Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ride Report: Bosquecito Road

Bosquecito Road runs along the east side of the Rio Grande, starting at Pueblito to the north, and ending at Hwy 380, just east of San Antonio. It's roughly 16 miles long. I had never ridden its full distance, having heard of deep sand traps...

When recently riding the Quebradas Byway, I noticed Bosquecito Road had fresh chip seal heading south from Pueblito. The southern part of the road, at the intersection with Hwy 380, also looked paved. That was enough to tempt me us out for an exploration ride.

The chip seal is only present for the first two miles on the north side and perhaps three miles on the south side, but it was a surprisingly pleasant ride. Rumors of unridable sand were overblown, though rain on Monday definitely helped, since the mud had dried out in the valley and the sandier sections through the Quebradas were still relatively well packed.

The road meanders through the Bosque before rising above it to the east, flanking the Quebradas. It's different than the Quebradas byway, offering some time in the Bosque followed by nice vistas of the valley, though conditions are definitely a bit rough.

Expect some ruts, wash boarding, and sand, and hit it up after light rain for the best riding experience. That being said, finding a line that works is half the fun on a gravel bike!

Overall ride report:
  • Vehicles passed: two.
  • Loose dogs: one (and a benign one at that).
  • Chatty geese: too many to count.  
  • Recommended setup: 700c x 40mm minimum. 
  • Round Trip Distance: 35 miles, connecting through Farm to Market Road and Hwy 1 back to Socorro. 
  • Best Season: Fall, after the leaves turn should be optimal. 
  • Other Need-to-Know Info: Wait until it's rained, then hit it up 3-7 days later.


  1. So no gates or private property issues on this road? It looks like mostly BLM land. I'm looking at using it as part of multi day bikepacking loop including Quebrada and Magdelana.


    1. Hi Todd - no gates or access issues on Bosquecito road. It's a quasi-maintained county road, and while it crosses private property, there are no gates or posted signs. If you'd like some input on your proposed route through the Magdalena and Socorro area, I'd be happy to give you my two cents! Cheers, Rob

  2. Rob - Thanks for the info. Any comments or info on our route would be great. Here's a map of some loops i'm looking at:

    1. We're riding plus-sized bikes, Surly ECR and Troll w/ 3 and 2.5 inch tires.

    2. Hey Todd -

      Magdalena / Socorro loop and alt - Unfortunately I don't think this will work. The Sevilleta has a zero bikes policy, and both routes cross it :( Their access rules are odd - I don't think you can even hike/walk through most of the refuge. I know the WSMR P RT 5 boundary, north-east of Escondida, is gated and posted as no public entry. You might call them to clarify when/how/where you can cross the refuge (If you do, please let me know what you find out, I'm certainly interested!)

      As for alternatives, you might consider routes that loop south rather than north, such as Hwy 52 or 107, which are both rather pleasant and keep you close to forest service land for camping. Hwy 1 south of Socorro is also a relatively nice ride for making the loop.

      If you're on a mountain bike, there are some options that go deeper into the San Mateo or Magdalena mountains. What sort of bike would you be on?

      Quebradas / Bosquecito - Would work fine, no access issues. The byway is pretty and worth doing, though I would make the loop using WSMR S 5 and WSMR P5, which could form a loop around to the east and north of the Quebradas byway. I plan to scout this out in a couple of weeks after hearing good things (I've done something similar, but not quite this route...) You might look at the map in my most recent blog post for a little inspiration in this area.

    3. I e-mailed the ranger for Sevilleta NWR - they confirmed their general limited access policies and no bicycle access through the NWR... :(

    4. Thanks Rob, I didn't know the NWR areas were so restricted. Too bad, looks like good riding potential. We'll probably do a loop on the Quebradas road with the roads further to the east that you mentioned.