August 31, 2014
Horsethief is an easy climbing and rolling trail thru Sage, Juniper, and Pinon forests. This is classic medium elevation mesa singletrack riding. Nothing very technical, there's a few rocky sections and much of the trail is smooth and flowy singeltrack with a few old roads interspersed. The views of the river, gorge, and mountains to the east are epic. There's a short spur trail that descends about a mile and a half to a ledge overlooking the confluence of the Rio Grande and Rio Hondo by the John Dunn Bridge. This area dries pretty fast but when the monsoon is strong for a few days there are certain areas that become soaked and hold water, the soil is heavy and not the best to ride on when it's wet. The trail is similar to the Rift Valley in design, it is further north and a bit higher so there are more trees and more shade. Access to this trail can be tricky, the easiest way is to park by the entry to the landfill transfer on 522 and ride thru the gate about a quarter mile, when you get to the transfer station ride around the fence to the right then left down a gradually descending dirt road. About a half mile down pass an old post and wire fence on the left and keep looking for the singletrack, you will pass the north side of the singletrack on the right and a few meters past it there is a junction with a two track road, the trail is visible just below here on the left, the other access point is further south on 522 and will lead you to the trail about a mile and a half below this trail junction. To access this point drive north from Arroyo Hondo on 522 and turn left onto the Old Highway 3 then right onto Tres Lomas Road. When the road forks at a Y go right, then pass Sangre de Cristo Mountain Dr. and the road immediately turns left, then passes Spanish Peaks Rd., continue driving down this road past a driveway until you come to a large electricity transfer station on the right. Park here or close by. Ride down this road a few hundred feet and there is a singletrack on the right, take it or stay on the road as it makes a gradual switchback to the Northwest and merges with the singletrack again. Continue NNW on this road about 600 feet as it passes several old two track roads, about 100 feet past the third junction is the Horsethief Trail. Go right to ride towards the first trailhead, or left to ride the trail counterclockwise; about a quarter mile down on the left is the spur trail to the John Dunn Bridge overlook.