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Quemazon - Guaje Ridge - Cabra - Perimeter Loop

Difficult
 2.8 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A tough climb with great views and a 7 mile descent and cool down


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Map Key

18.3

Miles

29.5

KM

60%

Singletrack

9,735' 2,967 m

High

7,058' 2,151 m

Low

3,301' 1,006 m

Up

3,285' 1,001 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

This is a tough climb in sections of Quemazon/Pipeline. The Guaje Ridge descent is amazing and leads into another fine descent on Cabra. Finish the ride on the enjoyable Perimeter trail that flows better in the opposite direction. But after the tough climb on Quemazon, the Perimeter uphill sectons don't feel like much.

Need to Know

Avoid during hot, sunny days as the climb is exposed. Late afternoon showers could turn the narrow Guaje Ridge descent fear factor up a notch or two in the first mile.

Description

Head up up to Trinity Drive from the pool parking lot and enter the Quemazon trail from 48th. Keep right on the steep rocky doubletrack.

At the juncture of Pipeline Descent (about 3 miles into the offroad climb), go left up the doubletrack for another 3 miles to the entrance of the Guaje Ridge trail on your right.

Follow the narrow singletrack descent (with a few quick climbs) for 5 miles to forest road. Go left downhill 1/2 a mle to the Cabra trail on your right.

Follow Cabra all the way down to the Rendija juncture and go right up towards the cemetery. Stay right and you'll now start the Perimeter trail mostly uphill for with some short descents for 3 miles. You'll descend off the trail to 48th & Urban, turning right on North Rd. After a quick descent and uphill turn right on Diamond Drive and then a short ride before turning left on Canyon Rd and back down to the pool parking lot.

Optimally, do this ride after May because that is when the wind-downed trees and spiny Locust trees get trimmed for the annual Guage mountain running race. Dogs can be off leash for most of it but for in-town connector portions, dogs must be on strict voice command or leash. Also, no water for dogs on trail, and no quick or easy ways out if your dog gets exhausted.

An alternate and more varied approach that requires a car shuttle is to start at the Pajarito Ski Hill and access pipeline road from the Top, via Canada Bontia trail. Note that this has almost as much up-hill as starting in Los Alamos.

History & Background

You ride through the area that was victim to a serious wildfire that affected many lives in Los Alamos.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Martinson with improvements by Arnold Ziffle

Trail Ratings

  2.8 from 8 votes

#2

in Los Alamos

#3134

Overall
  2.8 from 8 votes
5 Star
13%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
25%
1 Star
25%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Los Alamos

#98

in New Mexico

#3,134

Overall
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4,245 Since May 29, 2013
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Photos

Through the burn zone.
May 29, 2013 near Los Alamos, NM
the fun begins,  the climb was worth it after all
May 29, 2013 near Los Alamos, NM
Guaje descent turnoff
May 29, 2013 near Los Alamos, NM
ouch, but not too bad until the end
May 29, 2013 near Los Alamos, NM
Descending Perimeter trail.
Sep 30, 2013 near Los Alamos, NM
Looking north on the west side of Perimeter Trail.
Sep 3, 2013 near Los Alamos, NM

Weather


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Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2016
Frank Skimahorn
Climb was a real workout and I was looking forward to the descent. First 2-3 miles of Gauje descent are overgrown with thorny bushes. I would not ...
May 17, 2014
Jay Johnson
20mi
May 22, 2010
Bryan Babcock