First, head north on FS 126A
, which may have been an old logging road many decades ago. The entire area contains many thousands of miles of defunct logging roads. This one, however, has deadfall that has been sawn through for livestock access.
Second part of the ride heads along the northern part of FS Road 132
, a closed road that may also be a defunct logging road that peters out (to about the 2:30 mark on the attached video); it too appears maintained for livestock access. The southern portion of this road, which is neither accessed nor described in this trail, is open and maintained for access to a small private community.
The third part of the ride heads along an unmarked stretch between FS Road 132
and FS Road 376A1 on the San Antonio Creek Trail
. I suspect that whatever old logging road that used to be there has weathered away, leaving only a maintained livestock trail, that makes a perfectly rideable mountain bike trail seen on the attached video between 2:40 and 5:45, where it crosses the creek over a narrow footbridge.
After the bridge, the fourth part of the ride joins Lake Fork Canyon (a 4WD gravel road) continuing northeast, then east-northeast where it crosses into the Valles Caldera National Preserve, at a gate, to become a maintained gravel road called "L-N Road Combined" and then "J Rd."
Start at an inobvious pull-out off Rte.126 about 0.9 miles north of the San Antonio Campground. There will be a green livestock gate and a Forest Service route marker 126A (if you see private property signs, you're in the wrong pull-out). The faded doubletrack quickly becomes a singletrack, contouring eventually to San Antonio Creek. Find a crossing and make your way directly uphill to an obvious road grade and singletrack.
The creek crossing may be tricky during periods of heavy runoff.
Follow the singletrack north through rolling forested terrain, past the large cabin and the bridge over the creek. You have two options here:
- A) Find the doubletrack on the other side and follow that north until the heavy metal gate of the Valles Caldera (easy).
- B) Follow the singletrack along the creek and the exclusion fence until a fence. Hike the steep uphill until the heavy gate mentioned in in option (A)(harder).
Once past this obnoxious and difficult gate, ride the doubletrack through the increasingly open terrain and the ancient lakebeds of the Valles to the San Antonio Corral. By this point, many options are possible turning this ride into either a family-friendly out-and-back, or an all day epic loop through the Valles and Sulphur Creek.