This is the only consistent road that you can access to traverse the remote Peloncillo mountain range. While not the most technically demanding ride, you can expect an extended climb on the way out and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, rock formations, and forests.
Need to Know
You'll not run into many people from the general public; however, this area is frequented by Border Patrol agents due to its proximity to Mexico. Be prepared to answer a few basic questions if the agents happen to stop you. Warning signs also state that drug smuggling and illegal immigration is common in this area, but I have never had any issues with anybody around here. It is common to see a significant amount of bear scat so be on the lookout for bear.
This ride consists of a forest service road that traverses the beautiful but remote Peloncillo mountains. Even accessing this ride will take you well away from civilization.
To access the road, take Highway 338 South from Interstate 10 near Lordsburg, New Mexico. Continue along 338 until you pass through a small settlement known as Animas. At this point, continue on 338 where it will become County Road C001 (Hidalgo County). Continue south on the road for a couple dozen miles until the road becomes a two lane dirt road.
During the drive south, you'll pass through the property boundary of Diamond A Ranch. Diamond A Ranch bought a significant portion of land from the Nature Conservancy to include the pristine Animas Mountain range that you'll see on the left as you drive south. Because the range specializes in minimal environmental impact ranching, private access to anything beyond the county road is strictly forbidden and any side road associated with ranch property should have a sign stating as much. Please do not go off the main road.
Eventually, you'll see a sign for Geronimo Trail. Hang a right and continue on the road. Eventually, you'll cross the Forest Service boundary (Coronado National Forest). Just after crossing the boundary, you should see an area next to a power pole surrounded by a small fence. This is a good place to start the ride as it is flat and off of the road.
From the parking area, simply ride your bike in a generally western direction on the road. The first part of the road consists of a gentle climb until you reach a pass several miles in. The pass has a small parking area and a wooden sign that commemorates the action of the Mormon Batallion in the 1800's. Stop here to read on in the history and be ready for a rapid and beautiful descent through some incredibly fascinating terrain.
You'll eventually see a small rock marker that will represent the New Mexico-Arizona boundary. Continue into Arizona for a few more miles until you reach an unmarked and rugged looking doubletrack road on the right. This is the road that leads to the Hog Canyon trailhead. At this point, you have traversed the mountain range and are at the western border of the National Forest in this area.
You can continue to ride west on the road, but you'll be out of the mountains and the scenery will become generally flat from here. This is however, a good turn-around point where you'll be met with a rather robust climb through the mountains until you go through the pass. Then, you can enjoy a generally downhill ride back to the parking area.
There are several other roads and trails that can be explored off of the Geronimo Trail; however, because the area is so remote, many of these become faded, overgrown, and exceptionally dangerous and technical.
History & Background
The Mormon Batallion incident of the 1800's occurred in this area, and just south of here, Geronimo surrendered to the Army in an area known as Skeleton Canyon.
Shared By: Christopher Bare