South Boundary Trail Shuttle: Taos’ Mountain Biking Gem

Experience New Mexico’s #1 mountain biking trail with Turquoise Tours. We’re the only shuttle company on the South Boundary Trail, offering two mountain bike shuttles daily: 8:00 a.m. to FR 76, and 10:30 a.m. to Garcia Park.

South Boundary Aspen Fall Colors
Garcia Park, South Boundary Taos New Mexico Mountain Bike Shuttle
South Boundary Trail Shuttle

Mountain Bike Shuttles Daily through Oct 27

Step #1. Choose your drop-off location.
You can choose to be dropped off at FR76 at the beginning of the South Boundary Trail, from where you’ll descend the whole darn trail: all 20 miles back to your car. OR, chose to be dropped off near the midpoint of the South Boundary Trail at Garcia Park, leaving you with a 12 mile descent.

Step #2. Choose the date.
We run mountain bike shuttles to the South Boundary Trail from as soon as the snow melts until the end of October, weather permitting.

Step #3. Reserve your shuttle early.
The South Boundary Trail in Taos is one of—if not the—best mountain biking trails in the southwest (sure, we may be a bit biased!). Weekends fill-up, so reserve your shuttle seat early.

Step #4. Check your email.
You’ll receive a confirmation email explaining where to meet and tips for the ride. If you have any questions beyond that, give us a ring and we’ll get you sorted.

Pricing:

  • Garcia Park: $35 per person (minimum $50)

  • FR 76 Trailhead: $45 per person (minimum $75)

  • Guided rides, custom shuttles, and group rates available

“Use the shuttle. It’s worth every penny not to fetch my car for 2 hours after I’m done riding and all I want is beer a burger and a shower.”

“Totally worth saving my oil pan.”


Mountain Bike Shuttle Policies and information

  • Cancellations are less 10% booking service fee. No refunds given for cancellations within 24 hours of shuttle date.

  • We pick up at El Nogal Parking Lot, which is the Taos trailhead for the South Boundary Trail, about 5 minutes east of Taos.

  • The SBT is en epic trail not well-marked and famous for getting folks lost, so download MTB Project's course profile. Load it on your smart phone so you can use it as GPS when your phone loses signal mid-ride.

  • Bring a rain shell, ample water, snacks, sunscreen, arm and leg warmers, and of course, your helmet.

  • Check our Facebook page for updated trail photos and conditions.

  • We shuttle groups of up to 17 with 24 hours notice, and can accommodate even larger groups with more heads up.

  • Bike rentals. We don’t rent ‘em, but some great folks at local bike shops do. See Gearing Up Bike Shop or Taos Cyclery for help.


About the South Boundary Trail

The “IMBA EPIC” South Boundary Trail begins at the trailhead on Forest Road (FR) 76 just south and west of Angel Fire about 25 minutes at 9,950ft and ends at the El Nogal Parking Lot Area on US Highway 64, five minutes east of Taos at a little over 7,000ft. The highest point on the ride is Osha Peak at 10,700ft about 1.5 miles from the start, which is a grueling climb full of baby-head rocks. Total ascending feet is about 1,600 with 4,400ft of descent throughout, sweeeeet baby!

The best time of year to ride this trail is hands-down end of September through beginning of October while the colors are changing to experience the ‘yellow brick road’ with stunning aspen leaves above and below you.

This is a cross-country singletrack trail interspersed with a few double track roads. Most of the descent is in the final 2.5 miles of the trail which is straight up downhill style riding. We recommend a cross country bike or enduro but we take plenty of downhill bikes thanks to folks visiting Angel Fire Bike Park whose wrists need a breather from the downhill beater.

Taking on the full South Boundary is not for novices. We only take up strong intermediate or advanced riders for the 20+ mile ride. Average time is about 5.5 hours. Fastest time is 2:17 - we don’t recommend that approach. But don’t be ashamed if it takes you upwards of 8 hours. Pack your lunch, bring a camera, and stop to enjoy the wild roses. South Boundary Shuttles leave at 8:00am each morning and you’ll be on your bike around 9:15.

The Garcia Park is much more ‘user friendly’. You get to sleep in a little, pay $10 less, and you only have one climb on your 12 mile ride. Average ride time is about 2.5 hours but plenty of folks take their time to pull off those uncomfortable bikes shoes for a toe dip in the Rio Chiquito and ponder life’s persistent questions. The shuttle leaves at 10:30am and drops you nearly in the middle of this bucket list trail around 11:30am. We often bump into those morning shuttlers for those in a group that have some that want to ride the full and other that want to ride the half, you can easily meet up. For those less experienced riders, we recommend taking the Ojitos descent instead of the El Nogal technical downhill descent. Ask your shuttle driver for details or download this option on MTB Project or Trailfolks before you head out.

All shuttles pickup at the El Nogal Parking lot, aka, the end of the South Boundary Trail on Highway 64, three miles east of Taos in the Taos Canyon. It’s a darn busy lot on weekends so we strongly recommend carpooling. Half of the lot ends up with shade and the other scorching with sun, but either way, we don’t recommend leaving your pups in the car while you ride. Although Google Maps lists this as the El Nogal campground, when you arrive you’ll see No Camping signs throughout the parking lot.

Campers can go up canyon just a couple hundred yards and there are two small USFS campgrounds between the road and the river. There are usually vacant lots, unless it’s a holiday. You can ride from these campgrounds to El Nogal (the pecan in Espanol) along the nearly non-existent shoulder - just a skip and a jump. But please be careful, the canyon is tight.

There is no potable water on the trail, spotty cell service (Verizon is best), and often afternoon thunderstorms during summer, which is why we only run morning shuttles. We require guests bring water, snacks, an app for navigation, and a helmet.