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Old 05-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
Pangia OP
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Question Cochiti / Dome Road / Jemez / FSR 144 / NM

NM Riders,

A friend and I are looking into going from Eldorado / Santa Fe to Cochiti, up the Dome Road to HWY 4 and eventually do a little exploring on 144. We will probably stop by San Antonio Springs as well. Bikes are XR650L and F800GS. We both like dirt a lot more than asphalt and like to explore. We are looking for Forest Service Roads, Jeep Roads, Two Tracks, Easy single track (not typical Jemez single track / switchbacks on these bikes).

Questions:

1. We will probably explore FSR 144 and maybe 106. Any comments or suggestions on these roads or areas?

2. It looks like 144 wraps around the Caldera to 565 to Espanola…is that a good loop to consider?

3. Anyone know where we might connect to or touch the CDR (Continental Divide Route)?

4. Is there a good way to turn this route, or a portion of it into a loop?

5. On our way back to Santa Fe area, we want to go up the old La Bajada switchbacks. I heard that a few months ago a rancher was laying pipe on one of the roads and it was hard for a KTM 530 with a good rider to make it over the road. There are two sets of switchbacks on La Bajada - does anyone know which one is more drivable and which one is torn up?

Thank you!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Dropping down to Cerrillos on 14 to Waldo Canyon Rd. would get you to dirt pretty quick. Take Waldo to I-25 then go south to the Cochiti exit. Then you can get up to Dome Rd and Jemez. 289 to 36 will keep you off pavement longer. 36 will put you out by the Caldera and you can then go left and pick up 126 to 144.

Having answers to all your questions might take some of the adventure out, just go ride and report back with your findings.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
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FR106 is closed to motorized vehicle access now that the new MVUMs are out.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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La Bajada

The western switchbacks of La Bajada are more tame. The last few yards of the eastern ascent is brutal on any bike

I've descended the west side on my 1200GSA..once.. Personally I wouldn't want to climb *up* either the switchbacks on an F800, but I also have no skills It will be a workout.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burque magoo View Post
FR106 is closed to motorized vehicle access now that the new MVUMs are out.
And there is one spot that is not exactly GS-friendly anyway.

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Originally Posted by TaterHarry View Post
The western switchbacks of La Bajada are more tame. The last few yards of the eastern ascent is brutal on any bike

I've descended the west side on my 1200GSA..once.. Personally I wouldn't want to climb *up* either the switchbacks on an F800, but I also have no skills It will be a workout.
The switchbacks aren't too bad, and not terribly long. West is a lot easier. I did them on a 950 and kept it shiny side up.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chobro View Post
Dropping down to Cerrillos on 14 to Waldo Canyon Rd. would get you to dirt pretty quick. Take Waldo to I-25 then go south to the Cochiti exit. Then you can get up to Dome Rd and Jemez. 289 to 36 will keep you off pavement longer. 36 will put you out by the Caldera and you can then go left and pick up 126 to 144.

Having answers to all your questions might take some of the adventure out, just go ride and report back with your findings.
Chobro: Thank you for the 289 to 36 tip and you are right…I don't need no stinking answers…just a few hints on places to get lost and explore…. We will be doing Waldo…..I have seen a photo of an old road in the Jemez with a tunnel on it…maybe old logging train route…any ideas where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burque magoo View Post
FR106 is closed to motorized vehicle access now that the new MVUMs are out.
Burque Magoo, thanks for the heads up…..too bad… I always thought 106 was a beautiful way in…one of my favorites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaterHarry View Post
The western switchbacks of La Bajada are more tame. The last few yards of the eastern ascent is brutal on any bike

I've descended the west side on my 1200GSA..once.. Personally I wouldn't want to climb *up* either the switchbacks on an F800, but I also have no skills It will be a workout.
……I will report back….hopefully with good news and pics….

Thanks guys for your replies!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:22 PM   #7
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Thumb La Bajada

Quote:
Originally Posted by selaznog View Post
And there is one spot that is not exactly GS-friendly anyway.

