streams on the East Fork side and the Lost Lake trail via Middle Fork has water along the first couple miles.

    Questa - the Wild Rivers Recreation Area has several campgrounds with water and a few trails accessible from the campsites that would accomodate all of you. The Vistas de Questa trail has some moderately technical terrain but nothing too rugged but probably no flowing water during August, the Rincondada Loop is a smooth gravel path linking all the campgrounds and hiking trails into the Rio Grande Gorge. This would be a great area to start acclimating to the higher elevations.

    Taos Ski Valley - free tent camping at the Twining campground or RV's in the parking lot + are hotels available - the Northside trail system provides mountain riding with lots of trees, intermediate to moderately technical terrain but again nothing too rugged. Some of the roads are steep but routes like the Gold Camp - Sawmill - Steam Engine are rideable and bypass the roads, then continue up Redi's to Bull of the Woods mountain to reach the higher elevations. Dogs are allowed leashed or under strict voice command - Mountain Biking and Hiking in Taos, New Mexico - Northside at Taos Ski Valley. Kachina Road is suitable for families and novice riders, and there's a couple rad short flow trails at the ski area by the Pioneer Lift that are open for the public to ride - https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7048585/breezer. Also lots of hiking options to enjoy here - check out http://www.taosskivalley.com/play/su...ivities/hiking for more info.

    Ojo Caliente has some great beginner level trails on BLM land adjacent to the resort and adeqate amenities at the resort spa - worth a day trip or overnight to camp; https://www.mtbproject.com/directory...9/ojo-caliente

    As you mentioned Chama - the CDT segments accessed from Cumbres Pass and Hopewell Lake are more mountainous and provide several dozens of miles of singletrack, the section by the Lagunitas campground and Hopewell are legit.

    Durango area - Molas Pass and Little Molas Lake - abundant camping and trail options in the mountains worth researching.

    A bit further north, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is pretty spectacular. Still within range of the four corners area, lots of mtb trails around Salida and Buena Vista. And Crested Butte has just about every type of terrain you could imagine.

  3. #3
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    If 4 corners area is your destination, spend all your time in Durango for riding.
    Don't hate me because I'm Ti

  4. #4
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienTrees View Post
    Red River - https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8021514/red-river, read up about the Middle Fork, East Fork and Lost Lake trails for you and your dog, and the many forest roads like Greenie Peak may be nice for all of you. Dogs are allowed off leash everywhere on the Carson National Forest besides developed campgrounds and recreations sites, if your dog is cool and doesn't chase wildlife and sticks with you the 14 mile East Fork to Lost Lake loop is some of the best rough, remote and technical trail around. Either trail gives you the option to ride up as far as you want then turn around and head down, there's more streams on the East Fork side and the Lost Lake trail via Middle Fork has water along the first couple miles.

    Questa - the Wild Rivers Recreation Area has several campgrounds with water and a few trails accessible from the campsites that would accomodate all of you. The Vistas de Questa trail has some moderately technical terrain but nothing too rugged but probably no flowing water during August, the Rincondada Loop is a smooth gravel path linking all the campgrounds and hiking trails into the Rio Grande Gorge. This would be a great area to start acclimating to the higher elevations.

    Taos Ski Valley - free tent camping at the Twining campground or RV's in the parking lot + are hotels available - the Northside trail system provides mountain riding with lots of trees, intermediate to moderately technical terrain but again nothing too rugged. Some of the roads are steep but routes like the Gold Camp - Sawmill - Steam Engine are rideable and bypass the roads, then continue up Redi's to Bull of the Woods mountain to reach the higher elevations. Dogs are allowed leashed or under strict voice command - Mountain Biking and Hiking in Taos, New Mexico - Northside at Taos Ski Valley. Kachina Road is suitable for families and novice riders, and there's a couple rad short flow trails at the ski area by the Pioneer Lift that are open for the public to ride - https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7048585/breezer. Also lots of hiking options to enjoy here - check out http://www.taosskivalley.com/play/su...ivities/hiking for more info.

    Ojo Caliente has some great beginner level trails on BLM land adjacent to the resort and adeqate amenities at the resort spa - worth a day trip or overnight to camp; https://www.mtbproject.com/directory...9/ojo-caliente

    As you mentioned Chama - the CDT segments accessed from Cumbres Pass and Hopewell Lake are more mountainous and provide several dozens of miles of singletrack, the section by the Lagunitas campground and Hopewell are legit.

