- Backcountry Shuttle Reaches 80 Miles of New Trails
Jemez Springs – A new Backcountry Shuttle has expanded the Valles Caldera National Preserve mountain biking program to more than 80 miles of trails.
The addition of bike racks to three vans will provide additional cycling access to the northern half of the preserve, which was available only once a month or during special events.
“Mountain biking was restricted to the headquarters loop trail and the Cruise the Caldera events,” VCT Recreation Specialist Lance Weinbrenner said, “Now the Backcountry Shuttles can take cyclists to the trailheads where they can ride challenging two-track trails and then return to the Valle Grande Staging Area by way of more developed dirt roads.”
The shuttles leave hourly Friday through Monday. Since each shuttle is equipped to carry four bicycles, groups of five or more must call 505-428-7716 at least 48 hours in advance to coordinate shuttle service.
“By shuttling cyclists to the backcountry, we give them more time on challenging trails and we attract a larger population of riders with varying skill levels looking for a new riding experience,” Weinbrenner said.
The first shuttle departs at 8:30 a.m. from the Valle Grande Staging Area (VGSA.) A $10 shuttle fee applies to cyclists, hikers and sightseers alike. All visitors to the preserve must return by 6 p.m. to the VGSA. For more information, call 505-661-3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Valles Caldera Trust oversees the Valles Caldera National Preserve, formerly the privately owned “Baca Ranch.” The 88,900 acre property is in the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. It was purchased by the federal government in 2000 under the Valles Caldera Preservation Act. The property is known for its huge meadows, abundant wildlife, meandering stream, remarkable scenery and science based adaptive management. More information about the preserve can be found at www.vallescaldera.gov.