Taos, a small city in northern New Mexico known for its beauty and its world renowned ski valley, is a perfect showcase for the lush green mountains, roaring rivers and beautiful wildflowers that dapple New Mexico’s landscapes in summer.
We’re sharing great ways you can experience Taos this summer and autumn.
Taos has some of New Mexico’s most epic mountain biking trails. A native Taoseño and an extremely experienced rider has named these as his favorite spots to ride:
- Angel Fire brags the title of ‘Best in the Southwest’ by MTBparks.com. With more than 2,000 vertical feet and more than 60 miles of lift-served terrain, Angel Fire is the largest bike park in the Rocky Mountains, with views to die for.
- South Boundary, a classic New Mexico mountain bike trail, rides 28 miles from Angel Fire to Taos. This trail can be a challenge due to some unmarked paths, a couple climbs that may have you carrying your bike, and no potable water along the way. This trail offers a thrilling ride, but make sure you’re ready.
- Lost Lake is a gem of a trail because of the interesting things to find along the ride. You’ll come upon the trail’s namesake – the beautifully turquoise and secluded Lost Lake – and if you do a little exploring farther down the path you can find yourself upon ancient, native campsites.
- Northside in Taos Ski Valley, at the world renowned Taos Ski Valley, offers riders stunning views, not only of the beautiful wilderness but from amazing lookout points. Taos Ski Valley is home to New Mexico’s highest elevation mountain biking trails (at 12,163 ft, Frazer Mountain offers the highest). Northside has been selected as one of 20 of the Most Scenic MTB Trails in the Western USA by Singletracks.com.
- Horsethief Mesa, a fantastic trail that shows of the incredible Taos gorge, is not for the weak hearted. There are many uphills to face, tiring for even the best bikers. But if you are looking to get off the mountain, it is one of the best trails from which to see Taos.
- Rift Valley is 12.6 miles of pure desert mountain biking. One of two spots in the world where you can see a rift valley, the Rift Valley Trail gives unbelievable views of the gorge and the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
Just like at a ski resort, there are different parts of the mountain to go down, each varying in difficulty. To make it easier to find, we’ve narrowed down some of these places that offer beginner trails: West Rim, Horse Thief Mesa, Angel Fire, Rift Valley and South Boundary.
If you want to branch out and do a guided ride, both Cottam’s Rio Grande Rafting and Los Rios offer packages that also include a run on the river. Cottam’s Bike and Raft package beings the day with a 9-mile guided tour along the Rio Grande Gorge on the Rift Valley Overlook trail. This trail gives a sensational view of Taos, the mountains, the gorge, the wildlife, you’ll see it all. After the ride, you’ll have lunch made by the great team at Cottam’s to fuel you up for the river. Once lunch is finished, you have the opportunity to whitewater raft the Class 3 rapids of Taos Racecourse.
Los Rios Peddle and Paddle offers a very similar package.