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Level: Beginner
Length: 12 mi (19.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +527/ -459 ft
Total: 25 riders

Mountain Biking Horsethief

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#30 of 282 mountain bike trails in New Mexico
#1,682 in the world

Trail is through sagebrush and pinon forest. Winding fun and at times technical an great early season trail when the high country is snowed in still. Great views of the Rio Grande Gorge. Many arroyos along the trail have ancient petroglyphs on the walls. About 1000 feet of climbing.

First added by ridefast on Jul 21, 2009. Last updated Apr 30, 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
North from Taos to Arroyo Hondo. Pass Herbs Lounge on left go up hill. At top of hill turn left onto county rd. Follow road until you hit a rusted out truck. Park in parking area here. Ride county rd for approx 1 mile look to left for single track on right. Go northwest on single track hit another road, go right, climb then go down on road at bottom of hill go left on road single track on left. Loop starts here.
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Horsethief Trail map

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sayerdan4th (on Mar 13, 2023)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Dec 20, 2022)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Taos, New Mexico

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Advanced | 5 mi
Advanced | 6 mi
Intermediate | 11 mi

Rider questions

Q: Is the Cuervo trail single track, or more of a dirt road?
A: Description above says singletrack

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  • AlienTrees

    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.

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  • John Fisch

    This is classic New Mexico high desert sagebrush and pinion country. The trail is a nice, quick spin, mostly upper novice/lower intermediate, but there are a few short but very steep descents/climbs which may spook a noob--if so, they are easily walked. This is a nice gradual step up if you've outgrown the Rio Grande West Rim and the Taos Valley Overlook. What would be the best descents are often rutted and filled with loose rock. The scenery is a solid 4, but what's under the knobbies is often a 2, so I give it a 3 overall.

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