Get Up And Out There: Mountain Biking In New Mexico's Mountains

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Summertime mountain biking has taken hold at most ski and snowboard resorts in the West, including a trio of northern New Mexico mountains whose MTB trail maps cover more than 100 miles in riding routes.

At all these resorts, base elevations are 8,000 feet or more above sea level. Flatlanders should allow a day or so to get acclimated before taking on strenuous rides. Drink plenty of water and carry more with you. Thunderstorms regulary roll through the southern Sangre de Cristos, so pack rain gear and warm clothing.

At Angel Fire, mountain biking has put down deep roots. Host to pro MTB competitions in the past, the resort has built an enviable bike park. A web of trails feeds off of the high-speed Chili Express, and the park's 60-mile trail systems consumes most of the front side of the mountain. Plenty of downhill for freeride and technical MTB-ers -- 2,000 vertical drop -- and miles of easy beginner routes, too.

The northern New Mexico resort boasts a base skills park, a dual slalom course, a long uphill-only trail and upper mountain hiking offshoot. Resort quote: " ... the best skinnies, jump lines, manicured flow and super chunk trails the United States has to offer."

Over the ridge, Taos Ski Valley is in the nascent stages of bike-park bulding. The resort has carved out its MTB trail system on its backside. Lift 4 out of the Phoenix base delivers riders to the head of Kachina Basin, right below 12,481-foot Kachina Peak.

Once there, two choices await: a 4-mile green run that winds back and forth down the hill, and a 1.5-mile blue run that is more directly downhill. On the front side there area a couple of beginner flows and steep-steeps, but no lift access this summer.

Down the Rio Grande, Pajarito Mountain spreads across 280 acres below a ridge above Los Alamos. Volunteer-built and raw in nature, the Pajarito Bike Park begins on the Aspen and Mother chairlifts that run up the middle of the trail map. Topping out at more than 10,000 feet, some 48 trails total 39 miles in length, and tend toward the higher skill levels on both downhill and technical routes.

The lifts run on Saturdays and Sundays only, and tickets must be bought at the hill. The park is part of the Mountain Bike Power Pass system that includes all-summer season access to Brian Head in southern Utah, Purgatory in southwest Colorado, and Spider Mountain Bike Park in Austin, Texas.

 

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Powder In New Areas Kicks Off 2019

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Bring on a snowy 2019! If your resolution is to ski/ride more, you’re in the right place - read on for the snow jackpots in our forecast. 

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Southwest Collective To Spend $15M At Four Resorts

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Mountain biking is king at Purgatory. (Purgatory/Facebook)

As Durango businessman James Coleman bought five southwest Rockies resorts, he promised to put significant money into improvements at these mountains in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

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New Lifts, Familiar Name Mark New Owners Retro Return To Purgatory

New lift at PurgatoryFor 50 years, winter sports-lovers have made the drive up the Animas River to strap on skis (and, later snowboards) to hit the slopes at Purgatory in the middle of Colorado's San Juan Mountains.

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New Mexico's Sipapu To Install First New Chair In Five Years; Designed For Families

Sipapu NMSipapu Ski & Summer Resort -- the New Mexico ski and snowboard mountain known for long seasons and beginner friendliness -- will put in a new chairlift this summer to serve more of the mountain's easier terrain.

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Leisurely Chairlift ‘Legend’ At Purgatory To Become High-Speed; Power Pass On Sale

Purgatory spring skiingFor three decades, Purgatory loyalists have relied upon old-faithful Legends Lift 8 to take them to the tranquility, bumps and glades of Durango Mountain’s back side. That's about to change.

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Purgatory is Back! Durango Businessman Finalized Purchase, Promptly Changes Name

PurgatoryJames Coleman, a local Durango resident and avid skier, finalized his purchase of Durango Mountain Resort this week and promptly changed the name of the iconic Southwestern Colorado resort back to Purgatory.

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New Management: New Mexico’s Pajarito Finally Cranks Up Lifts

Pajarito NMBetter late than never. A south-arcing storm system this week put enough snow down at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area to get the lifts finally spinning for the 2015 season.

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Skiers In Southwest Win; Durango Resort, Arizona Snowbowl, Pajarito, Sipapu Under One Ownership

Durango Mountain ResortSkiers and riders in the Southwest may be the biggest winners as the market for Western resorts remains hot. A Durango businessman and avid skier with ownership interests in two northern New Mexico resorts, has purchased both Durango Mountain Resort and Arizona Snowbowl.The new collective is now the largest in the region.

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Skiers In Southwest Win; Durango Mountain Resort, Arizona Snowbowl, Pajarito, Sipapu Under One Ownership

Durango Mountain ResortSkiers and riders in the Southwest may be the biggest winners as the market for Western resorts remains hot. A Durango businessman with ownership interests in two Northern New Mexico resorts, has purchased both Durango Mountain Resort and Arizona Snowbowl.

 

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New Mexico's Sipapu Will Run Struggling Pajarito; Promises More Snowmaking

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After abruptly closing down mid-season in 2014, Pajarito Mountain has a new life as nearby Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort agreed to take over operations at the local hill above Los Alamos, N.M.

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New Mexico's Pajarito Looks For Operator Options; County May Take Over

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A combination of declining ticket sales and poor snow years has forced members of the Los Alamos Ski Club in New Mexico to seek outside help to keep Pajarito Mountain open.

 

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