    Durango area - Molas Pass and Little Molas Lake - abundant camping and trail options in the mountains worth researching.

    A bit further north, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is pretty spectacular. Still within range of the four corners area, lots of mtb trails around Salida and Buena Vista. And Crested Butte has just about every type of terrain you could imagine.
    Thanks. This is great info. Iíve spent a lot of time in crested butte, but only a little in Buena vista, and Salida. Great Sand Dunes is in our plans as well. Iíve only been to Durango once, so thatís on the radar as well. Iíve been in/around the Chama river valley, a few times, and loved it. Iíll look into your suggestions. Thanks again for your input. Exactly what I needed.


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  5. #5
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by tricky dick View Post
    If 4 corners area is your destination, spend all your time in Durango for riding.
    Iíve ridden there before, and I do plan to visit this trip, but I donít want to spend ALL my time there. Itís a great big world.


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  6. #6
    saddlemeat
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    The Zuni Mountains near Gallup if you haven't been there, are pretty great. 10 miles south of I-40 Exit 33. Days in the low 80's, nights in the high 50's.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    The Zuni Mountains near Gallup if you haven't been there, are pretty great. 10 miles south of I-40 Exit 33. Days in the low 80's, nights in the high 50's.
    Thanks. Iíve not been there. Looking into it.


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  8. #8
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    What/where to ride

    If you are traveling through Albuquerque to get to Santa Fe, youíll have to pass through Bernalillo and Placitas. We really enjoyed the trails in Placitas last week. Bobsled is a must ride on that trail system. Two miles of downhill flow and you will take the Forest Loop Rd back to the trailhead.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7024744


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  9. #9
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    Placitas wonít have any water for your dog, but would be great for the family.


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  10. #10
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    Rough, remote, and technical with water? You sound like a candidate for The Red Enchilada just north of Santa Fe.

    https://www.trailforks.com/route/san...red-enchilada/

  11. #11
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    Santa Fe National Forest and Glorieta Camps for you. For SFNF you could take the blue bus up to the ski area, then take anything (Winsor, REM, Red Enchilada as mentioned) down into Tesuque or into the Dale Ball trails, then get picked up by your family at the bottom. Glorieta is rough and technical for sure, climb up to bomb down trails of various lengths and levels of commitment. Some of them have water (Ghost Town, 30 Acre Wood), but not the most technical ones (Chili Dog, Jagged Axe, Janker DH). I'm not sure if the main entrance to Glorieta will be open when you are there, but the trails can be accessed by parking at a church nearby (after exiting the highway take a right toward the church instead of left to the camp's main entrance). For riding with the whole family - Otero Canyon, Placitas, and White Mesa around Albuquerque and La Tierra, Dale Ball, and Galisteo Basin around Santa Fe. Angel Fire Bike Park two hours North of Santa Fe has lift accessed downhill for all skill levels.

  12. #12
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    +2 for Chili Dog and Jagged Axe at Glorieta Camps and Broken Arrow for that backcountry feel. Baptist Bypass, Green Loop, Snack Pack, Holy Moly and Upper Ruiz/Ruiz Canyon out here would be family friendly too.

    https://www.trailforks.com/region/glorieta-camps-18407/

    Chili Dog and Jagged Axe vids:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itDKsoBtxDc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfcswKVgGCA

  13. #13
    Big Mac
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    Go info in here yíall. Thanks a bunch. As soon as I get the chance, Iíll process it all and come back with detailed questions and what not. Thanks again, all super helpful.


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  14. #14
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    If you're coming to Santa Fe, then just ride locally. There is a ton of good chucky stuff around with water nearby. Or forget SF and go up to Crested Butte. Tons of stuff up there too. Less chunk overall but good water. You can't really go wrong with either. I live in SF but get up to CB as often as possible.

  15. #15
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    If you're coming to Santa Fe, then just ride locally. There is a ton of good chucky stuff around with water nearby. Or forget SF and go up to Crested Butte. Tons of stuff up there too. Less chunk overall but good water. You can't really go wrong with either. I live in SF but get up to CB as often as possible.
    Weíve been to CB many times, and while I like it, I really donít want to go back. Looking for different. Thanks though. Any camping suggestions, with water? Primitive preferred.


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  16. #16
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    Lots of spots along Pacheco Canyon that offer primitive camping with a creek.

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