The switchbacks aren't too bad, and not terribly long. West is a lot easier. I did them on a 950 and kept it shiny side up.
Selaznog - Yes, I remember the not-so-GS-friendly spot on 106….

Your report on La Bajada is encouraging…hope to report back the same!!…Thanks!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pangia View Post
I have seen a photo of an old road in the Jemez with a tunnel on it…maybe old logging train route…any ideas where?
Gilman tunnels perhaps? 376, pick it up N of Jemez Pueblo, comes out on 126.


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Old 05-15-2013, 04:11 PM   #9
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Could expand your loop by taking FR10 south from Hwy 4 to connect back to Hwy 4 south of Walatowa visitor center, turn right on Hwy 4 to 485 through the Gilman tunnels which then turns into FR376 to Hwy 126 and connect to FR144.
Could make the loop bigger yet, several options like going out towards Cuba, or north towards Coyote and Youngsville while staying on decent forest roads.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Could expand your loop by taking FR10 south from Hwy 4 to connect back to Hwy 4 south of Walatowa visitor center, turn right on Hwy 4 to 485 through the Gilman tunnels which then turns into FR376 to Hwy 126 and connect to FR144.
+1, FR10 is cool. That would be a great loop.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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Loop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
Could expand your loop by taking FR10 south from Hwy 4 to connect back to Hwy 4 south of Walatowa visitor center, turn right on Hwy 4 to 485 through the Gilman tunnels which then turns into FR376 to Hwy 126 and connect to FR144.
Could make the loop bigger yet, several options like going out towards Cuba, or north towards Coyote and Youngsville while staying on decent forest roads.
Ditch has it right--if you want to get to the CDT you will need to take one of the west side fire roads off of 376 toward Cuba then cut back in on 126 to pickup the CDT but that will put you well north of 144--more toward Abiquiu.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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Thumb Thanks guys - that's what i was looking for!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
Could expand your loop by taking FR10 south from Hwy 4 to connect back to Hwy 4 south of Walatowa visitor center, turn right on Hwy 4 to 485 through the Gilman tunnels which then turns into FR376 to Hwy 126 and connect to FR144.
Could make the loop bigger yet, several options like going out towards Cuba, or north towards Coyote and Youngsville while staying on decent forest roads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chobro View Post
+1, FR10 is cool. That would be a great loop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AKASY View Post
Ditch has it right--if you want to get to the CDT you will need to take one of the west side fire roads off of 376 toward Cuba then cut back in on 126 to pickup the CDT but that will put you well north of 144--more toward Abiquiu.


THANKS GUYS - THAT'S WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!!!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:58 PM   #13
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I believe those tunnels are off of the 4 on 485.

On Monday I did I25 to 22, 22 to 289, 289 to 36, 36 to 4, 4 to 126, 126 to 103 and ended up on 96. From 96 you can go South West to 550/Cuba or Northeast to Espanola. Started in ABQ on my 1150 GS with a full tank and made it to Cuba before I needed to refill. There are a lot of two track roads and other fun stuff off of 103 I did a few, but since I didn't have a plan or know exactly were I was I was more worried about getting gas then just rolling around. Next time I will bring camping gear and make a full day of it!


Washed out section of 289 in mid April. It is mostly dry now.


Where a two track road dead ended off of 103

If your looking for a gnarly washed out bumpy road check out how far you can go down 286. I only went about 2 miles before I turned around. The signs said it dead ended.

Does anyone know why they closed the end/dirt road part of 22? I enjoyed the climbs and easy water crossings. Totally bummed it is barricaded up.

tuf2c screwed with this post 05-15-2013 at 11:04 PM
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:34 PM   #14
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Cool2 Cochiti-289-36-268-4-144-around the Caldera-Espanola

Thanks for all the tips...we ended up going Waldo-Cochiti-289-36-268-4-144-around the Caldera-Espanola......here are a few pics







Wish I took more photos, but we were too busy having fun riding....I sure hope we see some rain, the forests are painfully dry....
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:56 PM   #15
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a year later...

Hey, are you guys still riding around NM? I'm looking for dirtbike explorers to join on a ride. - Jill
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