< Left Panel   NM Summits and Passes   Areas   Tables   Maps   All Favorites  
Main Panel:   Main Page   Map+Profile   Picture Page   NM Map  

Baylor Pass 

Baylor Pass offers a way to cross one of New Mexico's most spectacularly scenic mountain ranges, the Organ Mountains, with a mountain bike. The trail is not maintained for bicycling and is really more of a portage than a ride. Still, taking a bicycle over this pass makes a loop ride over this range possible. Life could be a whole lot worse than hiking with a bicycle on your back in magnificent dessert mountain scenery like this.

1.(4130ft,mile00) START-END EAST ALTERNATE: first I70 service road access, east of junction with I25
2.(4880ft,mile11) go right off I25
3.(4780ft,mile12) START-END EAST: Baylor Pass trailhead; profile between here and point 5 is aproximate.
4.(6350ft,mile15) Baylor Pass
5.(5670ft,mile17) pick up paved Aguirre Springs road.
6.(4870ft,mile21) START-END WEST ALTERNATE: junction with road to White Sands, continue straight for San Augustin Pass


From North. The profile begins in Las Cruces and follows the San Augustin Pass route to the last I70 exit before the town of Organ. The gap occupied by Baylor Pass is visible from far down the frontage road of I70, as the lowest gap in the range, somewhat to the south of San Agustin Pass. But the canyon followed by Baylor Pass angles up from the north, so that the valley to be ascended does not become visible until the final miles along I70. Turning right off the I70  frontage road the surface becomes a gravel, shortly before the Baylor Pass trailhead, which comes complete with a parking lot and "National Recreation Trail" sign. The 6 mile single track trail is open to everything except motorized vehicles. The first half mile of the trail follows the final upper part of the alluvial fan and is the best bet for a single track ride, but even here frequent rock ledges have been constructed across the trail to retard water erosion. Beyond that much of the trail was a portage for me, albeit a very scenic one between cacti. The Dona Ana mountains, which make a jagged outline from the valley, take on the shape of large petrified dunes from this vantage point. The vertical peaks on the south side provoke wonder about weather these faces have ever been climbed. The 2+1/2 miles to the summit go by quickly. More frequent stretches of easily cycled single track appear again within a mile of the summit.

From South. (described downwards). A magnificent view of the peaks in the Organ range to the south opens up just below the summit. The paved road below appears tantalizingly close, but the trail takes a detour to the south. When the road appears closest a little later, the trail takes one more little detour into the hills, which necessitates shouldering the bike one more time. The final 1/2 mile approaching the trailhead would be a fast easy single track again, if it wasn't for the multitude of erosional barriers constructed across the trail. In all likelihood these are fairly easily ridable for somebody with more technical skill than me, but I don't think the time savings would be significant. The trail terminates on a one way loop road through the Aguile Springs BLM area. The profile continues along this one way loop road to the right. Approaching the trailhead on the other part of the loop yields a slightly different profile. A short, steep rolling descent on a narrow road leads to the low point along the route, with peaks complimented by yucca cacti stalks in all directions. From the low point it is only a couple of hundred feet back up to join San Augustin Pass shortly before its summit.




(MTB+paved+portage): A loop ride with an additional, optional approach started in Radium Springs and continued > Las Cruces > Baylor Pass > Aguire Springs BLM area > San Agustin Pass > back to Las Cruces and Radium Springs, and measured 70 miles with 3100ft of climbing in 6:0 hours, on a sunny day with perfect temperatures between Christmas and New Year. Ride statistics were measured with a VDO MC1.0 cycle computer and do not include the portage which probably amounted to about 500ft of climbing in an hour (m3:07.12.30)

back to New Mexico's Summits and Passes by bicycle