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Level: Beginner
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: -
Total: 7 riders

Mountain Biking Dry Canyon (t5574)

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#150 of 282 mountain bike trails in New Mexico
#8,668 in the world

The trail basically follows an arroyo, braiding back and forth on either side of the canyon. It's a pretty straightforward trail to follow. You'll follow the arroyo for about 3.2 miles.

At mile 3.2 watch for a sharp right turn heading up the mountain along a bench cut. The last 1.9 miles of the ride will be a steep climb up to the top of the trail in alpine country.

If you miss this right turn, and continue heading straight, you'll soon end up in an slickrock area that you can play around in for a bit before doubling back to catch the trail again.

Trail surface varies along the course of the route, ranging from very rocky (near the upper end and in arroyo crossings), hardpacked dirt, and sections of sand.

You'll be exposed to sun during most of the ride, so make sure you're wearing sunscreen and have lots of water.

Starting elevation is 5,600ft at lower trailhead. 7,250ft at upper trailhead (+1,650ft elevation gain).

You'll eventually reach the upper end, at which point you either turn around and head back, OR possibly link up with West Side Road (FR90) or drop down A-Trail (T119) to Alamogordo.

This trail is open to ATV's, dirtbikes, mountain bikes, hikers, etc.

There's no water or restroom facilities at the trailhead, so you'll need to plan accordingly.

First added by pawndream on Jul 11, 2010. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
To access the lower end trailhead (coming from Alamogordo), take Highway 82 towards Cloudcroft. Once you enter Lincoln National Forest, look on the right side of the road for the first exit you can take. There will be a dirt road headed down a hillside. Follow this road (will turn to gravel) to find the parking lot and trailhead.

The trailhead is signed, so you shouldn't have trouble finding/following the trail.
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Dry Canyon (t5574) Trail map

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Trail conditions

Open (on Jan 25, 2013)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Alamogordo, New Mexico

Beginner | 6 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi

Rider questions

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  • joern.kallenborn

    very deep sandy trail. when there is no deep sand there are small slippery rocks. this bad condition let you stop every few meters...too bad but that's not a trail to ride continuously

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  • samjossha

    mostly creekbed, fun double track trail with some rocky patches. sandy creek bottom and constant uphill grade will givce you as good a workout as you'd like to get. Rode it to fork in trail and then came back down. Rode with less experienced riders. 40 mins up and 15 mins down. About five miles total.

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  • JimmySmooth

    This trail is a little sandy and rocky in places, especially at first. A lot of times I had to walk my bike through the deep sand or soft ball sized rocks. The parts that go along the bed of the dried up stream are particularly frustrating, but the trail doesn't stay along this the whole way. Even though this may seem tedious on the way up, the ride back down is a lot of fun.

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  • atr447

    Horrible trail... Nothing redeeming about the ride at all. Where there isn't sand there's rock... Where there isn't rock or sand there is more cow crap than you can shake your pinch-flatted bike at. I have been up this trail twice recently and I racked up three pinch flats. The sheer amount of loose rock keeps you from building any real speed and the atvs that use the trail have torn it to shreds. There is a gun range nearby which really draws the hick-crowd. In fact as I was coming up on the trail head I rode by a target right in the arroyo only to find that there was a family shooting at it from the parking lot. Thank goodness they were taking a break when I rode by. I cannot recommend this trail to anyone. Leave this trail to the rednecks and their atvs

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  • pawndream

    This is a nice little trail. You start out in classic high desert terrain at lower end of trail (yucca, cactus, ocotillo, arroyos, etc) and by the end of the ride are in pine and juniper country. Very picturesque. Like something out of an old western movie.

    Speaking of which, the day I went I saw evidence of cows (huge piles of c*** everywhere), but I never actually saw any on the trail. Watch out for "mudpies".

    There's nothing overly technical about this trail, but, you will need to have some climbing ability (and a good cardiovascular base) once you hit mile 3.1 and start climbing in earnest.

    The beginning of the climb starts out fairly steep and rocky, but it does level out after a while. After that short steep section, it's just a steady grind all the way to to top of the trail.

    Worse case scenario is you'll have to stop and take breaks or push your bike for a bit. Good thing about once you start climbing is that there's a good amount of trees and shade if you need to cool down.

    At the top of the trail you come to a spur and have some options. You can turn around and head back (for a 10.2 mile round-trip), or you can head east to link up with West Side Road (FR90) or head west and drop down A-Trail (T119) into Alamogordo for something more epic.

    Recommended Route:

    Well...you either climb up the trail (as mentioned above) or, you could start out on West Side Road and drop down the trail (then climb back up 82 towards FR90.

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