Garcia Canyon Ride - Los Alamos, NM

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Garcia Canyon Ride - Los Alamos, NM

Post  AtomicXRer on Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:27 pm

Over the years Los Alamos has had its share of secrets that make the headline news.
Although it's no secret that Los Alamos has some fantastic connections to local riding areas
in the SFNF and Jemez, I decided to post this to give a taste to those those wishing to explore the
local trails.

To give one a perspective of where I rode is, here is a map of the loop I did today.
It is north of Los Alamos in the SFNF:

The loop is about 25 miles that takes you from initially gravel roads, to forest roads, then double
track, and eventually single track, before getting out to very rough seldom used FS road 445 in
Garcia Canyon.

Here is a pic of the beginning in Rendija Canyon. It is mostly grravel road thru this part:

After Rendija Canyon, the road turns back west toward the Jemez, and you get a look at the
beginnings of Lower Guaje Trail:

It is still pretty much a dirt road at this point, and instead I climb out of the Lower Guaje Trail
canyon up this to get to the pumice mines:

At the top you are greeted with this expansive view.
Some how the stitch program messed up my second panorama view.
It magically put my right bark buster in mid air...levitation!

After the pumice mines, the trail gets narrower, and you get to areas ravaged by a fire we
had a few years ago:

At this point the trail is now more like double track with some indian ruins (cliff dwellings)
reveled along the canyon walls:

Here are some more pic of the lay of the land. It was a very beautiful, but hot day out:

I continue along the trail, and I now reveal to you that the trail number is:
2869. A trail not found on my topo maps, but rather an old local map
I have....I do not think it is in print any more.

A watering hole for cows:

I reach a point where I drop down into Alamitos Canyon:

This is where my "secret" single track trail begins.
But before I head off into "no man's land", I take an obligatory
pic of my ride (before the dirty part begins):

More to come later....
XRR Jockey

Joined : 2008-12-01

Posts : 193
Location : Los Alamos, Northern NM
XR650R Year : 2005

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Post  Bump on Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:54 pm

That's some great riding there.

Thanks for the great RR!
XRR Monger

Joined : 2009-01-28

Posts : 1144
Location : Canyon Lake, So Cal
XR650R Year : 2002

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Re: Garcia Canyon Ride - Los Alamos, NM

Post  Hew on Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:45 pm

Agree, great photos and report.
XRR Freak

Joined : 2009-01-03

Posts : 284
Location : North Wales, UK
XR650R Year : 2005

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"And now for the rest of the story..."

Post  AtomicXRer on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:27 am

Ok, after making it to Alamitos Canyon, the is a very small single
track path to get to the bottom of the canyon. It is off the main path,
and in this picture my bike is pointed right at it. No signs and no
clues, but it has been somewhat "maintained". It is at best a rough
foot path, and connects Alamitos Canyon with Garcia Canyon via Pine

Here are some pics of the path:

A hill climb after getting to the bottom of Alamitos Canyon:

The terrain is narrow and tough on my level skill especially with the
BRP. Here's my last pic as I drop into Garcia Canyon to Pine Springs:

Why my last pic you may ask? The BRP over heated and I could not get it
started again. I got to Pine Springs, and the next step was to make
connection with with FS445. However, the trail did not exist. It simply
just seemed to vanish with over growth, downed old burned trees, and
rocks. I could not get the pig started as I heard the radiator boil
over and my thirst begin to make me panic a made me wish
for that magic e-start button. It was hot, I was out of water, and I
began to wonder if I would have to walk it out. After about 1-1/2 hours
of waiting, sweating, foot scouting, and kicking the BRP, it came back
to life! Second important thing that happened is that I realized I was
by a spring w/ water....meaning animals (cows or elk must come to drink
from it). I realized that I could naviagte out of there by the tracks
that cows make. I looked on my GPS and realized that I was failrly
close to FS445, only about 1/2 mile away, So I forged ahead over logs,
trees, and rocks to make it out. I finally made it to FS445, and was
able to ride out back home. I learned a valuable lesson about taking
risks when alone, and to be better prepared for the unexpected.

Bottom Line: It was a great learning experience and adventure. The gps
track I made makes for a great small group ride. It has everything:
gravel roads, old unused forest roads with ruts rocks and trees, double
track, and single track. This is one of Los Alamos "secret" routes
ready to be ridden again.
XRR Jockey

Joined : 2008-12-01

Posts : 193
Location : Los Alamos, Northern NM
XR650R Year : 2005

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Re: Garcia Canyon Ride - Los Alamos, NM

Post  Backwoods Boogie on Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:46 pm

Excellent report...................................................................................
Backwoods Boogie
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Joined : 2009-03-30

Posts : 122
Location : Kennewick, WA
XR650R Year : 2004

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Re: Garcia Canyon Ride - Los Alamos, NM

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