In the vicinity of Cedar Crest, New Mexico, there exists a mountain biking gem that runs parallel to Otero Canyon: a trail notorious for its diverse challenges and dramatic scenery. Designed for intermediate to advanced riders, this 4-mile trail offers an exhilarating blend of uphill climbs, rocky terrains, and high-altitude meadows.
The trailhead is easily accessible and starts just upstream of the Otero Canyon Trailhead. Due to its close proximity to Otero Canyon, riders often incorporate it into larger trail systems for a more comprehensive mountain biking experience.
Deceptive in its complexity, the trail features uphill climbing that's riddled with loose rocks. These elements occasionally act as momentum killers but are a part of the trail's charm. Once conquered, they lead to a high ridge with scenic vistas of the Manzanita Mountains. Here, riders can take a breather and prepare for the next phase: a blissful cruise through high-altitude meadows.
For those who prefer the thrill of descending slopes, it's a known secret that the trail also provides a fantastic downhill experience. While the trail is primarily used for reaching the upper end of Otero Canyon, many have reported an adrenaline-pumping ride down its slopes.
In summary, this trail adjacent to Otero Canyon should be on every serious mountain biker's radar. The climb is robust, long, and filled with enough rocky challenges to keep you engaged. The payoff is immense, with panoramic views that will not disappoint. The versatility of this trail allows for a great uphill challenge or an exhilarating downhill rush, making it an indispensable part of the mountain biking network in Cedar Crest, New Mexico.