Mount Taylor - Loop 4 of the "7 trails of Gold"

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Jhawkins, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Jhawkins

    Jhawkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Los Lunas, NM
    I've been out of the ADV riding world for a year and got back in with a new 2018 FE250 recently. For the break in ride, I decided on a little day trip loop of Mount Taylor.

    I live in Los Lunas, about 80 miles from the start of the Loop in Grants, NM. Headed out at noon on Sunday, Oct 8th.

    Took HWY 6 to old Rt 66. This section parallels I 40 for maybe 10 miles. It's mostly "paved" but unmaintained for decade. HUGE potholes and some dirt usually keep the traffic away, but a slowdown on I40 must've caused some poor GPS routing as there were dozens of vehicles, semis, busses, etc crawling along at 5 mph. Blasted past, Rt66 to Grants

    After lunch, I headed up 547 to the first dirt section. MAN - This was fun. Fast and smooth road and 2 track, banked turns, wide open desert, then a very technical and rocky climb up the mesa.

    IMG_8212.jpg IMG_8214.jpg
    IMG_8217.jpg
    After that first bit, it was back to 547 (now unpaved) for some fast and wide gravel, a right on 453 up a really cool two track to Cerro Pilon

    IMG_8229.jpg


    Then continuing on up to the Mosca Lookout tower.


    IMG_8236.jpg
    IMG_8234.jpg
    IMG_8244.jpg
    A short descent, then another climb to this dead end near the peak:

    IMG_8245.jpg

    Around now (5:30 PM) I start to realize that I'm running out of daylight. I miss those 9:00PM sunsets. Better hurry up, as I have a lot more trail ahead.

    IMG_8249.jpg

    Then it was back down to 547 for a few miles, then left on an ATV trail (Don't remember the name). Honestly this section would've been much more fun had I not been forced to rush it. Rocky ATV trail that meandered through the woods, eventually finding FR400 and making my way down the Mountain and descending to pop out on Rt66 near San Fidel.

    IMG_8253.jpg

    Although maybe I bit off more than I could chew, as I've not ridden off road in some time, this ride was SO MUCH FUN. I was worried that it'd be too late in the season, but temps were absolutely perfect. I should've gotten an earlier start, but all-in-all - Amazing.
    #1
  2. Jhawkins

    Jhawkins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Los Lunas, NM
    Apologies for the photos being too big. I'll try to fix it.
    #2
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,195
    Location:
    MN and NM
    Congrats for getting back into riding and taking on a fairly tough ride the first time and alone.
    I have always loved the riding out near Grants. The loops in the Zunis are great too, but don't have nearly as much vertical.
    #3
    Jhawkins likes this.
  4. Merlin44

    Merlin44 XR400R & Africa Twin Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Spring, Texas
    Man, that's nice there. Wish we had any scenery at all around Houston within riding distance. Thanks for posting!
    #4
  5. Sledred

    Sledred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    833
    Location:
    N Phx
    Jhawkins - nice post and great ride! I've done the routes south of Grants and highly recommend them but now I definitely need to go ride Mt Taylor! The 7 Trails of Gold routes are just that to DS riding....Golden!
    #5