Skyline Trail For Mountain Biking
The 41st most popular mountain bike trail in New Mexico.
Friday 20 October 2017 05:30 GMT
Northeast of Santa Fe, the Skyline Trail is a 50 mile mountain biking trek winding a semi-circle through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains mostly in the Pecos Wilderness Area.
Note: Only the last, or fifth section, is open to mountain biking.
SECTION 5 (10 miles) - From Elk Mountain, the trail enters the recently burned forest on the south facing slope and soon parallels a fence. The trail follows the fence line for a considerable distance straight down the slope. This section of trail is not passable for horses or bicyclists and footing is difficult for hikers. At the bottom of the slope the trail joins a road and follows it to the south for a short distance before veering off to the left along the fence line
There is one meadow where it may be difficult to follow. Otherwise the trail is entirely in the forest. The trail brieflt becomes quite narrow crosses a dirt road (Forest Road 92). In this stretch it goes up, down and around a series of small hills. A signed junction for the Na-na-ka Trail 217 is found at Bull Creek Saddle. Continuing south, the narrower trail climbs steeply from this saddle and then goes up and down a series of knobs. The forest is more open in this section and it is easy to wander off the trail.
The trail continues to climb at a very gradual incline to the junction with the trail from the Valle del Toro. Recently widened as a result of the fire, this now looks more like a road. To drop down through the Valle del Toro to Bull Creek and Forest Road 86 turn right (west). To continue on this trail, bear to the left. The trail, very wide in some sections, continues to follow the divide to the south, passing through forest and some meadow. As you get closer to Black Mountain, it passes through some small clearings with exposed soils and very few trees. As the trail starts the final climb up a small hill to Black Mountain the tread becomes more obscure. At the top of the climb the trail bears left and goes through thick forest to emerge in about one mile at the Black Mountain Road (Forest Road 203).
Overall, Skyline Trail is the 41st most popular mountain bike trail of all 53 mountain biking rides in New Mexico. Several of the better mountain bike trails are nearby Skyline Trail including Cochiti Backcountry, Winsor Trail, Dale Ball Trail System, La Tierra Trails, Nambe Badlands and Arroyo Hondo Open Space.