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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody. Looking for some trail suggestions here. I'll be leaving Austin, TX early Monday morning March 14 with the goal of arriving in Tucson,AZ Wednesday night for the 2011 AZSF. I'll be spending two nights somewhere in Southern NM along the way. What are the can't miss rides in the Southern part of the state? I'm advanced rider if That helps the selection. Looking to ride all of Tuesday and Wednesday morning before heading to Tuscon. Im fine with riding in one locale then driving to another area for another ride. Post up your suggestions please.
 

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Big John
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Las Cruces, right on 1-10 on your way to AZ. The Dona Anas are the most popular and are great fun, you can piece together ~20 miles of riding without going over too much of the same trail. It's mostly a beginner trail, with a few challenging sections here and there. The Northern Dona Anas(NDAS) trail is short, at 6 or so miles, but can be made into a 20+ mile ride if you head north to Lucero via the turnoff at Lookout Peak (see map) after doing the loop counter clockwise. This ride is not too much of a technical challenge, but there are a lot of arroyos to cross, which makes for much climbing. I did somewhere around 2300 ft in 16 or so miles out there. That was enough to kick my behind, but I loved every minute. The Robledos(SST) is a technical rider's dream, but it has not had a whole lot of love, so it's iffy in spots, with pretty washed out sections. If you want a real challenge, the Robledos trail is the one. A-Mtn is short at about 5 miles, and it is quite popular with the hikers. It's quick, but a few technical spots on the north and west sides make it interesting. Sierra Vista is an out and back that is also kind of out of the way. It's OK, but personally I don't think you'll be missing much if you skip it. If you start from the north end, you'll descend nearly the whole way, and have the climb on the trip back. While I've never experienced damage there, I hear that it has claimed many tires.

Maps and directions to the trails can be found here - http://www.lcrimrattlers.org/Maps.html

The DAs and NDAs parking areas are maybe 5 miles from each other, with the Robledos being 5 miles again from either of those - so driving from one to another is gravy, but if you have a high profile vehicle or a roof rack, you'll have to take the alternate route to the NDAs(which I can provide for you), or park just off Dona Ana road at the rail road tracks. All the trails are within 25 miles of each other. LCdaveH is also a pretty good repository of local trail knowledge, as well as a pretty cool guy. If you need to stop by a bike shop here for anything, I highly recommend Outdoor Adventures on Solano and Missouri. Those guys are outstanding.

Hope this all helps.

OH, just a heads up - March can get pretty windy here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. Looks like some good riding. Anything else I might want to do off the bike in Southern NM? National or state parks or something like that?
 

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Big John
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White Sands National Monument is a neat place to visit, but it's about 50 miles away from Las Cruces, I don't know if you want to go that far out of your way or not. http://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/hours.htm

The Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is a neat place to visit. http://www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org/, as is the Dripping Springs Natural Area - which is only about 10 miles away from the Museum http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/las_cruces/dripping_springs.html.

The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park is also a neat little place to visit, and it should give you names to the vegetation you'd ride in if you ride the Dona Anas, as it is actually located just northeast of the trail. http://asombro.org/naturepark.htm

Ft Selden is about 15 miles north of Las Cruces. http://www.nmmonuments.org/inst.php?inst=10.

If you're into brew, check out High Desert - some goooood stuff there. They serve food, as well. http://www.highdesertbrewingco.com/

For good Mexican food, try Nellies, which is right across the street from High Desert - just beware the crowds from 11-1, it gets hella packed.

You may also want to hit up the town of Mesilla. It is a tourist trap, but there are many cool little shops there. That's about all I can think of off the top of my cabesa. Hope you have a good little visit here. It's a pretty cool little area for the most part. I had a friend from East Texas visit one time and she was enchanted (ahem) with the jack rabbits and tumbleweeds. Funny the stuff you take for granted when you see it every day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for all the info. I really appreciate it. As for going out of the way, I don't mind an hour or 2 detour for a good ride or something cool as long as its worth the detour. The goal is to get to Tucson later Wednesday afternoon. Other than that I can do whatever. El Paso and Las Cruces look like good rides. What about Carlsbad Caverns? Is that worth spending a half day checking out? I doubt I make it back this way for a long time as I am moving back to Mississippi. This trip is a giant loop taking a 2- 3week drive back to Ms.
 

