Set amidst the majestic landscapes of Red River, New Mexico, the Lost Lake Trail provides riders with a thrilling and visually-stunning experience. This 14-mile loop, known for its technical challenges and breathtaking views, is not for the faint-hearted but promises an adventure that's truly rewarding.
Start off by turning right onto Forest Service Road 58 from the parked car. This will lead directly to the trailhead of Lost Lake. Venture past the gate and look out for a smaller dirt road to the left, crossing a creek. As one ascends the mountain following the dirt road, it's crucial to respect the environment. Avoid the hiker-made singletrack shortcuts off the road, as these have adverse environmental impacts.Reaching a genuine trail junction marked with a sign, take a left to embark on the Lost Lake Trail journey. This path climbs through a lush forest dotted with challenging rocks and roots. But the gradient remains pleasantly gentle, allowing for a good momentum. After the steady climb, the trail levels on a perilously exposed ridge, cutting through shifting talus slopes. Extreme caution is necessary.Reaching the serene Lost Lake provides a welcome respite, after which riders traverse more talus terrains and ridges until the junction with the Horseshoe Lake Trail. Here begins the exhilarating descent, blurring past talus, crossing pristine creeks, and maneuvering switchbacks. The East Fork of the Red River is a highlight, and following it leads to a junction with the Sawmill Creek Trail – take a left.Concluding the trail offers another sharp descent to the trailhead, after which riders return to their starting point via Wheeler Peak Road, marking the end of a thrilling journey.
This alpine trail is a visual spectacle. With terrains varying from smooth to rocky, and environments shifting from open talus slopes to dense forests, the trail is a testament to nature's diversity. The serene Lost Lake and the panoramic views that unveil at every turn undoubtedly make this ride among the most scenic in the nation. Riders are often found pausing, capturing the trail's beauty with their cameras.
To access the starting point, head towards the mountains from downtown Red River on NM 578. The route ends at a fork, marking the start of two dirt roads. It's recommended to park safely and commence the loop by turning right.
The Lost Lake Trail, with its diverse terrains and unparalleled scenic beauty, is an essential visit for mountain biking enthusiasts. While the path is challenging, the rewards – in views and experiences – are unmatched. The entire journey feels like a vivid painting, waiting to be explored.