“A long climb up the south flank of Mount Taylor.
— John Geronimo
Snowy during winter months.
This section of the Continental Divide Trail begins north of Grants and climbs the flank of Mount Taylor. It is a nice day ride for anybody seeking a good workout with a bit of chunkiness at the beginning and end.
This section of the CDT can be divided into three unequal and very different pieces.
The first 1.75 miles climbs steeply out of the canyon into pinon-juniper. The grade is sustained and the trail is littered with chunks of rock to the point where most will do some walking.
Abruptly, the trail emerges onto a broad basalt plateau. Flat to rolling, this middle section includes singletrack and various fragments of old two-track and cow trails. Gradually rising into bigger trees, the middle section reaches FR 193.
The final two miles are in the big trees. From FR 193 you drop down into a canyon then follow an old logging road to another old logging road and yet another which heads straight uphill. The bulldozed drainage berms get a bit monotonous, but the last section is real singletrack with a couple of rocky ledges thrown in. You'll then finish up back on the western section of FR 193.
Parking is abundant at the lower trailhead and there is space for about three cars on FR 193. This trail is a good up-and-back workout that will take most of a day. Use care on the final section down: there are some tire grabbers. Another option is to ride FR 193 over to Gooseberry Trail
which will give you an extra dose of vertical gain.