2014 El Paso Puzzler 50-Mile Endurance MTB Race

Consensus:    (details)
  5.0 from 1 vote
black  Difficult from 1 vote
Rank: #3 in the Franklin Mountains State Park area
#17 in TX, #651 Overall
Views: 1,625. Last 30 days: 6
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Featured Ride in the area near Westway,
“This is the route for the epic 50 mile Puzzler Endurance Mountain Bike Race (2014).”
Stu Chaffey on Feb 23, 2014
Getting There     GPX File     Print
51.082.1 milesKilometers 5,906’1,800 m Ascent 5,883’1,793 m High 4% Avg Grade (3°)
90% Singletrack -5,897’-1,797 m Descent 4,213’1,284 m Low 24% Max Grade (13°)
Dogs: Leashed
FEATURED RACE
Race Date: January 15, 2017
Official Details: elpasopuzzler.com
Overview
This race is advertised as "The Toughest Race in Texas". I don't know if that is true, but it is an extremely tough race. There are three different race options: 50 mile, 36 mile, and 13 mile.

puzzlerendurance.wordpress.com
Description
This is the route for the epic 50 mile version of the annual El Paso Puzzler Endurance Mountain Bike Race. This is an extremely challenging event that will "leave you in pieces" as the website correctly states.

The course begins with a 1.5 mile sprint on doubletrack for position on the 400 ft Sotol Extension singletrack ascent. After reaching the top riders will descend down winding single tracks and around the mountain back to the starting point (mile 9).

The next stage of the race begins with sprint down Lazy Cow and then a grueling 1500 ft grind up the imposing Mundy's Gap. After reaching the top (mile 15.5) riders descend the West side of the mountain through the infamous "rock garden". This scree field will surely test your nerve as well as your bike shocks. After reaching the bottom riders can relax on a short stretch of pavement through Tom May's Park. Riders then begin the long rocky trek North along the West side of the Mountain Range. At mile 27 riders then begin another grueling 600 ft ascent up the steep, tight switchbacks of Northern Pass. After this climb riders are greeted with a long, technical stretch of trail through Hitt Canyon back to the top of Sotol Extension. Assuming your legs are not completely cramped by this point you can enjoy a nice fast ride down Sotol and Coyote Ugly. A short detour on How Now and you are back at the starting point. This is the end of the 36 mile race.

Riders crazy enough to attempt the 50 mile course will then begin a 800 ft ascent along Boulder Dash, Sotol Forest and Scenic Drive. The course then descends through some fast trails until you reach Mule Shoe Loop. This loop is very technical with several boulder climbs and drops. This loop is even more difficult on tired legs. The route then takes you all the way down Cardiac Hill and then up Old Tin Mine, Polecat Alley and Blue Moon. The last stretch of this race is a fast descent down Mad Cow. After descending Mad Cow and reaching the finish line riders can finally relax (or more likely collapse) knowing they have completed "The Toughest Race in Texas".
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COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of 2014 El Paso Puzzler 50-Mile Endurance MTB Race
  3.3 from 3 votes
Mundy's Rock Garden (Canutillo, TX)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Natural Arch near Mundy's Gap Road (Canutillo, TX)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Evan Plews climbing Mundy's Gap on his way to winning the 2013 Puzzler r... (Canutillo, TX)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Mundy's Gap Ascent (Canutillo, TX)
  3.0 from 3 votes
12 Hours of Old El Paso Race (Westway, TX)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Tom Mays Bike Loop (Westway, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Wind carved rock (Westway, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Newman bike trail sign post (Westway, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Sotol Extension (Newman trail) (Westway, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
2014 Puzzler Race Start (Westway, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Cardiac Hill view to East (Westway, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
View from Mundy's Gap (Canutillo, TX)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Cave on Happy Hill (Westway, TX)
  2.5 from 2 votes
Large namesake boulders making a great resting point on the Boulder Dash... (Westway, TX)
  2.5 from 2 votes
Use care in this washed out section. (Canutillo, TX)
  2.5 from 2 votes
Mundy's Gap overlook. Compare to winter photo near the same spot. (Canutillo, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Mundy's Climb (Canutillo, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Cardiac Hill Ascent (Westway, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Bowen Ranch Round House (Westway, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Cardiac Hill Drop (Westway, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Desert spring bloom. (Westway, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Mule Shoe Loop (Westway, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Cardiac Hill (center) Easy Way (right) Up & Over (left) (Westway, TX)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Tom Mays Bike Loop (Westway, TX)
  2.0 from 3 votes
Sun scorched brush on side of the hill. (Westway, TX)
  2.0 from 3 votes
Newman Trail (Westway, TX)
  2.0 from 3 votes
A rough arroyo (Westway, TX)
  2.0 from 3 votes
There's boots in that tree... (Westway, TX)
  2.0 from 3 votes
Sotol Extension (Newman Trail) (Westway, TX)
  2.0 from 2 votes
Looking west towards Tom Mays and El Paso. Grades are steep but the grav... (Canutillo, TX)
  2.0 from 2 votes
Looking down towards the scree field in the valley. Most of the trail is... (Canutillo, TX)
  2.0 from 2 votes
Looking down to switchbacks on Mundy's Gap East. (Canutillo, TX)
  2.0 from 2 votes
Horny toad on the trail that just did not want to move out of the way. J... (Westway, TX)
  1.5 from 2 votes
One slip off the edge and I'm looking at a 300 foot plus roll/fall down ... (Westway, TX)