18 miles
4,448 ft
-4,448 ft
2 miles
High Point

Looking for a backcountry ride in the Sangre de Cristo mountains? Here's your loop. This route is less used than most other Santa Fe area trails, thus backcountry navigation, spare parts, and some common sense are a must.

Starting at the bottom of Pacheco Canyon, start with a gravel grind up Pacheco (FR 102) for a few miles. Use your GPS or other devices to find the turnoff to the Mineral Trail. The climb up Mineral is mellow singletrack after the first few steeps.

Mineral will intersect the middle segment of Rio en Medio trail. Descend the fun twistys down to the rio where you'll see your first Borrego Trail sign. Follow that and continue climbing, connect to another forest road for a short stint, then prepare yourself for an awesome descent.

Descend along the Rio Nambe trail and enjoy the solitude. The trail is chunky with some good flow and beautiful scenery. At the bottom, you'll have one of your first river crossings.

Now you will begin a series of up and down descents and river crossings. Again, use your navigation device as parts of the trail tend to disappear.

Once you reach the lowest point, you will start to head west again, beginning with a drainage hike-a-bike. At the top, you'll be rewarded with an excellent descent and great views. Again, another hike-a-bike over the next ridge, then you're descending back to Rio en Medio trail. This descent is fast and technical, enjoy!

The final climb connects to the Double Discount trail which climbs for a short, but steep while then has a ripping descent back to the creek. Climb the old fire road out to Pacheco Canyon road and enjoy a cold one.

This route is Unsanctioned, Ride at your own Risk!


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  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bikepacking
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
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More Stats for Rancho Viejo Backountry Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    7,208 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,209 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,209 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    9 miles
  • Distance down
    8 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 miles
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      Trail transparency

      Recent Trail Reports Along Route

      Double Discount
      Jun 13, 2020 @ 8:10am
      Jun 13, 2020
      Viejo Trail #179
      May 24, 2020 @ 6:59am
      May 24, 2020
      All down trees have been cleared. Trail is clear.
      Rancho Viejo (Borrego)
      May 24, 2020 @ 6:56am
      May 24, 2020
      All down trees have been cleared. Trail is clear.
      Rio Nambe
      May 13, 2020 @ 8:33pm
      May 13, 2020
      I cleared all the down trees today! Good to go. could use some small stick management but overall very beautiful and pleasant.
      May 3, 2020 @ 6:29pm
      May 3, 2020
      All clear. Acequia running nicely!
      more reports »
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