Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Secret stash

People are always surprised when I tell them that one of my favorite places to ride is Santa Fe. "Are there any trails there?" they ask. Well...yes..as a matter of fact there are. But despite my praise of the 4000' climbs/descents, well mapped loops, smooth arcing turns, and great weather...not many of my friends have ridden there. Oh well...don't say I didn't tell ya!
Jackie and I have been taking a fall trip to Santa Fe/Taos for about 5 years now. She gets her modern dance/yoga on in town and I hit the trails. Check the cholla cactus and the yellow-leafed aspen. Not too many places where you can see this in the same shot.
Rasta and Maple - stick out your tongues if you love the trails!

Here are some of the trails in the Santa Fe National Forest. ***Here's a tip: take a photo of the trail map, then zoom in on your camera's display to get directions. This way if you don't have a paper map, or don't want to mess with unfolding it, you're set!***
Getting high. Yep - the trails take you almost to 12,000' - where there chair lifts end on Mt Santa Fe.

Winsor is one of my all time favorite trails. Some people shuttle it. I like to climb (either on the road or trail) to "Aspen Vista" and descend from there.
Jackie and I enjoyed some nice and toasty camp fires.
The Aspens were in full color and blanketed the trails with yellow leaves.

A bit closer to town are the Ball Trails. EVERY turn has a marker/map, so it's nice to just ride and ride until you want to stop - then look at a marker to see how to get back. I'm sure the locals know the best way to put it all together, but I just like to hit all the segments.
On the way to Taos, we saw our friend, Jon making his way to Santa Fe. He's got to have one of the biggest loads I've ever seen on a bike tour. But I guess that's what you need if you're traveling from the northern tip of Alaska to as far as his legs will take him.
In Taos, I hit the South Boundary trail. In my opinion, Taos riding is not as good as Santa Fe's, but one has to respect all the indian braves that have walked these trails over the past 1000 years. Seems that they were made more for walking rather than riding. But they take you pretty darn high up. Here's a nice view after about a 2 hour climb.
I found no other riders on the trail, but I could tell that something was there before me.

So...if you want some uncrowded trails, great camping, good tacos, and maybe a big ass turquoise/leather/silver bracelet...check out the scene in Santa Fe in Taos.

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