Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by trailwerks, Jul 9, 2018.
Recent rains should make some of the trails more interesting. More trail scouting should be fun!
We had 1.7” of rain in a 24 hour period this week at my place downtown. Have not had a chance to get out and check any trails as work is in the way but I am sure we’ll be doing it soon now that Doug is down here. No reports of washouts from locals but still time to check it. Just got to get CaptRick back on the KTM.
We did a damage assessment of the TorC brewery the other night after the rains, it’s still ok. Might have to recheck it tonight.
Its getting closer! You only have until Monday night to get your order in for T-Shirts. The artist in our skunkworks department did a great job on the T-Shirt logo as always. Especially for us KTM riders. I am going to order two after seeing this. Don't Wait, Register Here
Hey Man, That's custom, the 500 is much faster now.
That shirt is awesome!
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Last evening Dean took me to the Arrey Cafe for Steak Night. $15.99 for very good steak from a local ranch. Of course it was a complete meal so large I couldn't finish it. This might be a good tip for those coming to the RCR. 20 miles south of town on I-25. Then we headed back to the T or C Brewery for ciders and beer. We settled in on the patio and Dean contacted CaptRick. In a few minutes he stealthily fly's by on his mtnb. A few brews and the stories were flying. It's going to be tough living in T or C.
If you're coming to the RCR in an RV you might consider staying at the Cielo Vista RV Park. It's the lowest priced park I've ever stayed in and the quietest. It has all the features you'd expect and it's walking distance to the brewery.
A last reminder that TODAY is the last day to order an official 2018 RCR performance shirt when you register. Due to production time for the shirts, the order must go to the shirt supplier tomorrow morning.
We will continue to take registrations up until we fill the 100 rider limit but no shirts after midnight.
“Good things come to those who wait (patiently)!”
Here are the “suggested routes” for the 2018 Rubber Chicken Ride. But first, we need to state some important disclaimers:
1. The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA), nmohva.org, it's officers, directors, and membership are not liable or responsible in any way, shape, or form for this post's content, any inaccuracies, use, misuse, or interpretation. The reader, rider, or user is solely responsible for knowing current New Mexico OHV laws, regulations and statutes and public access status. It is the user or reader's responsibility to inquire with the appropriate governing or managing authorities for up-to-date laws, regulations or statutes regarding OHV operation.
2. All riding activities at the 2018 Rubber Chicken Ride are strictly "no fee" and at the event participant's discretion. All dirt road and trail riding requires a plated bike, or valid NM OHV sticker, or sticker from a reciprocal state. Many of the routes below require a plated bike to access and/or complete. All routes shown below are believed to be legal routes that are open to the public but we make no guarantees as to that fact or the accuracy of the tracks or route descriptions.
3. We are again using a simple four level “route rating” system. The four levels are, in order of difficulty: Easier. Moderate. Harder. Difficult. It is important to note that we are providing these route descriptions with a “middle-of-the-road” dual sport rider in mind (since that still describes the author of the route descriptions). We are taking both the difficulty and the length of the route into account with these ratings. We all know “that guy” who can ride a fully loaded 1290 up a 20-mile long track that should only be ridden by a total freak of nature on a trials bike. The descriptions we include below simply won’t apply to “that guy”. Nor will these descriptions apply to someone who believes themselves to be a much better rider than they really. So, as they say in the commercials, “Your results may vary.”
4. Many of these routes, especially the ones on the east side of the river, are very “lonely” with only infrequent use by ranchers and few other travelers. We highly recommend traveling with companions for mutual support. There are NO services available on almost all the routes and cell phone coverage is spotty, at best, and completely absent in many others. All riders need to be self-sufficient with enough food, water, spares, and expertise to get back to town on their own.
5. Mother Nature continually re-arranges these routes and 2018 is no exception. We received quite a bit of moisture during the summer monsoon and Mother Nature uses water to create mischief. Her favorite “trick” is a nasty rut cutting across the road. Another perpetual favorite is hiding a hole, wash-out, or rock just beyond a curve or the top of a hill to catch the unsuspecting rider. WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH: DO NOT OUT-RIDE YOUR LINE OF SIGHT! We mean it, there are some nasty “traps” out there just waiting to catch the rider who is not paying close attention! Captain Capsize said it perfectly last year – “If you can’t see it, ride it like you are approaching a sheer cliff.”
