Heaven on Earth is the segment of the SBT between Osha and Garcia Parks. This is a great half-day ride utilizing the smoothest singletrack segments on this renowned trail, through mixed conifer and colorful aspen forests. Expect high traffic especially during September and October when the fall colors are at their peak.
From the junction with 585 in Taos drive 10 miles east on 64 and turn right into Valle Escondido. Drive up the dirt road a half mile then turn right on FR 437. Garcia Park is about 7 miles up this road, most of the road is in decent condition with some rocky sections and a couple potholes near the top to watch for. After the road levels out it leads to a large open meadow rolling down to the west. The trailhead is on the left and is signed.
This is a pretty straight forward ride along mostly singletrack trail. Descend about 1.8 miles to a stream crossing then continue on the trail as it climbs for several miles through open aspen glades and conifer forests with the smoothest mountain dirt around. At Quintana Pass there's a nice view where a doubletrack heads southwest, the SBT continues to the left.
After climbing some rolling alpine meadows at Corner Park, follow the trail left through a stand of conifers, pass a sign aimed to downhill riders and the trail transitions to rocky doubletrack for the last climb to Osha Park. Arrive at a trail junction on Osha Peak's rolling south ridge, there's a sign here with directional arrows to the Trail #164 trailhead and Elliot Barker
Trails, and a road continuing straight which leads to FR 153 and the Rio Chiquito trailhead.
Head back the way you came, and enjoy the well earned downhill! The return descent is one of the sweetest in NM. The trail rolls through the Corner Park meadows with a few smooth berms to get your tires off the ground, then drops into the forests. After riding for a few minutes, it's clear why this section was named Heaven on Earth! During Autumn when the trail is covered with aspen leaves and there are colors in the canopy, nature creates some amazing light to ride in. There are enough roots and rocks to keep the trail somewhat technical and it's usually well-maintained with a clear corridor, keep your speed in check around the turns where trees have been cut and where other trail users may not be visible.