CDT: Cumbres Pass to Lagunitas (NM section 31)
ElevationAscent: 2,748' 838 m
Descent: -2,466' -752 m
High: 11,030' 3,362 m
Low: 9,980' 3,042 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“Exposed ridge-lines and high meadows make for stunning views and epic adventures.”— TMBA Taos Mountain Bike Association
Starting from Cumbres Pass, the trail heads south of the highway just across from the railroad trestle, switch-backing through the trees up to a high ridgeline ripe for trainspotting in the valley below.
Three miles in, you cross the Colorado-New Mexico border at a barbed-wire fence (no passport needed) before descending into a creek valley where spur trails can be tempting. Look for a mucky creek crossing and a faint trail ascending up the southern slope. As the trail cuts through the forest, it winds around some interesting rock outcroppings great for elk-spotting.
At Forest Road 686, follow the 2-track for a short while, looking for the CDT signs that take you down a few logging roads before veering off back into the trees for an extended descent through forests and alpine ridgelines. The trail then crosses a wide open section of river valleys and rolling hills bounded by FR87H on the west, and FR87 on the east.
After crossing FR87, ascend back up to the ridge tops, for a rolling descent toward Lagunitas. The views into Cruces Basin Wilderness to the east are unending, but so is the potential for lightning–plan this traverse before afternoon thunderstorms build up.
Eventually, you'll regain the unbroken treeline and the rim of an ancient volcanic caldera that created much of the landscape. Be aware that the section of trail that traverses the fine white tuff (volcanic ash) is unrideable–and darn near unwalkable–after a rainstorm.
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Photos, Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed
Local Club: Taos Mountain Bike Association (TMBA)
Oct 9, 2019: Saturday Rift Trail Maintenance Posse Forming
Sep 7, 2019: Party In the Woods – Garcia Park Sept 20-22
Sep 2, 2019: Riding Corn Country: Trail Tale of Opposites
Land Manager: USFS - Carson National Forest
Oct 9, 2019: Maton Fires Determined to be Human Caused