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3rd annual New Mexico 400-Cloudcroft, NM-Monday, July 25- Friday, July 29, 2011

Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
nm400-2.gif


Overall this was the best week we have had in Cloudcroft. The conditions were almost perfect, no mechanicals, no injuries, no problems what so ever. I did lube the chain on day three, I felt like I should do something to the bike.

Day 1

We started out on Pumphouse ridge to get warmed up. We all had new to us bikes to get used to, my brother and I on Honda XR250s and my wife on a Yamaha TTR225. From there we went to FR634 and then rode some of the Rim trail, T105.


Note, no dust.













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Sunspot
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Pumphouse Ridge
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View of Sierra Blanca, the peak of Ski Apache north and a little west of Ruidoso.
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Waiting out the coming rain, but it only sprinkled.
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Rim trail T105
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Day 2 coming soon.
 
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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
Re: 3rd annual New Mexico 400-Cloudcroft, NM-Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 2

We started out on Karr Canyon road then down to Courtney Mine Trail (T132). After riding to the top we decided to ride up to Alamo Peak for lunch.

After lunch we rode to the end of FR223 and explored Dark Canyon. Then we backtracked on FR223 to T5005, on to Rio Penasco Rd and on to Bluff Springs. We also rode T5005 in reverse to include T5005B in a loop back to Bluff Springs.













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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
Re: 3rd annual New Mexico 400-Cloudcroft, NM-Wedneday, July 27, 2011

Day 3

We decided to start out exploring the area just north of Cloudcroft. We took Hwy 82 to FSR206, FRS206 had great traction- little gravel and moisture in the dirt. We then went where the roads looked most interesting so we took a left on FRS162 and headed towards High Rolls. The portion of FRS162 north of High Rolls was a fantastic road with great views of the valley and White Sands.

At High Rolls we headed south on the West Side Road, another great road with great views with the most spectacular being the rise back up to the top of the rim at the south end.

We then took E12 to FRS460 to FRS64 and worked our way back to the Sunspot Hwy. We then rode back and forth on FRS640 to look for elk and then headed back to Cloudcroft. We ended up riding farther north, west and south than we ever had.











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Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
638
Location
Texas, of course (duh)
First Name
Sandy
*sigh* Sanderjavant. Your report has wrung memories and pangs of melancholoy, yea...tears, from my aching heart, missing that area of NM. Your report could be one of many of my reports. I lived in Karr Canyon circa May2006-Aug2007, not nearly long enough...but we rode every weekend that the forest was open. If there was too much snow for KLRs, we rode ATVs. Love that area...miss it too. Looks like you had a grand time. Thanks for sharing, even if it breaks my heart to look.
 
R

Red Brown

Memories from last year! What a great place to ride and is only a short one day trip from Texas.

Thanks for sharing.

RB
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
104
Location
Greenville, TX
Wow. That looks like some great riding. Ya'll must have had a really good time. Excellent job on the videos too. I like hearing the sounds from the bike and the trails instead of covering it up with music. :clap:
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
Re: 3rd annual New Mexico 400-Cloudcroft, NM-Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 4

We wanted to ride the Rim Trail but it rained on Wednesday night so we figured we would check in out and if it was too wet we would hit some forest service roads instead.

We were surprised to find the conditions almost perfect when we hit the beginning near the intersection of the Sunspot Hwy and 130. It did get a little mushy as we reached the crossing at FSR634 so we bailed out and decided to ride Russia Canyon Rd. About 1/2 way down Russia Canyon we came to the Lucas Canyon trail and decided to head south on it. It wasn't really muddy but it was slick with lots of exposed diagonal roots to make it exciting.

At the end of Lucas Canyon we decided to ride down to Bluff Springs on T5005.

From Bluff Springs we went east on Rio Penasco Rd then 130 up to Russia Canyon Rd to Sunspot and back to Cloudcroft.















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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
Day 5

We again started out north of town, FR60C to FR568. We rode a little of T5688 before going to check out T124 that starts and ends at the Silver campground but since that campground was full we decided it would be better to ride that another time. We headed back to Cloudcroft to ride the OSHA trail and the Old Cloudcroft trail that starts right on the edge on town at 82 and 130.

