Ride Report: Aspen Vista Trail – Santa Fe, New Mexico

My bike selfie at the Radio Towers, 12,040'

My bike selfie at the Radio Towers, 12,040′

As I write this, I’ve got only one day of shooting left on Season 3 of Longmire – 70 days of shooting has come and gone in a blink of an eye!!  With my legs kicked up on the coffee table, I can also feel a little blubber on my belly.  I need to be riding more.  This is my third year coming to Santa Fe, and each visit I make the pilgrimage to the top of the ski resort via the Aspen Vista Trail to check out the redonkulous views from the radio towers of Tesuque Peak at 12,040′ elevation.  In the past, I’ve ridden to the top from town – a la the Santa Fe Big Friggin Loop route (Atalaya Mountain, through the Dale Balls and up Windsor to Aspen Vista, over 8k of climbing).  This year, I couldn’t motivate for that much drama, so I just did what most normal peeps do – drive up Hyde Park Rd to the Aspen Vista trailhead and park.  Actually, I parked at Big Tesuque campground, and rode up Big T to join Aspen Vista to add a little climbing and mileage – all in all, with the Big T add-on, it’s about 2,100′ of climbing over 5 miles to the radio towers – so it’s still a decent climb.  It’s pretty much fireroad/double track the whole way… with groves of aspens greeting you in the earlier parts.  Eventually you make your way into the ski resort and the views open up to see Santa Fe below, and you can spot the radio towers up above.  This is good mentally as it gives you a finite view of the summit.

Some aspens lining the trail early in the ride

Some aspens lining the trail early in the ride

Views down to Santa Fe near the ski resort boundary

Views down to Santa Fe near the ski resort boundary

Views off the backside of Tesuque Peak

Views off the backside of Tesuque Peak

Screwing around at the top of the chair lift

Screwing around at the top of the chair lift

This trail is not the swooping singletrack that my rigid ss usually gravitates towards.  Not every trail is epic.  This ride is all about views and the destination – definitely worth the effort.  Once up top, most ride back the same way they came – down Aspen Vista.  But there are other ways down that make a great loop – hit me up for more info… Anyhoo… I’m keeping this short because honestly, all I can think about is mashing through tomorrow’s work, getting everything packed and embarking on my family fun / mountain biking / beer drinking road trip home to Mammoth with the family… Pagosa, Durango, Cortez, Silverton, Crested Butte, Moab… that’s where my mind’s at… more soon 🙂

One more angle while I caught my breath.

One more angle while I caught my breath.

Looking down the chair line with more views to Santa Fe.  Just a few months ago I was mobbin this line on skis

Looking down the chair line with more views to Santa Fe. Just a few months ago I was mobbin this line on skis

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2 Responses to Ride Report: Aspen Vista Trail – Santa Fe, New Mexico

  1. jpmcghee says:

    I can’t wait to ride with you! I actually teared up a little bit in your first paragraph. Good blog bro. jM

    >

    Like

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