Featured Trail: Quebradas – Cerillos Del Coyote, Socorro, NM.

Quebradas is a classic desert ride consisting of a double track climb followed by a rolling section of single track. Quebradas is the name of the Scenic Byway that runs about 24 miles East from Socorro, of which the double track climb utilizes. Quebradas is a Spanish word typically translated to gully or ravine in  English. The single track trails are named Hogback, La Madre and Aunt Flow.

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Parking area off of the Quebradas Scenic Byway

Daniel and I parked off of the main Byway, hopped on the bikes, and cruised up a mellow dirt road climb. I would recommend using the MTB Project app, as there are several intersections that could be tempting before the turn off that you want to take for the single track.

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This is what a good portion of the double track resembles.
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The things you find in the desert…
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Some of the first trail sections on Hogback.

Once you hit the trail, the climb isn’t quite over. You will summit a small ridge, powering up a few switchbacks and rock steps. There was one very large one we had to dismount and walk up.

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Looking back after dropping off the first ridge line.

After the initial climbing section, you will come to a few rolling sections of the Hogback trail, mostly descending, but never at a very difficult grade. There are a few small ridge climbs thrown in too.

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This illustrates the consistency of the trail well.
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Daniel Rhodes hitting one of the first fast corners on Hogback.
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Getting on the gas!

The Hogback trail goes on for a few miles, and flows across the desert landscape with a series of twists and turns. There is not much in the way of big features or crazy steep sections here, and most beginner riders would be just fine riding this area.

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The Magdalena Mountains provide a powerful backdrop to this ride.

The views of the Magdalena Mountains was worth the ride in itself! There were large clouds threatening rain all day, but never came to fruition. They did, however, provide for some dynamic lighting on the mountains. A few times we just stopped and stared at the Magdalena’s, lamenting the snow keeping us off the rugged trails that the range holds.

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Expect some loose, raw sections of trail out here. It is not all buff and smooth.
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Captain Daniel, reporting for duty.

After meeting back up with a dirt road for a minute or two, you will see a single track trail breaking off to the riders right. This next section, while similar in dirt consistency, has a different character to the Hogback trail that  you just exited.

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This section was tight and exposed.

This is the La Madre section of the Quebradas Loop, and it is much more difficult than the Hogback portion. It is not particularly technical, but the trail is narrow and loose, and very exposed on a bench cut. A fall on the riders right would not end well, the hill is very steep and full of sharp plants and rocks.

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Just don’t fall right.. it is a long way down.

Once this tricky section is navigated, you hit the next fun trail section, after a short stint on the dirt road. This trail has a mild grade for a while, winding through corners across the hillside paralleling the road. Towards the end of this trail lies the crown jewel of the Quebradas Loop, a desert spine that riders will really enjoy!

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This mini spine was our favorite section of trail by far!

The mini spine to end the descent left us both smiling, and we even hiked back up it to hit it several more times. Again, there isn’t much in the way of technical difficulty, but there are some fun bump jumps, a little drop, and a fast steep section to end it.

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Dropping!
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The steep run out of the spine.

After the awesomeness of the spine, the trail climbs up and out of an arroyo and traverses for a few minutes back to another double track, which will lead you right back to where you parked your car, with just a bit more climbing on the way.

Daniel and I rode this loop in late February, and I would recommend you ride it during a similar time of year. During Spring and Summer it could be brutally hot out here, and there is really no escaping the oppressive desert sun.

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The loop in relation to Socorro. Note bonus loop on the South end.

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Here is the link to MTB Project page for Quebradas – Cerrillos Del Coyote for more info.

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