South Boundary Trail #164

Consensus:    (details)
  4.4 from 15 votes
blueBlack  Intermediate/Difficult from 7 votes
Rank: #1 in the Taos area
#1 in NM, #82 Overall
Views: 7,005. Last 30 days: 131
Oct 21 Yellow - All of the trail is wet, some higher elevation areas are dusted with snow as this storm continues today
Trail in the area near Taos,
“This is one of the most classic NM trails.”
Taber West on Sep 9, 2013
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24.839.9 milesKilometers 2,661’811 m Ascent 10,722’3,268 m High 5% Avg Grade (3°)
Singletrack Type -4,676’-1,425 m Descent 7,165’2,184 m Low 24% Max Grade (13°)
4:30 average time for 21.0 miles. Details

The South Boundary Trail has limitless potential for various loops. The trail begins at the El Nogal Picnic Area on US Highway 64 (~3 miles east of Taos) and ends on FR 76 close to Angel Fire.

There are a few popular rides that incorporate the South Boundary Trail, the most common is to ride the trail from Angel Fire towards Taos. This direction offers more downhill and smoother climbs.

Garcia Park via FR 437 in Valle Escondido is the easiest access point, FR 76 is a rougher drive and leads to two access points, the proper trailhead and a mile and half further FR 153 leads to a road ascending Osha Peak's south ridge. The first climb from either point is rocky and may require some hiking, the second option isn't as steep. Route finding skills are important in this entire region of the Sangres, besides a few signs at some trail junctions there are lots of unmarked turns, old roads, and meadows where the trail isn't well developed.

Garcia Park is near the middle of the SBT, use this point to shuttle the western half of the trail back into Taos, or to ride Heaven on Earth or Mondragon Canyon. For the classic ride in it's entirety, use the access point from FR 76 south of Angel Fire.

There is some climbing from each access point that requires some hike-a-bike for most people. After these sections, the rest of the climbs are pretty easy. The descents are rocky in places but not too technical, very smooth and flowy in others, and the views are great. When you reach Garcia Park, the trail continues a few hundred feet down the road to the west. It winds through some meadows and climbs into the aspens for a little while, then resumes the descent down through the conifer forests. The last few miles are much more technical and steep, so watch out here, you'll know it when you get there. At the bottom, cross the creek and arrive at the El Nogal trailhead by the highway.

This ride is normally done as a shuttle, some have ridden it as an out-and-back from Taos in a long day. There is no potable water on the trail, so bring plenty, and watch out for afternoon thunderstorms during Summer.
Land Manager: USFS - Carson National Forest
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5.0 (1)
A fast, flowy out and back ride from Garcia Park along sections of the South ...
near Angel Fire, NM
4.0 (1)
A fun, low-traffic descent through Mondragon Canyon.
near Angel Fire, NM
3.4 (5)
This is a beginner trail that is also a lot of fun for advanced riders.
near Ranchos de Taos, NM

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PHOTOS of South Boundary Trail #164
  5.0 from 1 vote
The wicked fun final descent... (Ranchos de Taos, NM)
  5.0 from 1 vote
Where the excitement begins... (Ranchos de Taos, NM)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Fast and smooth section of trail in the Corner Park meadows. Taking adv... (Angel Fire, NM)
  4.0 from 1 vote
"Heaven On Earth" portion of SBT (Angel Fire, NM)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Overlooking Taos!! (Ranchos de Taos, NM)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Nice rest spot in the aspens before beginning the major decent. (Ranchos de Taos, NM)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Very fast downhill section under the forest canopy. Lots of fun. (Angel Fire, NM)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Floaty fun in the meadows of the South Boundary Trail. Awesome pic b... (Taos, NM)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Fast trail in Corner Park (Angel Fire, NM)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Lookout viewing north toward Hwy 64 (Ranchos de Taos, NM)
  3.0 from 3 votes
View looking SSW as you begin the first decent. (Angel Fire, NM)
  2.5 from 4 votes
I seems it's always up or down. Not a lot of 'flat' sections to this ride. (Taos, NM)
  2.5 from 4 votes
Spring snowline (Ranchos de Taos, NM)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Long, gentle incline toward the campsites on FR 437 (Angel Fire, NM)