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Mtn Diva
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CAving - yes pls

If it is on your way and you don't plan on making it back anytime soon, I would definitely recommend spending half a day at the Carlsbad Caverns. A little biased because I'm from there, but it is such a cool sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Still planning on passing through. Is there any good camping in or near El Paso or Las Cruces? Looking for tent camping. Really nothing special but maybe a place to shower or something. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks again for the info provided already.
 

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Big John
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chuckie33 said:
Still planning on passing through. Is there any good camping in or near El Paso or Las Cruces? Looking for tent camping. Really nothing special but maybe a place to shower or something. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks again for the info provided already.
Leasburg Dam State Park north of town on I-25 is a pretty good place to camp and there are bathrooms and showers there, which are usually very clean. I think I provided a link to it in a previous post, but if not - http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/leasburg.htm You're looking at 10 bucks/night if you choose to camp at one of the basic shelters (and if I remember correctly there is a grill near those, as well), or 8 bucks/night if you opt for the undeveloped site, which is very exposed. Just a heads up about Leasburg - they close and lock the entrance gate at sundown, but the ranger or campground host will likely give you the combination for the lock if you ask. It's a very quiet place during the week for the most part. I used to work there, so I'm prejudiced.

There is camping at Franklin Mountains State Park near El Paso, but I don't think the facilities are available there as they are at Leasburg. Some other Cruces locals might have more ideas, but apparently they're shy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spanky, thanks again for the help. I'm looking into either camping at Leasburg or Aguirre Springs (if the latter is advised against, let me know). I'll be rolling in Tuesday afternoon of the 15th. Saw where a group ride will be starting up that day at Dora Anas. Planning on hitting that up if yall don't mind an out of towner. Probably get in another ride Wednesday morning before heading. Looking forward to my brief visit.
 

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Hey, wait up!
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chuckie33 said:
Spanky, thanks again for the help. I'm looking into either camping at Leasburg or Aguirre Springs (if the latter is advised against, let me know). I'll be rolling in Tuesday afternoon of the 15th. Saw where a group ride will be starting up that day at Dora Anas. Planning on hitting that up if yall don't mind an out of towner. Probably get in another ride Wednesday morning before heading. Looking forward to my brief visit.
Come with beer
Leave with friends

:D

..
 

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Big John
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chuckie33 said:
Spanky, thanks again for the help. I'm looking into either camping at Leasburg or Aguirre Springs (if the latter is advised against, let me know). I'll be rolling in Tuesday afternoon of the 15th. Saw where a group ride will be starting up that day at Dora Anas. Planning on hitting that up if yall don't mind an out of towner. Probably get in another ride Wednesday morning before heading. Looking forward to my brief visit.
I don't think that there are any shower facilities at Aguirre, but it is a really pretty area to camp in, nonetheless. Everyone is welcome at the Tuesday Nighter. If you see a big bearded dude on a beat up, well used Trek 6500, say howdy!
 

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showers

Definitely zero showers at Aguirre. Can also get a little chilly at night, as it is on the east side of the Organs and the sun sets over there hours before the other side. Don't let proximity to interstate dissuade you from Leasburg.Great little campground. BUT they lock the gate at 5, so get the code to get in (call ranger station) if you are gonna show up later that that. Also, there will be train traffic through there but honestly, they won't hit you. Though it sure sounds like your number is up when they come through! Great time to be riding down here. Just need a little tiny bit o' rain though to tighten things up as it's a wee bit loose right now. 'Nother few weeks and the wildflowers will be blooming. Dancin' in the wind and luring you way out past your water supplies. Sigh.. beauty.
 
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