“A brutally spartan, but beautiful trek through the coniferous peaks of Tadpole Ridge.”
— Christopher Bare
- As of July 2017, a substantial portion of the trail has washed out and is unsafe to pass around the five mile mark.
- Trail conditions may be impassable during the winter due to snowpack, and hazardous winds can complicate riding during the late winter/early spring months.
Tadpole Ridge is typically accessed by heading up Highway 15 out of Silver City for approximately 15 miles. Stop and use the Signal Peak to Sapillo Campground
parking area as your jump off point.
Begin the trip at the Tadpole Ridge Trailhead. From here you can expect approximately 8.5 miles of rough, rocky singletrack. This is considered some of the most challenging cross-country mountain bike riding in the Silver City area. Due to the isolated, spartan nature of this trail, it is recommended that you carry extra provisions and are adept at troubleshooting commonly encountered mechanical issues with mountain bikes. It is also suggested that you have a wardrobe that is appropriate for the season. Finally, bringing extra water is suggested as there will be limited opportunities to consistently access sources of water. Near the end of the ride, so called Tadpole "Lake" may contain water, but in reality, this lake is more of a pond and may not consistently contain water.
You'll continue on this trail until it meets up with another trail called Sycamore Canyon. If you continue heading northwest after the trails meet up, you'll eventually end up on a forest service dirt road called Sheep Corral Canyon Road. Additional trails can be accessed that may be used to ultimately access the Gila box, but these trails are generally used only by hikers and most local people consider the Tadpole Ridge mountain bike experience to be over once you reach Sheep Corral Canyon Road.
From here, you can head back the way you came or, alternatively, you can head east on Sheep Corral Canyon Road until it intersects Highway 15. You can then take the paved road back down to the Signal Peak/Sapillo Campground parking area. Alternatively, you can park a second vehicle on Sheep Corral Canyon Road, load your bikes up and return to the Silver City area for some well-deserved rest, a meal or celebration.