A series of old mining roads, a granite slot canyon, and a section of an arroyo connect to make this loop.
Since the construction of the Cerrillos Del Coyote XC loop, it is best ridden as an extension to the loop for those who want a little more mileage and are interested in exploring the area.
This ride starts at the top of the Quebradas Hogback Trail
. if you take this, it adds a total of 4.5 miles, but this ride specifically includes a technical down climb in a slot canyon and riding in an unimproved arroyo, so expect to move at a slow pace.
The trail is typically ridden in a counter-clockwise loop. You'll first pass a gate on to the 4 Hills Ranch. Please close the gate regardless of its condition as you approached it.
At the road fork for the return route you'll see a barite mine to your left with scattered structures to your right. The trail continues up the two-track heading south.
After approximately 1.5 miles, there will be a steep descent. Given the extent of the erosion on this section of road, some caution is recommended.
Shortly after the descent a granite slot canyon (Box Canyon) appears on your right. Drop down the wash towards the slot canyon.
Note - the slot canyon is a technical hike approximately 100 yards long. It is easiest to navigate with at least one extra rider so that you can pass bikes off to one and other. There is frequently standing water in the canyon, which can ice over in winter. This canyon also features some old sport climbing routes.
At the mouth of the canyon you'll proceed down the unimproved arroyo for approximately 1 mile. The first 1/4 mile is the most technical section, with large river rocks that change each rain. Channel your inner trials rider.
If the river forks, stay to the right (typically a rockier route) and watch for a sandy wash approaching at a 90-degree angle. Tire tracks are frequently visible in the wash as it connects to a two-track.
Proceed up the sandy-wash to the two-track which will return you to the barite mine.