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Big Kahuna Ride

Difficult

Trail

21.1 mile 33.9 kilometer loop
75% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,527' 770 m
Descent: -2,535' -773 m
High: 10,500' 3,201 m
Low: 8,420' 2,567 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)

Dogs

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Map Key

Trail shared by Angel Fire Bike Park

An Angel Fire epic for the hardcore Hammer Head.

Angel Fire Bike Park

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Winter time snow. Trail runs well June through October.

Overview

A high-forest ride with lots of singletrack that will challenge even the seasoned athlete. With a ton of steep climbs and some sweet descents, this trail is an all-time Angel Fire epic!

Need to Know

Bring water and be prepared. Afternoon lightening can sneak up without a moments notice, don't get caught in the alpine without cover. Be sure to have your MTB Project mobile app on as there are some confusing areas. Cell phone service is very good throughout the majority of the loop.

Description

From the Valley Market in the village center in Angel Fire, head west and follow Valle Grande Trail (road) until it turns into Via Del Rey. Take the next left onto Chino Terrace, and then the next two rights on Buena Vista Drive, and Bravos Drive. The next two miles alternate between steady climbing and mellow pedaling. Not too long after you've passed the north end of Via Maria Road, watch for a short steep road grade that is marked Utility Easement. You'll notice some rather large Water Tanks to the right of you (north). Here you'll see a gate to the National Forest.

Locate the "Trail 1" carsonite sign (Elliot Barker trail). Note that turning to the right would follow the Sage to Elliot Barker Loop. But for this ride, turn to the left and get ready for some tight and twisty technical singletrack. At the bottom of this short descent, you'll cross over FR70A and continue on the other side marked by another Trail 1 sign.

Up next, you'll be tested by some serious climbing, sometimes steep, but don't worry, the descent is totally worth the effort. Look for the rock cairns (stacked up rocks) along the ride for indications on where to go. GPS works well on this ride as you'll have cell phone service until you get to FR76. You'll climb for quite some time, getting momentary breaks and amazing views of Taos and the Pueblo while poking out of the forest intermittently, exposing New Mexico's gentle rolling mountains.

Where the grade begins to mellow, the trail exits the trees onto another portion of FR70, follow this fainter road-trace left along the treeline for about a third-of-a-mile, then turn right and head through the scattered trees to a choke in a fence. From the fence, look to the left for a rock cairn about 100 yards ahead. Keep working toward the cairn to connect back with Trail 1. The trail heads back into the trees and pops out the other side pretty quickly. Follow this road to the left and then another right through the Meadow at Osha Pass. Look for the next Trail 1 sign on the right.

From here, you'll follow the road until you see another carsonite sign marking Trail 1. The next section is a mix of singletrack and doubletrack. Keep following the rock cairns and stay generally left. You'll finally get to a point on the trail where you'll once again come out onto FR70, stay right for just a bit. The trail is doubletrack for about 0.5 miles until you reach a nearby trail sign that says "Borregos Crossing and TR 153".

At this point, take a left onto the South Boundary Trail #164 and proceed down the doubletrack for approximately 0.5 miles. At the rock cairn, turn right to enjoy a nice section of singletrack that leads down to FR76. For now, that's the end of the singletrack, but there are plans to open an additional section in the future. Turn left on the road and follow it down for a fast descent to the highway far below. At the pavement, turn left and complete a short gradual climb before a final two-mile cruise back into town.

History & Background

Elliot Barker was the man who developed and identified much of the Wilderness in and around New Mexico in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and one of the trails on this ride was named after him.

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Trail Ratings

  3.2 from 5 votes

#3029

Overall
  3.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
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1 Star
20%
Ride Rankings

#94

in New Mexico

#3,029

Overall
66 Views Last Month
2,417 Since Aug 4, 2016
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Photos

The best Monday ever.
Sep 29, 2016 near Angel Fire, NM
Awesome high forest riding on Elliot Barker.
Sep 4, 2016 near Angel Fire, NM
Trail 164 sign on the climb up Osha Mountain.
Jan 26, 2015 near Angel Fire, NM
The view back toward Angel Fire on Elliott Barker.
Jun 24, 2016 near Angel Fire, NM

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