FR437 summit(u)

Forest Road 437,  leaving the valley near Talpa (Taos area) is probably best known to mountain bikers for providing access to high sections of the South Boundary Trail. But the climb on this smooth dirt road is an excellent workout in its own right. FR437 provides a way of cycling to 10000 feet in a quick, efficient manner. In spite of this relatively high altitude, the entire route exhibits a forested foothills character.

01.(6970ft,mile00) START-END SOUTH: jct NM68-NM518, north of Ranchos de Taos
02.(7100ft,mile03) jct NM518-FR437, south of Talpa
03.(8990ft,mile14) turn left, away from Rio Chiquito valley
04.(9920ft,mile16) FR438 and route from Chosa Pass joins from right
05.(10000ft,mile17) TOP
06.(8330ft,mile23) FR437 ends on US64. Profile turns left to Taos
07.(7190ft,mile33) START-END NORTH: jct NM585 - US64, south east of Taos; profile continues on NM585
08.(6940ft,mile36) START-END NORTH ALTERNATE: jct NM585 - NM68


From South.  The dirt road leading up Rio Chiquito Canyon is exceptionally smooth and leads up a lush wooded canyon, following a gurgling stream. After a long warm up, the FR437 leaves the stream and climbs steeply up a side canyon. There are no views on top, just a pleasant, rounded, forested hill with various cowgrates and junctions, including FR438 to Osha Pass. Access to the western part of the Southern Boundary Trail, heading for Quintana Pass, is hidden away from the road.

From North. Heading up from Valle Escondido, FR437 is rockier on this side. It also carries a little more traffic.

Dayrides.  A circular ride from Taos to Talpa, traversing FR437 over the summit,  returning to Taos via the lower part of the Palo Flechado Pass road measured 46 miles with 3930 feet of climbing in 4.4 hours, using a Cateye 100A cycle computer setup.

back to New Mexico's Summits and Passes by Bicycle