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Signal Peak to Sapillo Campground

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great Gila backcountry adventure that includes a sweet section of the Continental Divide Trail!


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Map Key

21.3

Miles

34.3

KM

50%

Singletrack

7,585' 2,312 m

High

6,243' 1,903 m

Low

2,494' 760 m

Up

2,494' 760 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Christopher Bare

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#3

in Pinos Altos

#1571

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Pinos Altos

#37

in New Mexico

#1,571

Overall
12 Views Last Month
940 Since Sep 6, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
0%
67%
0%

Photos

Almost 20 miles of suffering and the group is near the end of the ride. All riders are intact. Job well done on a tough ride!
Jul 4, 2016 near Santa C…, NM
Up on the mesa preparing for a sweet Sapillo descent!
Mar 26, 2018 near Santa C…, NM
Nearing the forest road on the lower end of the Boyscout Camp Trail
Nov 27, 2018 near Arenas…, NM
Singletrack portion of the loop before the toughest climb.
Aug 23, 2017 near Arenas…, NM
Sampler of the ride to help judge if you want to tackle it.
Mar 29, 2016 near Arenas…, NM
The Honey Badger leading the climb out of the parking area!
Mar 26, 2018 near Arenas…, NM

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Current Trail Conditions

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Bad / Closed 25 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 2, 2019
Dennis Ferrel
Mar 29, 2016
mark laughlin
Amazing trail. Challenging part is altitude and total lack of ph svc. You are seriously on your own. 25mi
Mar 15, 2016
adventurefamilyinmotion butcher
Went out the right section, did a few miles on CDT trail and came back on left section. Left was Rocky and loose. Probably better to ride down it...