Devisadero Loop Trail For Mountain Biking
The 5th most popular mountain bike trail in New Mexico.
Thursday 4 August 2016 03:58 GMT
East of Taos, the Devisadero Trail (#108) is a hardcore 5 mile mountain biking loop with about 1,100 feet of climbing. This mountain bike trail is well-known for its continuous vistas of town, the Rio Grande Gorge and Taos mountain. The Devisadero Trail starts and end at the El Nogal Trailhead just east of Taos. The route is very popular with hikers, so try riding early in the morning on weekdays to avoid conflict.
The Devisadero Loop Trail will pass through two very different forest types. On the south facing slope the trail travels through pinons, juniper and some gambel oak. As the trail drops over to the north side of the mountain the environment is much darker and cooler with tall Douglas firs and white firs replacing the smaller drought resistant pinon/juniper forest.
Approximately 1/4 mile from the trailhead you will encounter a fork in the trail. The righthand fork goes directly up to the Devisadero Peak, elevation 8,304 feet. The lefthand fork has switchbacks which will take you up to the ridgeline. Once on the ridgeline, you can follow the trail eastward to Devisadero Peak. Near Devisadero Peak, the trail does intersect with the North Boundary Trail (#495).
After a long day of Taos mountain biking, try grabbing a long soak in one of the two primitive hot springs along the shores of the Rio Grande River. The Manby Hot Springs are located northwest of Taos and north of the Taos Airport. Also known as the Stagecoach Hot Springs, the trailhead is accessible from Tune Road across from the airport (lat: 36.512144 / long: -105.718169). The Black Rock Hot Springs are located northwest of Taos and west of Arroyo Hondo near the John Dunn Bridge. Also known as the the Hondo Hot Spring, the trailhead is located off CR8007/8005 on the west side of the John Dunn Bridge and then a half mile hike south down the trail (lat: 36.532597 / long: -105.712026).
To reach the El Nogal Trailhead from Taos Plaza, head east on US64 (aka Kit Carson Road) for 3 miles. About 0.3 miles past the intersection with SR585 and just past the National Forest sign, look for the well-signed El Nogal Trailhead parking area on the south side of US64. There is parking for about 20 vehicles without trailers. The Devisadero Trail begins across the highway from the parking area on the north side of the road. This loose, rocky route climbs steeply for the first couple miles.
Overall, Devisadero Loop Trail is the 5th most popular mountain bike trail of all 53 mountain biking rides in New Mexico. Several of the better mountain bike trails are nearby Devisadero Loop Trail including South Boundary Trail, Maquinita Canyon Trail System, Agua Piedra Trail, Alamitos Trail, Cordova Trails and Columbine Creek Trail.