When then headed south on 130 to Rio Penasco to Wills Canyon.

After Wills Canyon we rode the Willie White trail then over the Alamo Peak to ride T105 to FR634.

For the last dirt of the trip we rode down Russia Canyon rd before heading back to Cloudcroft.





















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Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
7,195
Location
Northern Fayette County
Cool pics and vids. My bro and I were out there a few yrs ago and had a blast. Sunspot was really neat but we arrived 5mins after the visitor center closed.:doh: We still did the self guided tour. I could spend all day there, spectacular views. On that particular day we rode Russia Canyon getting there and slabbed the Sunspot HWY back to town. Cloudcroft lived up to it's name that day as out of the clear blue we rode into the thickest fog bank I've ever ridden in!!:eek2: '0' visibility for 5 miles! Once we broke through I pulled over and snapped this pic.... My brother on my TW200.

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All you could do was watch the lines on the road and hope any oncoming traffic was doing the same.:eek2:

The Rim Trail rocked!!(pun) Never seen so many rocks in my life!:lol2: One of my favorite pics... My brother on his XR280.

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Impossible to capture the vista with a camera but...:zen:
Anyway, didn't mean to jack your thread but I really enjoyed seeing your pics, hope to get back to the mountains soon!
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Looks like an excellent ride and the weather held out, with just enought rain to make for good traction!

I guess you had no problem with forest closures or wildfires? Maybe by then they died out or the worst threats were farther north towards Santa Fe?

Thanks for all the excellent pictures, maybe I can make it next year!
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
The forest opened on the Thursday before the ride started. The conditions were the best we have had. Fewer dead-falls than in the past, surprising with the previous forest closure. Saw some burned spots around Mayhill on the way up but no fire issues while we were there.

I guess you had no problem with forest closures or wildfires? Maybe by then they died out or the worst threats were farther north towards Santa Fe?
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
504
Location
San Antonio, TX
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Perez
WOW! :popcorn: I should have been there.....:popcorn: WOW! Great picture's, I really like the tree trunk with the hornet's nest, don't poke at that one! :popcorn:
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
Sorry no, I sold my GPS. I found I spent too much time watching it and following a route than exploring, being flexible and enjoying the ride.

We just started out on Monday close to town and worked our way out. When we came to a cross road we just went which way looked the most interesting.

You can kind of retrace our route on this map based on my daily recap.

Below are some links to trail information. As any ratings they are opinions, one riders easy is another riders difficult...

Trail ratings

OHV Trail Riding Areas

Do you have the trip saved on GPS tracks or maps. Thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
54
Location
austin tx
I realize this thread is ancient, but I wanted to thank the OP for all the great pics and info in the thread. I also wanted to ask if those trails, Rim Trail specifically, were 650 friendly. I ride an XRL and am headed that way next week.
 
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
460
Location
NB, Texas
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Nelson
Man, I've done a good amount of trails in the area on the crf450x and can say the rim trail is pretty rough at times. Very single track all the way. For me, not ideal solo and wouldn't be a good idea on my XRL. The other surrounding trials I'd use the XRL on for sure.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
The Rim Trail is to tough for me on a 650 single, I take a plated dirt bike, but I'm sure people have ridden it on 650's just way above my skill level. Lot's of variety though from forest service roads and ATV trails also. The videos above are good example of the variety.

I'll be there next week as well, riding Mon-Fri, staying at the Spruce cabins.

[/url]DSC05217 by AvantMotorcycles, on Flickr[/IMG]

And if its raining on top you can ride down above Alamogordo.
 
Last edited:

Vinny

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
2,053
Location
Austin, Tx
First Name
Vinny
The Rim Trail is to tough for me on a 650 single, I take a plated dirt bike, but I'm sure people have ridden it on 650's just way above my skill level. Lot's of variety though from forest service roads and ATV trails also. The videos above are good example of the variety.

I'll be there next week as well, riding Mon-Fri, staying at the Spruce cabins.

And if its raining on top you can ride down above Alamogordo.
We (6 riders) will be camping somewhere the first weekend of Aug. Fri, Sat, Sun, leaving Mon.

