Zuni Mountains

I had a lovely time camping in the Cibola National Forest outside of Gallup New Mexico. I had a good feeling about this area when I was planning my travels and knew about a 12 hour mountain bike race called the 12 hours of Enchanted Forest that was held each August. That always seemed intriguing to me. Upon exploring the area there’s a mountain trail system called the Zuni Mountain trail system, and then a lower desert trail system. I ended up camping right next to the mountain system and rode three different 20 mile rides within the week I stayed here.

Starting the day with a power omelette.

Here I am climbing up Quaking Aspen Trail. It’s one of the original trails in the area and follows it drainage with lots of black slickrock and neat little rock features and cow gates.

Eventually made my way to this overlook that looks like a crew spent a good time building. There’s even an area where you can pitch a tent if you wanted to backpack out here.

One of a handful of cow ponds that came across. In the southwest they seem to want to call these tanks.

I also came across this alcove that on the map was called Bear Den. Don’t worry I never saw any bears.

Cruisin along I had great weather for the most part 70 degrees and sunny. Not bad for early April.

On my ride I came across this rock structure that from a distance look like a lean-to or maybe an ancient dwelling. Upon further investigation it was just a rock that look like roof slats.

I ended up randomly coming across this Forest Service lookout tower. A wind storm was coming and they were on high alert.

The forest service man was kind and let me up into the tower and I was able to enjoy the 360 degree views. I met his dog Zack and we chatted about 45 minutes about my travels and his job with the forest service. It was great to meet both of them.

Coming across some hoodoos in the desert trail system.  I didn’t get to ride the entire trail system but this will leave me something to come back to.

Fun little slick Rock bits. The trail builders did an excellent job taking advantage of the natural terrain.

Great views and there was even a sundial. You can’t see it very well but it’s just beyond my bike mounted on top of a log.

They even had Roadrunner figures. They weren’t real but they were cut out of steel and I thought they added a little class to the trail.

One thing I learned while my stay in the New Mexico is that they love their carins. This one was extra tall and stacked with care. 
From here I will be making my way into Arizona and will plan a few stops along the way 

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