East of Taos, the Talpa Traverse is a 4.5 mile one-way route that heads south along the foothills to the southeast of Taos. This rolling, rocky route has about 800 feet of climbing as it heads south. It is usually ridden as an out-and-back from the northern El Nogal Trailhead, and therefore is a 9 mile round trip with 1,600 feet of climbing. There has been discussion of opening up a southern trailhead, but it has not been confirmed.
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 for the Talpa Traverse mountain biking 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 Talpa Traverse starts from the western end of the parking area just across the foot bridge. It follows the South Boundary Trail for the first 0.8 miles.
Overall, Talpa Traverse is the 42nd most popular mountain bike trail of all 53 mountain biking rides in New Mexico.