“Mountain singletrack through dense forest.”
— J. Bella
Northside at Taos Ski Valley is a trail system on Bull of the Woods and Frazer mountains, privately owned, and maintained by a couple avid bikers and other volunteers. Permits cost $10 per day or $50 seasonally, and can be bought at a kiosk 1/4 mile above the trailhead and at some local shops; ridenorthside.com/mountain-…
From the Twining Campground parking in TSV, ride up Twining Road and Phoenix Switchback to the Northside trailhead. Continue up Bull of the Woods Road
for a half mile as it ascends the mountainside. When you reach the second switchback the Gold Camp Trail is on the right.
The trail climbs through some mossy forest until it makes a switchback on a more open slope. Make the turn and continue climbing through the forest and across a small stream to the bottom of a short steep pitch known as Hike-a-Bike, for obvious reasons. Carefully climb this pitch then continue riding until you reach the end of the trail at the road.
The descent can be done from the end point, or climb a short distance up the road to a y-junction where Frazer Mountain Road
heads right from Bull of the Woods Road
. Just below here there is a fir tree right above a hidden singletrack which adds a few smooth curves to the Gold Camp descent. Watch your speed going into Hike-a-Bike, it can be ridden cautiously if you get into the backseat and follow the tight turns built into the slope. The rest of the ride is smooth and fun.
For a loop ride, continue beyond the bottom of Gold Camp, stay on the Bull of the Woods Road
and climb the steeper 1st and 2nd Mothers to Jean's Meadow, then .2 miles up to the top of Gold Camp. This route has a steeper ascent and is a favorite among locals who want to push themselves to climb faster and stronger.