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El Paso Puzzler 50-Mile Endurance MTB Race

Difficult

Trail

52.2 mile 84.1 kilometer loop
90% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 5,635' 1,718 m
Descent: -5,633' -1,717 m
High: 5,894' 1,796 m
Low: 4,170' 1,271 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)

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Map Key

Trail shared by Stu Chaffey

This is the route for the epic 50 mile Puzzler Endurance Mountain Bike Race.

Stu Chaffey

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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".

Contacts

Local Club: Borderland Mountain Bike Association

Feb 28, 2016: Moving Forward

Dec 11, 2013: Good things….bad things

Sep 13, 2013: Resignation

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#1070

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Ride Rankings

#45

in Texas

#1,070

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3,314 Since Feb 23, 2014
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Photos

Nice video of the MTB trails on the East and West side of the Franklin Mountains.
Mar 4, 2014 near Westway, TX
First time down the hill.
Mar 19, 2018 near Westway, TX
Great views all along this trail
Nov 5, 2016 near Westway, TX
Riding in a dust storm, everything has a tinge of red.
Mar 13, 2016 near Westway, TX
The Mule Shoe Loop will challenge your technical climbing skills.
Apr 19, 2017 near Westway, TX
Made it out of Mule Shoe in one piece.
Mar 19, 2018 near Westway, TX

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