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South Boundary Trail #164

 48 votes

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


Minor Issues 14 days ago
Muddy, Snowy, Icy, Fallen Trees - Rode lower half from Garcia Park and mega snowy walkathon ensued. FR 437 was all clear. I would not ride again for a while History

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.
Dogs: Off-leash

Description

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.

Contacts

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

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
Oct 14, 2017
Matt Apodaca
Oct 7, 2017
Shayne Arthur
45 degrees F 16mi
Oct 4, 2017
Zach Hays
Sep 5, 2017
David Darling
Saw not one person. Some great sections had a blast

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 48 votes

#1

in Angel Fire

#18

Overall
  4.6 from 48 votes
5 Star
69%
4 Star
23%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Angel Fire

#1

in New Mexico

#18

Overall
804 Views Last Month
27,373 Since Sep 9, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
14%
64%
22%
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Headed to Taos for Memorial Day Weekend 2017 and need some info on SBT. Just curious why nobody starts the SBT at Palo Flechado Pass? It seems like the most straight forward way do it, linking the Elliot Barker into the SBT. Is there a reason to not do it this way? Thanks! May 16, 2017
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

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