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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +891/878 ft
Total: 54 riders
 

Mountain Biking Tunnel Canyon

****   Add a review
#45 of 280 mountain bike trails in New Mexico
#3,179 in the world

This is an excellent ride, some steep climbs and gravelly/rocky madness to get past, with quick swooping runs mixed inbetween. I'd advise taking a GPS and marking the car to work your way back, since this trail turns into a network up high on the mountain and runs into the Otero Canyon trail. Be prepared for weather changes and watch out for cougars and bears.

First added by caleb on Nov 20, 2006. 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
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Getting there
From Albuquerque, take I-40 East to the Tijeras exit, Go straight through the intersection and you'll be on Highway 337. You'll pass a ranger station on your left (if you're there M-F you can stop and buy maps of the area) and keep going. You'll see a sign on your right that says Tunnel Canyon and a parking area just past it. Should be approximately 2.63 miles from the first intersection off of I-40. Park here, trail starts by the sign.
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Tunnel Canyon Trail map

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DanK_NoCo (on Sep 13, 2019)
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Dry (on Sep 13, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Albuquerque, New Mexico

***
Beginner | 8 mi

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Reviews

  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter
    ****

    A good climb and sweet downhill on the way back. It's about 4-5 miles long, not 20 as described, and connected to a bigger network of trails.

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  • Fatbike1
    *****

    Great start to a day of torture in the bigger system of trails in the area. Fun stuff.

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  • skelldify
    Reviewing Birdhouse Ridge:
    ****

    This is a Great trail. I've only ridden it downhill. It's pretty fast and flowy, but rough enough, and exposed enough, to keep you from going all out. It has a pretty constant off-camber, with likely injuries if you go off on the lower side. There are some interesting rock features here and there, with quite a few tight corners.

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  • skelldify
    ***

    I'm learning to like this trail, as I get fitter and just haul up it. I usually ride it from N to S, uphill. There is no good reason to come down it.

    I basically use it to access the rest of the network, and it allows me to ride down Birdhouse on the way back, which is awesome!

    Tunnel is not too exciting, it's a slog going up, with not much to make it interesting. A little limestone shelf here and there.

    Down the other side into Otero Canyon is a little better. There are a few medium sized drops, with mostly smooth riding in between.

    This trail gets a TON of traffic. Probably because it's easy and tall. And even though it doesn't get too far it, It feels like a big back-country route in some places.

    I just don't find it that interesting compared to the other stuff nearby.

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  • John Fisch   ✓ supporter
    Reviewing Birdhouse Ridge:
    ****

    This is a great addition to the Tijeras stable of rides. The trail rides well either up or down. I prefer to climb up Tunnel/West Ridge and save Birdhouse for the downhill. Aspect is everything in theses mountains--on the way down you will encounter sun-baked cactus hills on the south-facing slopes and lush, deep dark woods on the steep, north facing slopes. This trail ranges from buff to small rocky to big rocky to rooty. You'll get a little of everything on this very cool descent. Definitely worth doing if you've already done Otero.

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  • Tortuga
    ****

    I'm working temporarily in Albuquerque from Denver area... This trail is well worth the visit, especially with its proximity to ABQ. By Colorado standards this trail is mighty fun, however I stuck to the main track and by my estimate was roughly 3-5 miles as stated by another reviewer. (I'll log it next time for an exact mileage and report back.) There were multiple forks off the main trail which I didn't explore, so I suppose this track could be much longer with the entire network... Starts with a decent climb through a couple ravines, and turns into a moderately fast downhill over hard packed dirt, some solid rocky sections/negotiations, and slatey stuff, throw in some switch backs and you have it all in 3-5 miles! Is slatey a word? It's a scenic ride too. Oh yeah, and low traffic to boot! From my novice knowledge of the area I rode highway 337 downhill back to the parking area, although next time will do an out and back until I learn the trail system. Sorry for my lack of knowledge as far as the entire system, but I advise you to check it out if you're in the ABQ area. I added some more pics too!!!

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  • luv2mtb
    ****

    Rode Tunnel Canyon up to the saddle then back down to the base of Otero Canyon. Then rode Otero to its terminus and climbed back up on West Ridge and rode it back to Tunnel Canyon. Would actually do the opposite next time; take Tunnel to West Ridge to Otero back to Tunnel. Seems the downhill would be maximized. At any rate, I've been ride a lot of designed networks lately so it was fun to get out in the forest for more of a back-country, secluded feel on not-so-refined singletrack. The climb up Tunnel was a good work out for a lowlander, with a sporty little descent into Otero. Otero was a great little piece of track and with the exception of one or two gnarly rocky areas, it was a very easy climb. West Ridge was a lot of climbing to get to the top and then flowy singletrack as the trail worked its way back to Tunnel. Right at the end there is a nice little rock filled shute that would be oh-so-sweet on a full-suspension, but it ate me and my HT up! Like I said, riding West Ridge over to Otero would probably be a bit more fun.

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  • limetownjack
    *****

    This trail can be tough but well worth the initial climb. I don't remember riding more than 3-5 miles (as opposed to 20 miles) before it ended at the base of Otero Canyon but there was quite a bit of elevation gain/loss. In other words, unless you're Superman, you might want to leave the SS home. Lung busting (especially if you're from south Georgia) technical uphill followed by screaming somewhat technical downhill. Definitely worth the visit if you're near Albuquerque.

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  • John Fisch   ✓ supporter
    ****

    This is a very good trail. It starts with a fun, mostly middle ring climb up the ravine--every bit as good as Otero next door. Once you get up the canyon, the trail veers east for a more strenuous climb with some technical goodies as you cross the ridge. Once on top, you have the option of riding up the ridge (very rocky) or dropping down a super cool descent to the base of Otero Canyon. From there, you have a few options. It's good to know where you are around here as it's easy to run into military property.

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