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Anyone else ride in the Valle Vidal? I have never seen another mountain biker out there.

I know that it's a little off the beaten path, but the riding is probably the best in New Mexico. I know that it will never be able to have the support of many mountain bikers due to it's location.

Is it better than the South Boundary, yes of course it is.



Everything in the photo is in the Valle Vidal. Over 100,000 acres. It was originally deeded by the Spanish in the Maxwell Land Grant. It was later sold to Pennzoil as an exclusive hunting and fishing ranch. Only the top echelon of Pennzoil were allowed on the property. In 1982 Pennzoil gave the land over to the federal government. Unspoiled. Lots of singletrack and doubletrack.
 

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XTRKona said:
I thought this was a wilderness area, or at least some part of it was. Clearly that must not be the case.
Good point... I asked some folks that know the area real well and they told me that there is mostly forest roads which are open to Mtn Bikes but they were unaware of much in the way of singletrack... Maybe Apache can share some further insights wrt the trails
 

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Valle Rides

The Valle Vidal is not a Wilderness area, but the west side, from the Taos county line on West is closed until the first of July for Elk calving. As for singletrack, there isn't too much, aside from old doubletrack left over from turn of the century lumber and ranching days. During the summer, the Philmont Scout Ranch runs a MTB camp for Boy Scouts in the northern end of Whiteman Vega, a large open space north and east the McCrystal Creek Campground. There is some singletrack, but nothing on the order of 20+ miles. Right now the down side is that El Paso Energy is doing exploratory drilling and the main road in and out of the Forest Unit is busy with the big drilling trucks and equipment. I've been on Little Costilla Peak, on the north end of the Unit, and saw a Forest Service doubletrack that takes you up to the base of the alpine meadow, but I don't know where the road begins. You can get the the Valle either by going through Costilla, NM or just north of Cimarron, NM both ways are about 20 miles of gravel road.

There are some good rides in Red River and from the Taos Ski Valley up to the Wheeler Wilderness Boundary.
 

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In a former life (before I started mtb.) we would take horses to this area to camp and ride. There is tons of elk trails that we rode I think they would be good on the bike if the forest service lets you ride them?. Sence I started mtb I have often thought about going back there but didnt know if you could ride there. Some amazing senery up there. bete.
 

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I didn't think anyone else knew about this place. I worked at the mtb camp at Philmont one summer about ten years ago. We built a few singletracks around the camp but I don't recall much beyond that. It is one of the most remote places I've seen in new mexico. Guaranteed to see hundreds of elk and the occasioinal bison herd- unless they have been relocated. Great jeep road and two track riding.
 

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cmbriggs said:
I didn't think anyone else knew about this place. I worked at the mtb camp at Philmont one summer about ten years ago. We built a few singletracks around the camp but I don't recall much beyond that. It is one of the most remote places I've seen in new mexico. Guaranteed to see hundreds of elk and the occasioinal bison herd- unless they have been relocated. Great jeep road and two track riding.
The state's bison herd was sold, and I believe Ted Turner bought most of them and relocated them to the Vermejo Park. There are quite a few singletrack loops DEEEEEEEEP in the backcountry where Philmont staffers set up usable trails for the trekking teenagers that come through the small camp up there. Way up past the Turner property, as you re-enter the National Forest lands, it's at least a 45 minute drive one way to the rideable sections from the main enterence at St. Hwy 64. And that's if your vehicle is a capable off-road truck - regular passenger cars are vunerable to at least one flat on the drive.

But the views from the meadows up there are second to none.
 

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Back when I worked there, the Valle Vidal was pretty new to the scouts. They were promoting bush-whacking in that area rather than using hiking trails. By now, I'm sure some trails have gotten beat in. To bad the trail system on the actual Philmont property is not accessable to bikes- that would be hundreds of miles of phenomenal single-track. If I had less of a conscience, I would definitely poach it in the offseason. It's funny you mentioned the flats. We must have had ten or fifteen flats among five staffers during the summer due to that chip rock.
 

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cmbriggs said:
Back when I worked there, the Valle Vidal was pretty new to the scouts. They were promoting bush-whacking in that area rather than using hiking trails. By now, I'm sure some trails have gotten beat in. To bad the trail system on the actual Philmont property is not accessable to bikes- that would be hundreds of miles of phenomenal single-track. If I had less of a conscience, I would definitely poach it in the offseason. It's funny you mentioned the flats. We must have had ten or fifteen flats among five staffers during the summer due to that chip rock.
I have a friend that has a few flat tire horror stories up there... some are funny, some are quite scarry.

The Scouts still use the Valle as a way to teach GPS tracking and pathfinding - less swhacking, more tech. :) There are a few more trails, but everything is unmarked and unmapped, in accordance to the agreement for usage by the NFS. Having said that, the US Geo maps for the Valle Vidal unit _do_ show some older trails, and I believe the area is due for remapping sometime in the next few years. They may include the singletrack cut by the Scouts for their MTB program, but I doubt it.

BTW, Philmont does not allow MTB on their 178,000 acres. Which is a bummer, because there are some great trials up there perfect for a ride.
 
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