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greenBlue Rift Valley Trail

  3.9 ( 49 ) Favorite


12.6 mile 20.4 kilometer loop
90% Singletrack


Ascent: 723' 220 m
Descent: -723' -220 m
High: 7,001' 2,134 m
Low: 6,682' 2,037 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by Paul Lowe

This is a beginner trail that is also a lot of fun for advanced riders.

Paul Lowe

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Family Friendly Beginner/intermediate terrain, excellent views.


This trail is almost 100% tight, winding singletrack. You'll be pedaling almost the entire time. No big climbs or big descents. You'll ride along the Rio Grande Rift Valley. It is one of only two places in the world you can witness a rift valley (the other one is in Africa). You can also see the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance.

Need to Know

Desert riding, so bring water. The Rio Grande is a long way down. Trailhead on State Rd. 68, but a better ride from the trailhead at 110.


This ride can be done clockwise or counterclockwise. This description is written from the clockwise perspective. It is well marked and there are other trails you can add to the ride.

Follow the sign for the Rift Valley Trail from the 110 trailhead. There is a sign for a hiking trail that will take you to the bottom of the rift valley and there is another trail that takes you to an overlook, avoid these.

You'll start with a doubletrack downhill. You'll cross over some rolling hills and find the Rift Valley Trail crossing the doubletrack. Turn left (toward 68) following the sign and start a gradual climb. Stay left at the intersection with Floodplain Trail toward the 68 trailhead. Once at the 68 trailhead, turn right following the Rift Valley Trail.

You'll start a gradual descent past Floodplain Trail ending at Escarpment Trail. Hang a left at Escarpment Trail and start ascending. You'll cross over La Gijosa Trail along with some rolling hills. Stay left at the crossing with Sediment Trail. Then turn right and descend toward the Rio Grande Gorge.

You'll then turn north along the rim of the gorge. There are some short punchy climbs and views of the valley below. Stop and check out the Taos Junction Bridge and people watch of those enjoying the river below.

You'll come back to the intersection with the doubletrack that you turned left on. Stay straight to do the loop again, try out some other trails, or turn left back to the trailhead where you began.

History & Background

The Rio Grande works its way through the rift valley below. This is one of only two places in the world where you can find a rift valley. For more details about what that is, check out the BLM webpage.


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Jun 9, 2019
Aaron Kikola
First mtb ride. Ate it 3 times. Puked once. Successful day.
May 27, 2019
Jay Brown
May 15, 2019
Walter Neal
May 5, 2019
Get Out There!
Dec 14, 2018
Bill Marlowe
Snowed, so couldn't get to ride. Next time. 1mi — 1h 00m
Dec 13, 2018
Bill Marlowe
Snowed last night, was told trail wouldn’t be rideable. It was. Also super windy. Looked awesome! 0.5mi
Sep 14, 2018
Sean Wiggins
Sep 10, 2018

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 49 votes


  3.9 from 49 votes
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