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South Boundary Trail #164 - IMBA EPIC

Difficult
 4.7 (90) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

21.4

Miles

34.4

KM

0%

Singletrack

10,710' 3,265 m

High

7,171' 2,186 m

Low

1,608' 490 m

Up

4,384' 1,336 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Features -none-

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.

Overview

The IMBA EPIC 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.

Description

The "full" SBT starts from FR 76—a washed-out, rocky access road best tackled in someone else's vehicle—and begins with a 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

Shared By:

Taber West with improvements by J. Bella and 2 others

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 90 votes

#1

in Angel Fire

#38

Overall
  4.7 from 90 votes
5 Star
71%
4 Star
24%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Angel Fire

#1

in New Mexico

#38

Overall
1,257 Views Last Month
52,651 Since Sep 9, 2013
Difficult

0%
0%
7%
6%
85%
1%

Photos

Fall on the South Boundary Trail
Nov 9, 2018 near Ranchos…, NM
Hittin' booters and poppin' wheelies coming down the SBT outside of Angel Fire, NM!
Jul 23, 2016 near Angel Fire, NM
Ripping singletrack at the top of the South Boundary Trail!
Jul 23, 2016 near Angel Fire, NM
South Boundary singletrack.
Aug 12, 2017 near Angel Fire, NM
Such sweet singletrack on Heaven on Earth... the trail deserves its name!
Jul 23, 2016 near Angel Fire, NM
Nice rest spot in the aspens before beginning the major decent.
Jul 6, 2015 near Ranchos…, NM

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 2 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2020
Chris JD
This trail got harder as I got lower! Flatted twice and walked the final mile. Quite the ride! Route finding didn't seem a problem. 19mi — 2h 35m
Sep 5, 2020
Marc Comtois
Sep 5, 2020
Skyler Williams
Rode rom Valle Escondido off Hwy 64 up FR70. shorter shuttle for my wife. Route finding not bad but map helpful. Uphill no bad and, down is prime. 30mi — 3h 50m
Aug 23, 2020
L Sloan
From Garcia Park 12mi
Jul 11, 2020
C Y
The trail is clear and easy to navigate. Difficult uphills and open spaces, make sure to bring enough water if doing the whole thing.
Jul 7, 2020
Piotr Smieja
Brutal uphills; great singletrack- very narrow at times; ending was extremely technical, featuring a ton of rocks 21.4mi
Jun 20, 2020
Lost Justpastnowhere
Jun 12, 2020
Ricky Carlini

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