6. We have not completed pre-riding all of the routes identified below and reserve the right to continue to update routes as more recent information becomes available. We offer these routes online prior to the event in order for riders to start thinking about what they want to ride this year. We will provide final updates on conditions and availability at the event. Obviously, many of these loops and portions of these loops can be combined to create other potential rides. We chose to identify twenty potential routes that provide a wide variety of distances, challenge, and terrain type. And again, we do the best we can but cannot make guarantees as to the accuracy of the tracks or route descriptions. Riders are solely responsible for identifying appropriate routes for their skill level and desire.
And now with the disclaimers out of the way, on to the information and tracks! We have identified twenty (20) loops for suggested routes this year. Some are previous favorites and classics, some are previous routes updated with new options or combinations, and some are entirely new for 2018. We had fun finding them and exploring them. We think you will find them fun, exciting, and excellent additions to this year's RCR. The route descriptions are posted below with the corresponding tracks at the bottom of each post. With an ADV limit of only four sets of tracks per post, the tracks will be posted in five separate posts.
Important Note– All mileages listed are for the FULL/MAIN loop starting and returning from downtown T or C. Many of the loops can be shortened by trailering bikes to an alternative start point and/or by obtaining gas along the loops. In addition to the gas available in T or C, gas is also available:
1. In Winston at the General Store (they usually have premium or mid-grade available but not always).
2. At the Santa Fe Diner/Truck Stop at the intersection of I-25 and NM 107. Only regular available, no premium. While several miles off the main loops, this is potentially useful for the longer routes north across Mt. Withington.
3. At the Lakeview RV Park at the intersection of I-25, NM 152, and NM 187. This is potentially useful for those coming back up NM 187 from Tipton Ranch, Broadhurst Arroyo, etc.
4. At Hatch just south of I-25. This is an appropriate place to top off before coming back from long loops south of T or C.
One last item - If you inmates who are route mavens find a significant error, please drop me a PM and I will correct it.
Suggested Route 1 - Chloride Canyon: ~130 miles. Rating: Easier. The Chloride Canyon loop includes historic mining and logging ruins, petroglyphs, and is one of the wetter rides around southern New Mexico. The road is a bit rougher this year than the past two years due to rainfall but still in quite good shape. Expect a few rocks, numerous crossings of the small stream, and a long, somewhat rocky climb out of the canyon. The remainder of the route is the same as previous years (mostly easy Forest roads). The abundant summer rains have also left flowing water and a certain (to us New Mexicans) lushness that is much appreciated. We have added an optional loop to this ride on the north side of Hwy 59 for those who want to extend the ride. This “new” loop is very green and scenic this year and includes a segment called Adobe Canyon at the north end that is a real gem. Gas is available in Winston at the General Store and they typically have premium available.
Suggested Route 2 - St. Cloud + Chloride Canyon + Lookout Mountain + The Nash Cut-off: ~ 147 miles. Rating: Moderate. This variation of the Chloride Canyon loop was first suggested in 2016 and this year we have added another “new” optional loop on the north side of Hwy 59. After a short side trip into Chloride (the townsite), the route swings south past the active St. Cloud mining area (a zeolite mine) and winds its way up and down through the area south of Chloride Canyon. After passing several interesting historical mine sites, the road rejoins the “traditional” Chloride Canyon route about 1.5 miles up from the town site. The route eventually climbs up out of Seventyfour Draw to join the road to Lookout Mountain (where a short spur leads to some great views off this high point) before rejoining the traditional route down Forest 226 toward the Beaverhead Highway. A few miles short of the highway is the turn for The Nash Cut-Off. This is a more interesting route than the last few miles of gravel to the highway. Keep a sharp look-out for the namesake relic. After reaching the highway, the optional “new” loop is very green and scenic this year and includes a segment called Adobe Canyon at the north end that is a real gem. Gas is available in Winston at the General Store and they typically have premium available.
