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Trail #18 - Rancho de Rio Grande

Intermediate
 3.3 (4)

Fun, scenic, excellent workout.


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Map Key

6.2

Miles

9.9

KM

Doubletrack

7,523' 2,293 m

High

7,100' 2,164 m

Low

607' 185 m

Up

218' 66 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (1°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Family Friendly The trail is primarily doubletrack in the forest.

Description

Drive east on HWY 518 from HWY 68 towards Talpa and Pot Creek. Just past the town of Talpa, watch for a sign that says "Rio Grande del Rancho Trail 18". Park in a pull-off here.

Cross the road and find the obvious start of the trail. The first 1/3 mile is really steep and loose. Deal with that challenge and the rest of the trail will be quite easy in comparison. Follow the faded doubletrack south as it contours the foothills above HWY 518 and the Pot Creek Historical Cultural Site.

After about five miles, you get off of Trail 18 and onto a dirt road in a meadow. You can follow this dirt road over a river and hit HWY 518 at the 6.5-mile point or you can just make a u-turn and head back the way you came.

If you choose to go to HWY 518, you can back track on dirt the way you came, or take the highway back to your parking spot. This trail also makes a nice shuttle option if you don't want to ride 10 to 13 miles.

Note: Pot Creek Cultural Site is worth a visit! It was home to the ancestors of the modern day Pueblo tribes before it was abandoned in about 1320 AD. Please remember to treat this area with respect, and do not touch or move any artifacts in addition to practicing other Leave No Trace principles.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Kriegshauser with improvements by Shari Heier and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 4 votes

#7

in Taos

#19958

Overall
  3.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
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3 Star
50%
2 Star
25%
1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#7

in Taos

#489

in New Mexico

#19,958

Overall
56 Views Last Month
1,382 Since Dec 25, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

Start & Finish of Rancho de Rio Grande Trail #18 on the east side of HWY 518.
Dec 25, 2017 near Ranchos…, NM
Primitive doubletrack is evolving into singletrack for the majority of this ride.
Dec 25, 2017 near Ranchos…, NM
Parking available by this sign, which points out the start/finish of this trail.
Dec 24, 2017 near Ranchos…, NM

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Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2021
Adriana Vargas
Aug 25, 2019
Frank Skimahorn
Good work out route with no adventure. 10 stars on the "meh scale". 12.5mi — 1h 08m
Jul 21, 2018
Joseph Ramirez
Jun 24, 2018
Leslie Manning