FR 76 summit(u) Cerro Vista

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains change drastically in appearance on their scenic, arrow like course, north to south, from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico. While the Colorado section contains a sculpted set of peaks, the southern part of the range is a maze of rounded hills, which seen against the light, look like a succession of roundly cut paper cutouts. A traversal over FR76 leads along a principal ridge in the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Especially the approach from the east side is pretty long.

01.(7570ft,mile00) START-END EAST ALT: Guadalupita
02.(7710ft,mile04) Coyote Creek State Park
03.(8680ft,mile16) profile turns from NM434 left onto FR 76
04.(9770ft,mile20) turnoff on right leads to Osha Pass
05.(10300ft,mile22) turnoff on right goes to FR153
06.(11230ft,mile35) TOP: just south east of Cerro Vista
07.(8560ft,mile46) START-END WEST: FR153 terminates onto NM518 near Tres Ritos


From East. The profile begins from the small collection of houses named Guadalupita to show the maximum elevation gain during a day long loop ride. The description begins later, where FR076 turns off NM434. The intersection is signed with a small National Forest sign from both directions. A little distance after the turnoff another sign indicates that Osha Pass and San Antonio Church Road are also up this way. A good dirt road soon becomes a hard dirt matrix containing some very large rocks, which is a good surface to climb on, since the rocks stay in place. After the turnoff to Osha Pass, the road levels out little bit for a little rest and relaxation. The turnoff to the South Boundary Trail, whose lower, very rough part terminates here is also signed. Only once does the dense canopy of trees give way to open the view onto the drainage of Cieneguilla Creek, containing the resort of Angel Fire and Eagle Nest Lake.  Long sweeping curves begin to carve along the gentle ridgeline, now periodically opening views onto the eastern highlands, until the road appears to crest at a small meadow. This is however the beginning of a long traverse, the most scenic part of the ride. The road  finally works itself up another 300 feet onto the shoulder of a big, old aunthill 11939ft Cerro Vista himself.

From West. (described downwards). The road follows Rito Presa Creek all the way and there are not further far views. The surface turns rockier for the first part of the descent, and unlike the other side, here they are of the loosely-lying-around-on-the-road variety, which would make climbing difficult. The situation improves at each junction. But the road remains loose gravel road all to Tres Ritos (Oct/7), a georgraphical name that shows up on some maps, but without human made facilities. It is located at the junction to the paved road to Holman Hill summit.




(MTB+paved): A loop ride from Coyote Creek State Park > NM434 > FR 76 summit(u) > Tres Ritos > Holman Hill summit > Mora > Guadalupita > back to the starting point measuered 84 miles with 6000ft of climbing in 7:4 hours (m3:07.10.27).

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