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South Boundary Trail #164

 4.7 (54)
Trail Mapped Wrong?

Length

21.1 Miles 33.9 Kilometers


Singletrack

Elevation

1,624' 495 m

Ascent

-4,393' -1,339 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

10,706' 3,263 m

High

7,167' 2,184 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 8 days ago

Getting forecast...

This classic little-bit-of-everything sub-alpine forest ridge ride is consistently ranked among the best in New Mexico.

Taber West

Overview

Trail is snow-bound in the winter, and downed-trees can make travel unpleasant until crews get a chance to clear them, usually by mid June.
Features: -none- [Add/Remove]
Dogs: Off-leash

Description [Suggest Changes]

The South Boundary 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 and several burly loops that incorporate the South Boundary Trail—though most people ride it from east to west, either starting at Garcia Park (40 minute shuttle from Taos) or doing the full ride from FR 76 near Angelfire (1 hr shuttle). This direction offers more downhill and smoother climbs.

The "full" SBT starts from FR 76—a washed-out, rocky access road best tackled in someone else's vehicle—and begins with an 1.5 mile, 800 ft rocky loose climb that may require some hiking. From Osha Mountain, the trail descends a loose road for less than a mile before entering the "Heaven on Earth" section: a consistent flowy classic side-hill singletrack descent through conifer forest and aspen groves. Then wipe the grin off your face with the 1.5 mile, 350 ft climb to Garcia Park.

At Garcia Park, the trail follows the road briefly before cutting right across the field and back into the forest where a series of old two-track and singletrack connectors weave westward. Route finding skills are important there are lots of unmarked turns, old roads, and meadows where the trail isn't well developed. The trail eventually continues it's side-hill traverse / descent through aspen and conifer forests that are even more stunning in the fall.

SBT loses most of its elevation in the last 5 miles, with the steepest and most technical bits thrown at you in the last 3, known as the El Nogal section. This challenging final descent is fast at times, loose at times, stair-steppy at times, scary at times, and exceedingly fun (at times.) Many riders will feel more comfortable walking through the tricky bits.

(For an alternate route, turn south on the Ojitos Trail #166 just past the obvious log drop. It's a longer, but mellower descent to the highway.)

This ride is normally done as a shuttle; some ride 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.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jun 10, 2018
JesseTremaine Tremaine
43mi
Jun 2, 2018
Sammy Rutherford
Amazing ride!! All the trees are cleared out!! And Turquoise Tours are the BEST!! We love Lindsay & Jay!! 23mi
May 28, 2018
Andrew Hollenbeck
May 18, 2018
Samuel Dudley
Best trail of my life. Gorgeous terrain and beautiful chunky downhills.
Dec 30, 2017
cyk 06
Oct 24, 2017
Nick Beebe
13.8mi
Oct 22, 2017
David Maniaci
Oct 15, 2017
Chris Piper
Amazing ride. Not 24 miles but who’s counting? Not as good as Whole Enchilada but similar point to point concept. Last four miles was amazing! 21.1mi

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 54 votes

#1

in Angel Fire

#18

Overall
  4.7 from 54 votes
5 Star
72%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Angel Fire

#1

in New Mexico

#18

Overall
2,064 Views Last Month
30,290 Since Sep 9, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
10%
71%
19%
0%
Kirby D  
Fantastic trail. Started in Garcia Park. A few downed trees, but only had to walk around a few. Wish I knew who chainsawed a path through the big ones - I'd buy that person a beer. Took the Ojitos canyon trail cutoff to the water tower near the end. It was pretty rocky, but not too bad. Jul 6, 2017
Greg: I believe Turquoise Tours ( turquoisetours.us/south-bou… ) is the only shuttle and can take you to either the FR 76 trailhead (full SBT) or Garcia Park (misses the "Heaven on Earth" section). Sep 19, 2017
Shout out to the volunteers from Enchanted Circle Trails Association, Moreno Valley Trekkers, and Del Norte MTB Alliance who helped the Carson National Forest clear 24+ trees this last weekend. delnortemtb.com/ enchantedcircletrails.org/ facebook.com/groups/mvtrekk… May 7, 2018

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