Suggested Route 3 - Mt. Withington – The Full Monty: ~184 miles. Rating: Moderate. This one is for the “iron buttes” out there. The loop to and over Mt. Withington is the longest and highest of the standard loops in the area. The route tops out at an abandoned fire lookout at over 10,000 feet! Mt. Withington can be accessed via a variety of ways and this version is the traditional route that has been used by many previous RCR’s. It leaves the pavement at Monticello, passes Springtime Campground, and then follows the infamous “fence line” for many miles north to Highway 107. It then swings west past the historical town site of Rosedale before climbing the Mt. Withington ridgeline. Both fire look locations (Grassy on the south, Mt. Withington on the north) can be accessed and riders can choose between Bear Trap Canyon or West Red Canyon to drop down the west side of the mountain and make their way back to Winston. This ride can be shortened by trucking bikes to Monticello or Winston and gas is available at the Winston store if fuel range is a concern.
Suggested Route 4 - Mt. Withington – A Bit Faster and Easier: ~192 miles. Rating: Easier. This variation of Mt. Withington is essentially the same as the traditional route above but skips the slower/more difficult fenceline section by running all the way out to NM Highway 1 (paved) and using NM Highway 107 (pavement and dirt) to access the rest of the route. It also includes an additional gas stop at the Santa Fe diner/truck stop for range-challenged bikes.
Suggested Route 5 - Mt. Withington – West Loop: ~172 miles. Rating: Easier. This is the easiest variation of Mt. Withington and is friendlier to big bikes or bikes with smaller fuel tanks. From Winston, the top of Mt. Withington is accessed by going up West Red Canyon and returning to via Bear Trap Canyon. A start and finish in Winston (by trucking or trailering the bikes) shortens this loop even more to a bit under 100 miles. Gas is available in Winston.
Suggested Route 6 - Palomas Gap (Classic): ~62 miles. Rating: Moderate. The standard version of the Palomas Gap loop includes the challenge of the climb up the historic route over the Gap and the outstanding view from the antenna farm at the top of Brushy Mountain. The 7500 foot summit gives a stunning “bird’s-eye view” up and down the Rio Grande Valley. We have added a short optional loop (Easier) that runs past some interesting mine ruins (Napolean and Carroll/Carolyn Mines).
Suggested Route 7 - Palomas Gap (with the North exit): ~40 miles. Rating: Harder. This alternative version of the Palomas Gap route was first offered in 2015. It is shorter in mileage but considerably more difficult. It features roads that get only infrequent use, some steep/loose/rocky hills, deep sand in arroyos, and requires excellent route finding skills. A counterclockwise travel direction will take riders down the most challenging hill. Our thanks to inmate Grizzzly for sharing with us!
Suggested Route 8 – McLeod Hills: ~87 miles. Rating: Moderate to Harder. This is one of the entirely “new” routes for 2018. It is located further east as the McLeod Hills are the major ridge east of the Caballo Mountains. As such, the “meat” of this route can be accessed by either running fast paved and gravel roads or by climbing up through Palomas Gap. The route uses a combination of very primitive (read this as hardly ever used!) roads to run along the base of the ridge for about 10 miles first on the west face and then on the east face. We can just about guarantee that you will not see anybody else out in this area! The transition from west to east is accomplished via a very interesting and fun canyon that will have you swearing you have been transported to Moab. The exit joins up with the Tipton Ranch road which eventually takes you back to civilization. Don’t run this one solo.
Suggested Route 9 - Tipton Ranch + Redhouse Pass + Broadhurst Arroyo: ~119 miles. Rating: Moderate to Harder. These routes were first offered in 2015. Combining the two provided an even “better” (and considerably harder) loop in offered for the last two years. Is 2018 the year you will test yourself? The Tipton Ranch in the title is a bit of a misnomer as the route actually bypasses the private ranch entirely. This is true southern NM desert riding with arroyos, rocky climbs and descents, old mines, and an optional short spur to some really cool rock art (petroglyphs – look but do not touch!). The return from Hatch goes back out into the desert to ride the Broadhurst Arroyo loop before using the pavement to get back to T or C. Gas/food/water can be obtained at Hatch at the southern point of the loop.
