Taos area singletrack?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by _CJ, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. _CJ

    _CJ Rugged Individualist

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    Anyone have any suggestions on places to ride in the Taos area?

    We're going to be staying north of town a bit, and I'm seeing some singletrack near Red River Ski Area in the Questa? district of the Carson NF, but it looks like most of it is 4x4 roads and Wilderness Area. I've heard people mention Sipapu, but that looks like it's mostly ATV and 4x4 trails?

    If any NM inmates are interesting in getting together for a ride, shoot me a PM.



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  2. Ditch

    Ditch Long timer

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    Well I'll bite. Here is a link from one of the Sipapu Shindigs which has a compiltation of tracks (page 6, I think). https://advrider.com/f/threads/4th-annual-nmohva-sipapu-shindig-2016.1123352/ The single track in that area is listed on the Carson NF MVUM and is a lot of fun. What I saw on the north side of Hwy 518 was cleared of deadfall. Thanks trail clearing crew! I have not ridden any of the south side.
    Hope this helps.
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  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    There are a lot of trails in the BLM land starting about 8 miles northeast of Espanola in the area knows as Alcalde aka The Snake. Many of them used to be single track. Don't know if they have been ATV'd.
    This is high desert riding and might be a little warm
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  4. _CJ

    _CJ Rugged Individualist

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    Well, that's a wrap. Had some fun riding around northern NM the past couple of days.

    First day up in Red River area. 20 some miles of motorcycle trails up there, and nobody is riding them or maintaining them. Not a single moto track in the dirt. They're not being "atv'd out", they're being swallowed up by the forest. Such a wasted resource with some of the sweetest singletrack I've ever seen. Hard to believe there's no locals in the area getting out there with chainsaws to clear them out and ride them.

    Sipapu was beautiful. The trails are pretty gnarly, at least what I saw of them. I was pretty wiped out from the 100+ miles I rode around Red River, so only did about 20 miles in Sipapu. Barely scratched the surface. A guy could spend days in either Red River or Sipapu and still not ride it all.

    National forest land north of Taos.
    [​IMG]

    Red River
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    Goose Lake outside Red River
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    Red River singletrack - trail 171
    [​IMG]

    Sipapu singletrack - trail #4
    [​IMG]




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  5. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    Sounds like a great trip to Sipapu. What a great place. I love having places all to myself but I do sometimes worry when I don't see any other riders, who will be there to fight when somebody wants to close it down?

    Could you be more specific about which legal trails need to be cleared near Red River? It's a ways from Albuquerque but I might get out there with a saw at some point.

    Since Alcalde was mentioned, maybe for your next trip, there is a lot of great singletrack there. It's high desert riding rather than alpine like Sipapu.

    Here is a gpx of a singletrack loop at Alcalde. There are trails all over especially near the parking area but this is just good singletrack.

    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

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  6. MartiniUp

    MartiniUp Long timer

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    What DS bike is that? Any maps available of those trails? Not a GPS user. Thanks.
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  7. _CJ

    _CJ Rugged Individualist

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    I ride a Beta 125 RR-S. 50 state street legal dual sport that's very capable off road. Top speed of about 60 mph, so best kept to slower speed roads and shorter distances.

    Link to Questa Ranger District MVUM of the Carson National Forest. (Red River)
    https://www.fs.fed.us/r3/gis/mvum/Carson/CarsonQuesta.pdf

    Link to Camino Real District MVUM of the Carson NF (Sipapu)
    https://www.fs.fed.us/r3/gis/mvum/Carson/CarsonCaminoReal.pdf

    As you can see, there are "motorcycle only" trails, #171, and the #195 network up in Red River. 171 was blocked by several downed trees, and I got myself into a bit of trouble because of them. Wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get back out....thought I might die out there with thunderstorms moving in....the wife called 911 because I was hours late....but I made it out unassisted. Never should have gone down in there solo, and without a pruning saw. Some of the sweetest singletrack I've ever seen though. Neither of the trails look like anyone has ridden them in years, and mother nature is hard at work reclaiming them. 195 was also blocked by downfall in areas, and some sections are just gone....washed away by heavy rain storms. You can see about half way through the video below a big wash (Arroyo?), and there's supposed to be a trail going up from there, but I couldn't find any sign of it. Obviously, some of these trails have seen some illegal ATV abuse, but the forest service hasn't installed any width restrictors, so that's no surprise, but it seems they mostly turn around after a 1/4 mile or so.

    The Avenza MVUM phone app provided by the forest service was the only way I was able to find 195, and verify that I was on the correct trails, both on 195 and 171. There seems to be some hiking wilder-nuts out there playing games with signage, so using the app is really the only way to be sure you aren't straying off into Wilderness Area.

    Videos:

    Trail 195 - Red River


    Trail 171 - Red River


    Trail #4 - Sipapu




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  8. redrock88

    redrock88 Been here awhile

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    I'm going to piggy-back off OP's post here...

    Great info above. Looking thru maps now.
    If you had to pick any road(s), or better yet, DIRECTION from Taos to ride, where would you go? Will be in the area for about a week with mountain bike, dirtbike, lots of time.
    Solo rider; street legal capable dirtbike; so-so capable rider.
    Seeking great views, little to no traffic, just a full day (or two) to explore.
    Two-track... fine. Graded fire-roads...ok but preferably just for getting to the better stuff. Same for pavement...ok if necessary and not extended mileage. Singletrack...definitely interested but probably no bueno since solo.
    TIA...
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  9. _CJ

    _CJ Rugged Individualist

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    Red River area (north of Taos) has a TON of ATV trails and dirt roads. I was able to put together a route that got me from Arroyo Seco to Questa on dirt roads and two track, then just road the pavement up to Red River. You have to be willing to ignore fake "private road" signs put up by people with million dollar houses near Arroyo Seco though. I had a better route planned, which also showed legal and open on Avenza maps, and Google maps, but the University put up a giant metal gate that was locked, so I had to backtrack to the "private road" to get around it, and there was another giant metal gate along the way there too, but it had an unlocked door in it that a moto can fit through. Seems there's a lot of people appropriating public land as their own down there, and nobody doing anything about it.

    Sipapu to the south also has a ton of dirt roads and ATV trails. Somebody said something about desert riding to the west, but I didn't go out there. Once you get out of Taos, there's little to no traffic anywhere, so that's not much of a concern. If I were going to spend more time down there, it would be in Red River area. More scenic, and better amenities in town from what I saw.



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  10. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I recommend FR 437. It takes off of NM 518 out of the south end of Taos. It is a somewhat rough fun road thru Carson NF high mountains. It leads to a bunch of other similar roads you can explore. Get a hold of the Carson MVUM for some more ideas.
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