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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +269/252 ft
Total: 34 riders

Mountain Biking Taos Valley Overlook

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#52 of 282 mountain bike trails in New Mexico
#3,781 in the world

The Rift Valley Trail provides a 10 mile loop through the area. From the
gate at the end of the parking lot, look for a ST immediately forking off to
the right from the DT in front of you. This will zigzag downhill through the
scrub for a couple miles and bear left following the rim of the Rio Grande
gorge. To do an all ST loop, the best thing is to bear right at all ST forks,
ignoring the DT, and the trail will eventually work its way back to toward
the parking area. There many additional miles available if you count the DT.
Don't worry about getting lost as you'll always be on a strip between the
gorge and the highway. There are a few sharp, but short climbs and
nothing very tech. This trail is suitable for novices but can still be fun for
more advanced riders. The trail is all exposed and on the low side of town,
so the season is longer than other Taos trails.

First added by John Fisch on Oct 19, 2012. 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
When traveling south through Taos on 68, start your odometer at the
intersection with 518. 5.9 miles later there will be a turn into a small parking
lot on the right.
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Taos Valley Overlook Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

Eric Foltz (on Feb 14, 2022)
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Upcoming Events

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Trail conditions

Good (on Oct 10, 2021)
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Camping & Lodging

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Taos Valley Overlook videos

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MTBing the Taos Overlook trails... Rift…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Taos, New Mexico

Beginner | 9 mi
Advanced | 5 mi
Advanced | 6 mi
Intermediate | 11 mi

Rider questions

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  • CFM   ✓ supporter

    Non technical loop that forms an interesting route to the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge and back. It twists and turns through desert vegetation and several drainages. Occasional views of resident bighorn sheep are possible.

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  • MTBCrash29   ✓ supporter

    Really great trail. Either direction will offer you a great ride. Ride takes you to an overlook at the gorge. It is a good trail that offers the opportunity to take the pass over to the other side of the gorge if you are adventurous enough to take that task on. For the most part, this trail wanders over the terrain and ends up back on itself at the trail head. Nothing crazy and nothing that really sticks out.

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  • SidewaysCycling

    It's a good solid beginner trail with a few rough sections. It's mostly nice single track through sagebrush and the views are pretty good. It's a bit confusing until you learn that the real name of the trail is "Rift Valley Trial". It is well marked as such. We rode counterclockwise from the C110/570 parking lot. In mid April we found it to be perfect shirt sleeve and shorts weather with only a little wind. Nice.

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  • AlienTrees

    Rift Valley is a fun and fast trail. Lots of curvy sections with nice flow that anyone can have fun riding. The climbs are easy and gradual, riding the trail either direction has nice cruisy downhill sections between the climbs. There's lots of spur trails and washes to check out. During Summer this trail is open and exposed to lightning and heavy rain during the monsoon season. When it's not raining it can be real hot with little shade, bring lots of water. The views of the river and mesas are incredible.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    Rode part of this trail. It's fun singletrack that could be connected with West Rim. When there's still snow everywhere, this trail is dry and rideable. Bring water because it can be hot and windy.

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  • John Fisch

    Although this is a novice friendly trail, it's still worth a stop. The singletrack is narrow and twisty and the views into the gorge are fantastic. This would be a good early or late season ride when the surrounding high country is snowed in. This is also one of those rare trails where novices and more experienced riders can ride together and have a great time.

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