Benson Ridge - TRAIL

Benson Ridge - Trail, Cloudcroft, Mexico

Trail Access: From Cloudcroft, take NM 130 to Sunspot Highway (NM 6563). Follow NM 6563 8.5 miles and turn left of FR 164/C017 Rio Penasco (Bluff Springs). FR 164 will start out paved and turn into a gravel road at mile 1.9. Continue on past Bluff Springs Recreation Area (mile 3.7) to mile 5.7. Beginning of T5005 (Benson Canyon Trail) is on the left just past a cattleguard.

T5005 starts out as a long gradual climb, sometimes rocky, up the canyon bottom. T5005 switchbacks across the other side of the canyon at approximately 2.5 miles into the ride. Here you can choose T5005A (for a longer ride accessing other trails in this network) or T5005B for a shorter ride.

T5005A will open up access to T5006 and T5007 (Taylor Canyon).

All three connecting options T5005B, T5006, and T5007 will drop you down back onto Rio Penasco (either directly, or via FR 5597/5597B), so it's an easy spin back to your car regardless of which route you take.

All three descent options are especially fun!

There's a map showing these trails at:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/lincoln/maps/TMR-GIS-42_BensonRidge.jpg

Several different loop options give you anywhere from 8 to 30 miles of riding depending on how much you want to do.

(T5005>T5005B>5597B>164 is a fun 8 mile loop.)

Regardless of the route you end up choosing, I recommend using T5005 as the trail you climb up. T5005 the easiest grade of any of these trails. You could also shuttle off of FR 223 if you want more of a gravity ride.

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