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Riley Ghost Town Loop

  3.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


17.8 mile 28.7 kilometer loop
10% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,019' 311 m
Descent: -1,031' -314 m
High: 6,148' 1,874 m
Low: 5,494' 1,674 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 8% (5°)


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Trail shared by Sarah Councell

This is a loop that incorporates the small town of Riley and regional two-track roads, some of which are underused.

Sarah Councell

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


I believe this loop camp from the old Fat Tire Society webpage. This website unfortunately no longer exists; this was one of many routes that was on that webpage. If you have other trails from that site, please move them onto MTB Project.

This area is beautiful and remote. The small hamlet of Riley, a friendly ranching community, has a ghost town and historic cemetery. The Rio Salado runs through Riley, and there are well-used and remote two-track roads, making for some classic exploration.

Need to Know

Directions: head to the town of Magdalena, go north of West Main then right on FS Rd 354. Follow 354 to the start of the loop. Parts of this loop are managed by the BLM and others by the USFS.


From FSR 354, head west uphill on FS 354E: Baca Spring, staying right/north at the Y toward Canon del Tanque and fall spring on FS 354WA: Fall Spring.

From the spring, head up then downhill on old 4x4 roads like FS CR12C, FS CR12B and FS CR12A. Follow the 4x4 roads through rolling terrain - this may be hard to decipher so make sure to bring the GPX or MTB Project mobile app.

Around the 10.5-mile mark, meet up with another two-track at Canon del Alamito. Take a right/head northeast passing the Alamito well and eventually hitting the Rio Salado via a well-defined dirt road. Cross over the Salado a couple times and head off the main road to explore the ghost town.

Finally, rejoin FSR 354 and climb out of the Salado valley. Follow 354 back up to the start of the loop.

History & Background

"Riley was first settled around 1880 under the name Santa Rita. It was originally a colony of Mexican-American homesteaded
farms. It was granted a post office in 1890 under the name of "Riley." Deposits of coal and manganese were found nearby and in 1897 the population was estimated to be 150. The mines closed and the water table dropped and the post office was closed in 1931." -- Ray Kessler (

There are currently about 5 homesites in Riley.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed


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in New Mexico


17 Views Last Month
31 Since Nov 28, 2019



The hamlet of Riley
Nov 28, 2019 near Alamo, NM
Great views on the Riley Loop
Nov 28, 2019 near Alamo, NM
Riley Loop exploration
Nov 28, 2019 near Alamo, NM


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