“This is a scenic ride along the Rio Grande Rim with lots of options.
— Wil Parker
Closed when muddy and best avoided during hunting season.
This thirty-mile ride travels along the the rim of the Río Grande gorge before circling around Ute Mountain to end at the New Mexico and Colorado border.
This makes a great point-to-point ride in either direction, an ambitious sixty-mile out-and back, or choose your own length to ride. Whichever way you decide to approach it, you'll enjoy great views along this pleasantly rolling doubletrack with the occasional sandy spot.
Need to Know
Leave gates as you find them and keep an eye out for rattlesnakes along the way.
Northern New Mexico has the most spectacular part of the Rio Grande and the views are further complimented by Ute Mountain, the tallest free standing volcano in North America. The area has fascinated people for years and makes a good fairly easy ride.
I've ridden this on both a mountain bikes and a cross bike. When my friends visit from out of town they enjoy riding all or part of it, too. The greatest elevation gain occurs on the north end of the ride, but it's minimal. Along the way, there are a number of spurs that easily allow riders to get better view of the Rio Grande below.
Riders can further add to their outing by following the Southwest Ute Road
to the base of Ute Mountain and see an old cattle chute. The sagebrush quits and the cedars begin at about 8,300 feet. On the north side of Ute Mountain, there is a trail that is steep and climbs close to the top.
The Sunshine Valley Road
can be used as a mid-point start or an option to create a number of loops on the south side.
History & Background
The Rio Grande is a rift and not erosion. It expands about an inch every 30 years. Someday there will be a trail from South Fork, Colorado to the Texas Border along the Rio Grande.