Sunday, October 18, 2015

Raven's Ridge - Pecos Wilderness Boundary

An interesting and insightful discussion took place this week in the mtb community regarding cycling on Raven's Ridge and areas above the radio towers to the south. The towers sit on Tesuque Peak, on bike or foot you can follow a faint (unsigned) trail north to Deception Peak, then descend west down Raven's Ridge to the wilderness gate on Winsor. Raven's is a steep and technical descent, hike-a-bike in places. The volume of bike traffic in such a difficult area is in dispute but may be a side discussion to the greater concerns of environmental impact and wilderness mandates.

Treeline on Deception Peak. Will Wissman photography and Mellow Velo graphic
Of note was the condition of the current trail, the fact that the trail actually wanders across the wilderness boundary in several places and is therefore not technically bike-appropriate, and references the illegal tree cut north of the ridge that has been in the paper recently. There were several vigorous defenses of mtb trail access, most notably by Brent Bonwell who has taken lead on most if not all of the new bridge crossings along the Winsor over the last couple years.

Several comments discussed the need for a national forest trail other than the service roads to the top (Aspen Vista, and Sunset), or Raven's which is quite technical and apparently off-limits to bikes in sections due to wilderness designation. Lack of signage was brought up, a constant and ubiquitous problem with area trails and access issues (see Deception Peak ridge trail above).

A fascinating and enlightened discussion by all. Recommended.

Google Groups - Fat Tire Society

Related Posts:
 - Trail Running Santa Fe Baldy and the Three Peaks
 - Ski Touring Deception Peak
 - Explorations in the Pecos - Nambe Creek Trail-160
 - The Columbine Hondo Wilderness Addition - Taos/Red River


  1. Well, it's always a good thing when the community comes together to discuss a topic such as this. I hope though to visit Raven's Ridge soon because it sounds like a swell place to go to!

  2. I thought it was quality back-and-forth. I've yet to descend that route by bike but knowing that it crosses into the Pecos Wilderness may deter future efforts. As mentioned in the discussion, an alternate mtb trail down or near the ridge would be welcome.



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