Suggested Route 10 - Mine Tank Loop + Broadhurst Arroyo: ~89 miles. Rating: Harder. Mine Tank Loop was first offered in 2016. After combining it with Broadhurst Arroyo and riding it recently, we decided to bump the rating up a notch to Harder. There are two additional “more difficult” options if you want even more rocks and ledges. We also updated the route to avoid the morass of endless gullies by exiting Mine Tank Loop via a new ridgeline route. This is very rugged and remote country (and a personal favorite) through canyons that can get mighty warm so have plenty of water and stamina if you attempt this one.
Suggested Route 11 - Hermosa: ~ 131 miles. Rating: Easier. This caters to the rider looking for an easy, scenic ride or something that is big-bike friendly. This is a long out-and-back to the seldom-visited location of the Hermosa town site. The road encompasses a wide variety of nice scenery and there are numerous interesting abandoned buildings if you go all the way to the far end of the route.
Suggested Route 12 – Sy’s Circle: ~ 205 miles. Rating: Easier. This is the first year for this additional big-bike friendly route that loops north around Mt. Withington to Magdalena and then returns through the open grasslands of Dusty and Winston. About half pavement and half dirt, there is only one section that can be a bit rocky some years. The northern end offers a chance to see the impressive dishes of the Very Large Array on the Plains of San Agustin. There is gas at the Santa Fe Diner/Truck Stop, in Magdalena, and at the Winston store.
Suggested Route 13 – Hillsboro + Lake Valley + Hatch + the Jornada + Spaceport: ~161 miles. Rating: Easier. This is a mostly paved, big-bike friendly loop through the historic mining center of Hillsboro and then south through the historical site of Lake Valley. After a gas (and perhaps famous Sparky’s burger?) top-off in Hatch, the route continues north up the recently paved road across the Jornado. The Jornada offers an amazing juxtaposition between the historical route used by the Spanish in the 1600’s and new facilities of Spaceport America.
Suggested Route 14 – Winston + Beaverhead + Emery Pass + Hillsboro: ~208 miles. Rating: Easier to Moderate. This a longer, but still big-bike friendly loop that visits Winston and Beaverhead and then traverses a corridor between two huge wilderness areas before returning via the twisties of Emery Pass and the historic mining town of Hillsboro.
Suggested Route 15 - Apache Gap: ~94 miles. Rating: Harder to Difficult. Here is a route for riders looking for even more challenge. The climb up Apache Gap is typically thought of as "very hard" with numerous rocks and ledges encountered on the way up. This version is shown as also including a loop that includes the high viewpoint from the antenna farm on the top of Timber Mountain. A rider could then descend the south side of Brushy (itself a quite technical descent) and then retrace the rocks and ledges back the way they came or could return to T or C via the (much easier) backside of the Palomas Gap loop.
Suggested Route 16 – Springtime Campground Loop: ~91 miles. Rating: Easier with Moderate Options. The loop past Springtime Campground has been a favorite of our riders looking for a very scenic but relaxing ride. It offers a unique combination of high desert with a bit of elevation as it crosses a pass at 8000 feet. The ride starts with a tour along Elephant Butte Reservoir (pavement first, then dirt) before heading west toward I-25. The route utilizes the old highway that parallels the Interstate and then dives west into the desert and rolling grasslands that slowly climb, first into pinyon/juniper forest, and then into the bigger Ponderosa Pines. After passing the campground, the road crests the highpoint and descends back toward the picturesque community of Monticello. On the way down to town, it passes through some of the finest scenery around. The rest of the route back from Monticello is paved state highway. The optional Burma Road out-and-back is a worthwhile diversion and the optional Aragon Hill Loop offers a five mile section of very scenic but interesting riding for the novice rider who is comfortable with dirt roads and wants to try something a little more challenging.
