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San Antonio Creek Route

Easy/Intermediate
 3.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A rolling out-and-back through varied terrain with vast potential beyond the creek headwaters in Valles Caldera.


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Map Key

18.9

Miles

30.4

KM

40%

Singletrack

8,461' 2,579 m

High

7,881' 2,402 m

Low

1,127' 344 m

Up

1,127' 344 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Commonly Bikepacked · Views

Family Friendly Nearly all of the singletrack occurs on an old road grade. Once into the park, the road is well maintained doubletrack.

This route is unmaintained so users should expect minimal signage or trail markers. Valles Caldera is open dawn til dusk, though the main park entrance will have specific hours. Check the website before scheduling a pickup at the main entrance.

Overview

First, head north on FS 126A, which may have been an old logging road many decades ago. The entire area contains many thousands of miles of defunct logging roads. This one, however, has deadfall that has been sawn through for livestock access.

Second part of the ride heads along the northern part of FS Road 132, a closed road that may also be a defunct logging road that peters out (to about the 2:30 mark on the attached video); it too appears maintained for livestock access. The southern portion of this road, which is neither accessed nor described in this trail, is open and maintained for access to a small private community.

The third part of the ride heads along an unmarked stretch between FS Road 132 and FS Road 376A1 on the San Antonio Creek Trail. I suspect that whatever old logging road that used to be there has weathered away, leaving only a maintained livestock trail, that makes a perfectly rideable mountain bike trail seen on the attached video between 2:40 and 5:45, where it crosses the creek over a narrow footbridge.

After the bridge, the fourth part of the ride joins Lake Fork Canyon (a 4WD gravel road) continuing northeast, then east-northeast where it crosses into the Valles Caldera National Preserve, at a gate, to become a maintained gravel road called "L-N Road Combined" and then "J Rd."

Need to Know

San Antonio Creek is undergoing major riparian habitat restoration. Exclusion fences keep ungulates from eating creekside saplings planted by volunteers. These shade trees have been planted to cool the river in the summer months and improve habitat for native fish species. You may see other habitat restoration activities during your visit. You can read more here:

Foundation Document- Valles Caldera National Preserve

Description

Start at an inobvious pull-out off Rte.126 about 0.9 miles north of the San Antonio Campground. There will be a green livestock gate and a Forest Service route marker 126A (if you see private property signs, you're in the wrong pull-out). The faded doubletrack quickly becomes a singletrack, contouring eventually to San Antonio Creek. Find a crossing and make your way directly uphill to an obvious road grade and singletrack.

The creek crossing may be tricky during periods of heavy runoff.

Follow the singletrack north through rolling forested terrain, past the large cabin and the bridge over the creek. You have two options here:
  • A) Find the doubletrack on the other side and follow that north until the heavy metal gate of the Valles Caldera (easy).
  • B) Follow the singletrack along the creek and the exclusion fence until a fence. Hike the steep uphill until the heavy gate mentioned in in option (A)(harder).

Once past this obnoxious and difficult gate, ride the doubletrack through the increasingly open terrain and the ancient lakebeds of the Valles to the San Antonio Corral. By this point, many options are possible turning this ride into either a family-friendly out-and-back, or an all day epic loop through the Valles and Sulphur Creek.

Contacts

Shared By:

D Inoobinati

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#3492

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#107

in New Mexico

#3,492

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26 Views Last Month
461 Since Oct 15, 2020
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

Riding the San Antonio Creek Singletrack to the creeks headwaters in Valles Caldera.
Oct 24, 2020 near Santa T…, NM
Heading up to the Hot Spring
Sep 21, 2017 near Santa T…, NM

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