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Guadalupe Rim Road ride - to Cloudcroft and back

Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
A couple of years ago a friend did a ride starting near Queen, New Mexico, riding to Cloudcroft and back. He rode the Guadalupe Rim up then the desert route on the return ride. I missed it and I’ve been wanting to do it ever since.

When it was time for this ride our group dwindled to two, my wife and I. We decided to do a 3 day ride so we could spend a day riding around Cloudcroft. From the start near Queen we rode 71 miles of continuous dirt until we hit the pavement just east of Piñon.

Here is day one.

Route - I only mapped it to Weed as we had multiple options from there to Cloudcroft.
http://www.motowhere.com/maps/route/Rim-route

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Videos




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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
Day 2 we watched the first half of the Texas OU game at the Western Bar over a late breakfast then we headed out the SunSpot Hwy for Alamo Peak.

We rode a little of the Rim trail, FSR 634, Benson Ridge, Lucas Canyon, Russia Canyon, more Rim trail and back to Cloudcroft for another night.

Videos




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Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
2,095
Location
East Texas
Great report and photos/videos. Please tell me where you got the blue seatcover. Or you could just sell me that XR4. No kidding! Thanks.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
Great report and photos/videos. Please tell me where you got the blue seatcover. Or you could just sell me that XR4. No kidding! Thanks.
Found it on ebay. I went back and forth on the color as they also had black. It's my nod to the 80s Hondas. First seen on Johnny O's Mugen Honda.

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I made the mistake of selling a cleaner 03 model with a Mikuni carb. This one's a keeper.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
Day 3

We left Cloudcroft and headed down 130 to Rio Penasco Rd, then Prestridge Hill Rd, Cridebring Canyon, to Auga Chiquita Rd. and on to Weed then Pinon for gas. The Pinon store wasn't open but the owner would be by after Church so that set us back. We had planned on taking the desert route on the way back. http://www.motowhere.com/maps/route/Desert-Route-506

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Being behind schedule and hearing about flashing flooding around Carlsbad we decide to ride the Rim again, plus we where told the views were better when heading south, they were. http://www.motowhere.com/maps/route/Rim-route

Videos








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Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
2,590
Location
South Texas
Is the restaurant in Queens still open? They had some good burgers. I use to ride up there every Saturday when I was in town (Carlsbad or Artesia)
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
1,216
Location
Summer Grove, LA
I haven't finished reading/looking yet, but looks like a great ride. Thanks for posting -- I've been casually eyeballing maps for a couple years for a route to visit fellow sidecarists in Timberon.

Hmmm ... reckon I could complete this ride on my GS/CSM sidecar rig? :rider::

 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
2,553
Location
Waco
great report !!!

rugged country we have driven from Carlsbad Caverns to Cloudcroft on the backroads it was all ranch land, I would like to try your route some day and see the land change to the Lincoln Forest

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like the tree photo, is this the shaking tree or something?
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
I haven't finished reading/looking yet, but looks like a great ride. Thanks for posting -- I've been casually eyeballing maps for a couple years for a route to visit fellow sidecarists in Timberon.

Hmmm ... reckon I could complete this ride on my GS/CSM sidecar rig? :rider::

No problem, everything from Queen to Weed was class 1, maybe one section 1.5. All easily passable, even in a low 2 wheeled drive truck, so no problem for a GS sidecar outfit. The worst is just areas of loose gravel. There are side roads though that are much more challenging.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
1,216
Location
Summer Grove, LA
No problem, everything from Queen to Weed was class 1, maybe one section 1.5. All easily passable, even in a low 2 wheeled drive truck, so no problem for a GS sidecar outfit. The worst is just areas of loose gravel. There are side roads though that are much more challenging.
Excellent! Gonna start looking over the 2014 calendar.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
Another report from the area. From the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Carlsbad to Cloudcroft Dual Sport tour of the Guadalupe Rim and the Sacramento Mountains

Route - https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=214398625761380661663.0004dc1870b6633fcd7d1&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb

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“...The Guadalupe Rim is soon in view and it is actually a rather tall and very wide escarpment.”

Starting a Dual Sport tour of New Mexico in Dell City Texas may seem to be an unlikely scenario, but it is about the only way to begin at the New Mexico border without backtracking. What we did was run south to Carlsbad, New Mexico and found a place to spend the night, and then got out early to ride down to Dell City the next morning.

The services in Dell City are minimal, with no lodging we know of. Camping spots are available in the Guadalupe National Park and in several places within the Lincoln National Forest. Here in this small town with a farming history, as in “the farmer in the Dell”, we met two riders from Anthony, New Mexico coming to join us. We all filled up with gas for the long trek.

All four of us were on heavier dual sport motorcycles, or, you could say lighter weight adventure bikes. Three of us had 650cc single cylinder bikes and the other was on a 700cc twin. We were carrying the extra weight of spare fuel, tools, extra parts, and even camping gear. The destination from here is Cloudcroft, which is achievable in one day, or it is easy to split this 225 mile backcountry route into two segments if you plan on seeing everything more closely and are set up to camp. Which you should be…

It seems as though when you head north from the Texas border that the world is flat. It doesn’t take long for the terrain to dispel that impression however. The Guadalupe Rim is soon in view and it is actually a rather tall and very wide escarpment.

