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CDT: Hopewell Lake South (Section 29)

Intermediate
 4.8 (5)

A scenic trail through meadows and mixed conifer and aspen forests.


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Map Key

28.1

Miles

45.2

KM

Singletrack

10,567' 3,221 m

High

8,572' 2,613 m

Low

3,092' 942 m

Up

2,778' 847 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

  • Usually snowpacked from November to May.
  • This section of trail will continue to be developed in the future. Currently it shows the rideable sections as of 2017.

Description

This is a scenic and fun trail through rolling, high-elevation terrain on mostly singletrack with some old logging roads used as connectors. While much of the Continental Divide Trail route through New Mexico is primitive, the section south of Hopewell is currently more utilized and smoother riding.

While most of the trail is recognizable, signage is minimal, so look closely for the CDT markers along the way or use the MTB Project mobile app. There are a couple trail junctions that can be confusing but are marked. The Tres Piedras Ranger District has area maps, and they always seem enthusiastic to share information.

This trail begins at Hopewell Lake Day Use Area off of US-64 between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarillo. Park here (fee) or access it where the CDT crosses the Burned Mountain Trail (Forest Road 91B), 0.9 miles from the highway (due to old surveys, the first 0.5 miles of 91B is also shown as 42B on some maps). There are dispersed campsites and plenty of parking if you don't want to use the fee areas.

Leaving the Day Use area, the trail climbs through the forest and crosses a meadow before entering the campground. Look for sign posts exiting the south end of the campground loop, where the trail continues to Forest Road 91B.

The next section is a gradual climb where scattered rocks and some roots require a bit of technical maneuvering, then a brief sprint along a doubletrack before transitioning to singletrack for the descent - smooth and flowing in places, rocky and bumpy in others. With a couple flat sections where the trail is sunk into the earth, the trail meanders through old mining prospects, grazing meadows and forest roads before dropping into an aspen grove.

Eight curvy switchbacks precede a fast descending traverse across an open meadow with rolling drainages before dropping onto the Burned Mountain Trail (Forest Road 91B) above the junction where FR 450 heads northwest. Many people turn back here, while others continue south to Canjilon Lakes Campground and beyond.

As you get further from Hopewell Lake, the trail gets less use, and can be hard to follow in spots. New trail was added in 2018-19, and there may be additional re-routes in the next few months. These will be signed. (When in conflict, follow the CDT signs).

Contacts

Shared By:

J. Bella with improvements by TMBA Taos Mountain Bike Association

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 5 votes

#1

in Abiquiu

#1995

Overall
  4.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
80%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Abiquiu

#40

in New Mexico

#1,995

Overall
71 Views Last Month
959 Since Sep 16, 2016
Intermediate

0%
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100%
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Photos

This trail needs some tires on it!
Sep 16, 2016 near Tierra…, NM
Hopewell Gold.
Sep 16, 2016 near Tierra…, NM
Typical CDT Marker--Excellent Design work
Aug 28, 2017 near Tierra…, NM
End of the singletrack...I think...for now
Aug 28, 2017 near Tierra…, NM
This is the bridge...budget cuts
Aug 28, 2017 near Tierra…, NM
View looking south from trail.
Jun 14, 2019 near Tierra…, NM

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Bad / Closed 95 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 29, 2017
Stacey Booth
All clear! Muddy spots in the meadows.I did it as an out and back from the Hopewell Lake Campground. Really enjoyed the downhill flow at the end. 10.3mi