Get the Under-the-Radar MTB Goods in Taos, New Mexico

Score the singletrack goods near the unique town of Taos.

Mountain Biking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe

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High T Trail
High T Trail Photo: Greg Heil

Description

The town of Taos is a truly unique destination. This haven of artistic expression is filled with art galleries of all types, from sculpture to painting to photography, and beyond. The ancient adobe buildings have created narrow streets that now bottleneck the press of modern traffic.

In fact, the town of Taos is located just south of the Taos Pueblo. The Taos Pueblo has the distinction of containing the oldest continuously-inhabited houses in the United States. The Pueblo was built sometime between 1,000 and 1,450 CE. (Source) The long human habitation in this region of the country has given rise to a lengthy history and a deep culture that begs to be experienced and explored.

The diversity of the natural terrain is also absolutely unbelievable! Taos lies in a high desert valley abutting the base of the impressive Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Northern New Mexico. Flanking it to the west is the deep, rugged Rio Grande Gorge. Trails have naturally been built or arose due to centuries of human traffic near the area's prime natural features, such as the gorge and the foothills of the mountain range.

As you head further into the mountains, the arid valley disappears and is replaced by towering peaks. As you go up in elevation, you'll quickly exchange sagebrush for aspen trees and towering pines. And if you choose to take the dead-end road that leads to Taos Ski Valley, you'll journey into the heart of the Sangres and to the base of the tallest peaks in the state of New Mexico.

Taos isn't widely-regarded as a top-tier mountain bike destination, but with a natural landscape this gifted and diverse, you know it has to be hiding some fantastic singletrack gems! One not-so-hidden gem is the South Boundary Trail which ends in Taos. This is one of the best-known and highest-regarded rides in the state, and for good reason. But the riding in Taos doesn't stop there.

Several other trails connect to the end of the South Boundary Trail in the Taos foothills, providing a smorgasbord of singletrack challenge. If you want a real beatdown, try the Taos Vortex on for size. You can also choose to pedal up and ride down the final South Boundary descent if you don't have access to a shuttle. Other possibilities include looping Devisadero Peak or hitting the little-ridden North Boundary Trail.

Closer to the stunning Rio Grande Gorge you'll find a selection of beginner and intermediate-friendly singletrack. Two of the top loops include the Rift Valley Trail and Horsethief Mesa.

Heading deep into the mountains near Taos Ski Valley, you won't find a ton of bike-legal trails, as most of the best singletrack is locked up in Wilderness. However, Northside at Taos provides a gorgeous (albeit brutal) alpine mountain biking experience. And Taos Ski Valley itself is attempting to build a bike park, with Green Chili as the first installment.

Is Taos a world-renowned mountain bike destination? No, no it isn't. But for riders who are looking to escape the hordes that descend on destinations like Moab, Sedona, and Crested Butte, Taos's rough-around-the-edges feel offers a special appeal. And if you do some digging (with the help of this guidebook), you're sure to uncover the goods in Taos!

Routes included

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