West of Taos, the Rio Grande West Rim Trail offers gentle mountain biking with exceptional views down into the Rio Grande gorge. The trail is a 9.2 mile one-way route with under 400 feet of climbing on a narrow double-track along the gorge rim of the Rio Grande River several hundred feet below. The Rio Grande West Rim Trail is usually ridden as an out-and-back with a return along the trail or the parallel West Rim Road.
The first mile heading south from the Rio Grande Bridge parking area is the most technically challenging with a couple rocky sections, before it becomes a gentle ride. It is best ridden early in the morning before the heat and wind kick up.
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 Rio Grande West Rim Trail mountain biking trailhead from Taos, head north on US64 passing the Taos Airport and crossing the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Just across the bridge, turn into the public parking area on the left (south side). The Rio Grande West Rim Trail departs from the southeast corner of the parking area and heads south along the rim.
Overall, Rio Grande West Rim Trail is the 39th most popular mountain bike trail of all 53 mountain biking rides in New Mexico.