“Multiple options: A big cardio climb with lots of hike-a-bike followed by an exhilarating downhill.
— John Geronimo
The Rim Trail (T105)
is very popular, but the escarpment below also has some excellent offerings for the intermediate rider who is up for some cardio, hike-a-biking, steep grades, and great descents. Most riders drive to the top and access the Rim Trail (T105)
at various points close to Cloudcroft or along Sunspot Hwy. This ride is a very different option and a very fine exploration of the escarpment.
This ride is rated difficult for the steepness and looseness in some spots. There are no big rocks or steps or serious exposure. A full-suspension bike, sealant, and being prepared are all essentials for a ride like this.
Need to Know
- Note that all of these trails are open to off-highway motorcycles. Be alert as you ride.
- Keep in mind that the FR93 trailhead is 3,000 feet above Alamogordo and Rim Trail is another 1,500 feet higher. Be prepared for very different weather, including thunderstorms in summer and rain squalls coming over the top.
Instead of going to Cloudcroft, turn off on FR93 at High Rolls. FR93 is gravel with some muddy spots. There is abundant parking and camping space near the trailhead.
Head up Alamo Peak Trail #109
. Next, you are going to have to gain about a thousand feet in a short distance. Depending on your VO2max, it is going to be mostly hike-a-bike or some hike-a-bike (but it is all great cardio).
The most moderate grade is Pipeline Trail #110
(as mapped), which is mostly road. But you can continue up #109 or even try going up Atkinson Field Trail #111
to mix things up (this option would mean a lot of steep hiking in a chunky stream bed).
At the top, there are numerous options. You can ride in either direction on the Rim Trail (T105)
, return the way you came, or bomb down the concave Atkinson Field Trail #111
This particular ride heads north along the Rim Trail (T105)
and takes a left on the surprisingly smooth Alamo Lookout Road (FR64D)
, then down Alamo Peak Trail #109
. This is great convex singletrack curving outward along and down the mountainside. This trail is quite steep in spots and a bit loose, but quite doable for the intermediate rider who takes their time on this really impressive singletrack. You'll finish by coasting back down the road and singletrack to the trailhead.
If you try this ride, please leave a comment.
History & Background
The shallow wells and pipeline along the access road are part of the Alamogordo municipal water supply.