“A great Gila backcountry adventure that includes a sweet section of the Continental Divide Trail!
— Christopher Bare
A Honey Badger classic group ride. This ride is similar to the Sapillo Shuttle but eliminates the Little Cherry Creek segment and instead, begins/ends at the Signal Peak parking. It is often ridden as an out-and-back. This is a challenging ride that starts at Signal Peak Road and traverses scenic Gila backcountry on dirt road, ATV doubletrack and Continental Divide singletrack, leading you over to Sapillo Campground.
It is commonly offered as a post Signal Peak Challenge group ride.
This starts at the bottom of Signal Peak Road north of Pinos Altos. Head up the ATV doubletrack (Forest Road 4257
) from the parking area and take it to Meadow Creek Road #149
. Turn left onto the road and take it to the Boyscout Camp Trail
intersection. Take the Boyscout Camp Trail
northeast to enjoy a fast and technical descent; be on the lookout for a few technical creek crossings.
At the bottom of the trail, you'll cross Meadow Creek and briefly follow Meadow Creek Road to a large intersection of paths. Stay left to continue east along Forest Road 89
which will take you to Forest Road 4265-Y
. Take this to connect to the Continental Divide Trail. At this point, take the singletrack north toward Sapillo Campground.
This segment of the CDT the highlight of this ride. It is a contour trail with balanced, rolling climbs and descent but there are a few short steep sections that can be challenging. As of March, 2018, recent work on the trail has pushed back much of the overgrowth and conditions are as good as they have ever been in recent years.
Once you reach Sapillo Campground, enjoy the views and then turn around for a rugged out-and-back. You can head back by the same route; however, you'll likely be very tired and the climb up the Boyscout Camp Trail
will be very difficult. Instead, simply climb back out via Meadow Creek Road, taking a left at the junction with Forest Road 4257
History & Background
This ride includes part of the route for the Signal Peak Challenge MTB race. The southern part of the race route (including Signal Peak) was part of a forest fire a couple of years ago, but the area is growing back nicely.