Any suggestions on a camping stops for a large group with one trailer?
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
1,096
Location
West Texas
We (6 riders) will be camping somewhere the first weekend of Aug. Fri, Sat, Sun, leaving Mon.

Any suggestions on a camping stops for a large group with one trailer?
Vinny,
You can't beat Benson Ridge Road for camping-- there are endless great spots for large groups. One of the best would be around where 223 (Benson Ridge Road) and 5008 meet. That puts you right in the middle of all the Benson Ridge Trails and near Lucas Canyon too. I can give you many more options if you want.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
1,096
Location
West Texas
Thank you. That helps.
I think I mentioned but I am planning on being up there next weekend. I can show you all around on Saturday or Sunday. Doesn't matter skill level, I am happy to ride with any group. I will only ride one day though. If you have any other questions just send me a PM.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
159
Location
Cloudcroft
I guess I shouldn't give legal advice, but I've ridden several of those roads between CC and Mescalero, but not anywhere near all of them, and haven't noticed any posted signs.:trust:
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
1,096
Location
West Texas
I guess I shouldn't give legal advice, but I've ridden several of those roads between CC and Mescalero, but not anywhere near all of them, and haven't noticed any posted signs.:trust:
Cool. You will have to show me sometime. The ones off 244 are definitely posted, and the branch off of 16 springs canyon is gated and locked too. I have not been up toward the ones that go toward Mescalero.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,316
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Had a chance to stir some turf with Johnf3 and the crew today. Rim trail, Alamo Peak, Courtney Mine trail and assorted connections. RT was a little slick in spots early on but truly splendid in the PM. It got a proper railing.

Vinny does a quick top end while the rest of us admire the cool temps and some fine scenery.

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You might know this spot. Visibility was excellent today, Sierra Blanca and the Organ mts. were in clear view.

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Can you believe it? Two times in the SAME spot? Once going and then again coming back? Talent and dedication...

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Dem boyz can flat out RIDE! :rider:
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,074
Location
Castroville, Texas
And we are done, now some more pictures

[/url]DSC05285 by AvantMotorcycles, on Flickr[/IMG]

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Vinny

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
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Location
Austin, Tx
First Name
Vinny
RG , thanks for getting a picture of the Vinny turn(as it will be known for the rest of time)
It was a great trip. Driving back now. Already 100F.:giveup:

The group is already talking about going back.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
783
Location
Austin, TX
That's gonna be known as "Vinny's Corner"

Here's a few more from the group

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Note the "Call of the wild" in the background...

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Of course, no trip would be complete without having to fix stuff... this time it was a clutch slave cylinder that was leaking air. Of course, we only found it after swapping master cylinders and clutch perches first while troubleshooting.

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Then it was back to business as usual: ugly dudes in pretty scenery

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I'm not sure what this trail was, but you could see White Sands off in the distance:

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RG and Victor in deep debate about which mountainside to try to throw us all down next:

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We really suffered and went hungry quite a bit:

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We managed to get caught in a nasty hail storm on Sunday after ignoring the warnings that were given to us that morning - Vinny had forgot his camelback and turned around to get it, then we had more bike issues that had us turn around for camp.

It's hard to see, but there's a tow strap at work in this pic

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Victor peaks his head out to keep tabs on the hail pile that started to accumulate off of the roof:

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Quick vids of the rain/hail coming down with Vinny adding comentary:

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After the storm moved on it was back to normal dirtbike stuff - figuring out why one of them won't run

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After declaring success (temporarily) it was time to get warm and dry again... so we needed a fire

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Where somebody (who shall remain nameless) got a bit carried away - don't worry everything was soaking wet all up and down the mountain

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Then it was time to pack up and head home - for a size reference, the white spec in the distance is an F350 dually

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But, not without one last quick ride out of camp

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That was a great weekend with a great bunch of guys.

Thanks again to RG and Johnf3 for leading us around on the trails!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
1,096
Location
West Texas
S&B,
Great pictures. The one looking at White Sands is off of the Rim Trail. I had fun riding with all of y'all Saturday. Great group.
 
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