Suggested Route 17 – Springtime Campground + Blue Ribbon Trail + Aragon Hill + Rocky Top Loop: ~132 miles. Rating: Moderate to Harder. The route past Springtime Campground (above) has long been an easy, scenic favorite. Adding the Blue Ribbon Trail (Harder) Aragon Hill (Moderate) and Rocky Top (Harder) loops adds length and considerable difficulty and “spice” to this new combination. The Blue Ribbon Trail actually uses Forest Road 922 but lack of use for many years until we (minimally) cleared it this spring essentially renders it singletrack. We think you will love it! The Aragon Loop, was updated to reflect the new Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map route and is only a bit more challenging than last year. The trifecta ends with the 20-mile Rocky Top loop. It includes a long ride up a gravel arroyo, some really tight tree dodging as riders wind down a 2nd arroyo, and then some steep and very rocky ascents and descents. The route crosses the summit we are calling “Rocky Top” for no apparent reason other than it is the highest ground around with views to match. The descent down yet another arroyo leads riders back to the graded county road. This combo route offers enough length and challenge to appeal to most riders looking for a tougher day. By mixing and matching carefully, it can be tailored to be easier and/or shorter if the main loop is too taxing.
Suggested Route 18 – East Side of Caballo Reservoir: ~73 miles. Rating: Moderate. This was a new offering for 2017. It starts with the River Road south toward Palomas Gap but continues all the way down to the Garfield Exit staying on the east side of the river. The challenge is that portions of the road are in the "intermittent flood pool" of Caballo Reservoir. When the water level is higher, riders need to seek higher and drier ground to the east in order to find a "through" route. The road itself eventually climbs to higher but rougher ground before finally returning via the beautiful Red Hills Road. One can also easily access optional loops to the Black Jack and other mines and interesting spur roads from this route.
Suggested Route 19 – Lyda K Mine + Pass Tank: ~94 miles. Rating Harder. The Lyda K Mine portion of this route was new last year. In addition to some interesting mining ruins in the foothills west of the Caballo Mountains, it offers some rough and tumble riding up and down steep, rocky hills and winding rocky arroyos. We have teamed it with the Mine Tank Loop which offers more of the same for a day-long adventure that might have you ready for a cold one by the time you get back. Since we don’t know just how riders will fare on this new option, we have offered both easier/faster and harder/longer exit options.
Suggested Route 20 – The 2018 RCR Sufferfest: ~119 miles. Rating: The Kitchen Sink - Easier to Difficult – We first offered this by request last year and then no one finished the whole enchilada. What is the Desert Sufferfest? A taxing combination that links most of the harder and difficult loop options east of the river into one never-ending endurance festival. We have further refined and tweaked the 2018 edition by shortening the loop and including more options to bail back out to the highway… Will anyone ride it in one day? We even included an optional gas/food stop in Hatch about midway. Oh, and the hardest sections are toward the end of the day. Choose carefully and plan ahead. Have fun and stay safe.
And there you have them. Enjoy!
I can also send Garmin (.gdb) files to individuals who desire the data in that format. Shoot me a PM with your email address and I will send them directly to you.
Rt #14 departs 61/North Star Rd near 33.207879, -108.025388 and heads east in to the puckerbrush, around the south end of the runway. Looks like it gets on the Grand Enchantment Trail for a short ways before swinging south and west and rejoining 61/North Star Rd near 33.193524, -108.026575. We're gonna get yelled at for that! Shouldn't we just be staying on 61/North Star? Or is my carto-fu skills all messed up? BTW: the around the runway excursion does have the advantage of an outhouse.
What?!? You don't like puckerbush?
Seriously, thanks! I am not sure where that "remnant" segment came from, it is obviously not right. Maybe a routing snafu in Basecamp as I have not ridden that route in recent years. I have corrected it and reposted it.
And thanks! I now know at least one rider is looking!
oh I am eagerly "looking"... but haven't gotten to that level of detail @vhortykho eagle eye!
Is the general expectation that a "loop" will be done per day? of course not all are created equal (I am attempting to curb my enthusiasm)?
I would suggest starting by combining the Sufferfest and The Full Monte and then adding other smaller loops to that until you are thirsty enough to come in for a beer! Totally kidding of course!!
you had me at beer.