There is no way up the west side, so it is necessary to ride along the base toward the south, and climb up the less steep southern end. Soon it is clearly a bit cooler and you will begin to see impressive overlooks of the valley you just left. You have already climbed over 3000 feet. (Img 0628)

This is part of the Guadalupe Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest. This is one of the three island districts that make up the Lincoln, which was established in 1902, and totals 1,103,897 acres. Predominately grown up in scrub oak, pinon and juniper, this is all pretty dry land here in the south. (Img 0620)

Continuing north back off the rim and further west will eventually have you twisting along on SR24 for a short way, into the Sacramento Ranger District, and then off pavement again toward the small town of Weed. This is a ride where you should be prepared to go 225 miles before needing fuel, even if that means carrying a small container on the back seat. Weed sometimes has gasoline at the Weed Country Store, but don’t count on it. Things you should count on when you stop in there are a little conversation and some nice snacks. (Img 0635)

Continuing further west through tall stands of pine (Img 0639 and Img 0644), you eventually hit the Sacramento Canyon Hwy, which goes south from Sunspot to Timberon. This is a nearly new piece of pavement and it is pretty nice, with almost no straight sections anywhere in its 15 or so mile length. You will only be on it slightly more than a mile this trip, before cutting over to the West Side Road, with some 30 miles of twisty gravel heading north into High Rolls. (Img 0652)

When you turn back east from High Rolls there are only eight miles of beautiful asphalt into Cloudcroft, to wrap up this 320 mile route. This trip, we stayed at the Aspen Motel in Cloudcroft and ate at the Western Bar and Café. Both places are clean, homey, and friendly.

Special places to visit not far off this route are: Carlsbad Caverns; Guadalupe Mountain National Park; and the Sunspot “Apache Point” Observatory. Mostly the attraction of this part of New Mexico is the vast openness, and beautiful solitude. Remoteness can be harsh if you are not prepared however.

Passing through high desert to alpine climates sometimes requires several layers of under and outer clothing. In remote areas, always be wary of quickly changing weather. Be prepared with a good pack of tools and gear. There are no services or immediate help in most of these places.

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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,055
Location
Castroville, Texas
For trip planning in the Cloudcroft area.

Average temperature July high 70.5° & low 46.7°
Weather information

Trail information

Map
Paper maps and other trail information is available at the SACRAMENTO RANGER DISTRICT office, 4 Lost Lodge Rd, Cloudcroft, NM 88317
Office Hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm M-F
7:30am - 11:30 12:30 - 4:30pm Saturday (summer only)

Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce

Alamogordo is 16 miles to the west (about 5500 feet lower in elevation) and has the major chain stores and several bike shops.

Cloudcroft, New Mexico is....
* up at 9,000 elevation.
* 40 miles from casino wagering and golf at the Inn of the Mountain Gods.
* 50 miles from Ruidoso Downs.
* 16 miles from the Space Museum, Alameda Park Zoo, and Toy Train Depot in Alamogordo.
* 40 miles from White Sands National Monument.
* 150 miles from Carlsbad Caverns.
* 90 miles from El Paso and the Mexican border.
* Within 50 miles of 8 magnificent golf courses.

Lodging:
· We stay at the Spruce Cabins, there are lots of cabins in town and several motels. We stock up on groceries in Alamogordo for sandwiches on the trail and to cook out in the evenings.
· The Spruce Cabins offers a 10% motorcycle discount but you have to ask for it to receive it.
· If you stay 6 nights at the Spruce Cabins, the 7th night is free.
· Camping in Lincoln National Forest

Riding requirements:
· Motorcycles registered for use on public streets are not required to be registered for off-highway motor vehicle use. NEW MEXICO OFF-HIGHWAY MOTOR VEHICLE (OHV) PROGRAM
· A Texas (or New Mexico) OHV sticker is required for off road only motorcycles to ride on National Forest land. Texas Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) Program / Out of State or Visitor Permitting Rquirements

Trails
Trail information
Trail spreadsheet with difficulty ratings
Map
Paper maps and other trail information is available at the SACRAMENTO RANGER DISTRICT office
http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/lincoln/recreation/hikingfiles/D2_trails_TMR-GIS-48.pdf
http://www.4wdnut.com/t103-caballero-canyon-trail/
http://www.4wdnut.com/t104-alamo-canyon-trail/
http://www.4wdnut.com/t105-rim-trail/
http://www.4wdnut.com/t107-roundup-ground-trail/
http://www.4wdnut.com/t109-alamo-peak-trail/
http://www.4wdnut.com/t110-pipeline-trail/

GPS track maps
Cloudcroft partial overview
Rim Trail GPS
Benson Ridge area, Taylor Canyon Trail (T5007) & Wills Canyon Trail (T5008)
West Side Road
Apple Tree Canyon Trail (T5601)
Karr Canyon Rd

New Mexico off-road riding information
http://www.nmohva.org/main/index.php
http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ohv/documents/Nonresidentvisitorpermits.htm
http://www.dps.nm.org/training/safePursuitAct/docs/OHV Brochure.pdf
http://www.b4uride.com/

Cloudcroft threads
Must see Cloudcroft route Suggestions
Cloudcroft Vacation
Cloudcroft 2009
New Mexico Off-Road: The Cloudcroft Recon
Rim Trail Cloudcroft NM
Cloudcroft, NM 2009. Pics and onboard video.
The Road to Timberon

Video
Rim Trail T105 Cloudcroft, New Mexico video

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/bhL39AH4NAY"]Russia Canyon Road, Lincoln National Forest video[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/gi_dYV8DDyA"]Wills Canyon Trail (T5008), Lincoln National Forest video[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/wShw84HVRFY"]Wills Canyon Trail (T5008) II, Lincoln National Forest video[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/ARVuXdRnLSk"]Forest Service Road 568 Lincoln National Forest video[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/x--h-HyTQKY"]Old Cloudcroft Highway Trail (T5002) video[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/lB5k1DRPocc"]Hubbell Canyon Trail (T9277) Lincoln National Forest video[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/user/avantmotorcycles?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/9x5gzc8Rdlk"]Willie White Trail (T113) Lincoln National Forest video[/ame]


Maps

Rim Trail
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Benson Ridge / Bluff Springs
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