Northside - Alpine Wildflower Loop


In the late 1800s, this area was developed as working copper and gold mines known as Twining and Amizette. A few decades later, Ernie Blake on his flights between Santa Fe and Carbondale discovered the area. When he saw the place, an alpine ski area appeared in his mind and that was when Taos Ski Valley was born, and later became a popular destination for skiers and mountain bikers alike.

The Northside of the area offers some of the best New Mexico’s trails with high alpine terrain. The rides here are combination of old mining roads and mountain singletrack built for bikes. Some trails feature steep terrain with serious climbs and some sections require hike-a-bike for exciting downhills. You can also easier and shorter trails and loops on the lower half of the mountain beside some long-distance rides in the system.  

As for The Wildflower Alpine Loop, it is one of the moderate rides with some technical features for advanced riders. The loop can be done in a few hours or less, or you can make it a longer scenic ride by stopping at many beautiful overlooks.


This 17-mile trail has 60% of singletrack and some rocky sections. Also, the ride is pretty steep.


The ride begins in the Twining Campground parking lot in TSV.

Food and drink

After the ride, treat yourself a margarita or local beer served with great New Mexican food at the Stray Dog Cantina. If you want to bring something home, the Box Canyon gift shop has lots of interesting and unique artwork from locals.

Further info

From the parking lot, ride up Twining road, turn left on Phoenix Switchback and continue to the entry gate to Northside. Take the trail around the gate on the right and continue 1/4 mile to the kiosk, permits and maps are available here.

Or check out maps of the ride and surrounding areas at Gearing Up Bike Shop and Taos Cyclery in Taos.


The information on this page is sourced from:

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15.907 km / 9.884 mi

Total Distance

808 m / 2,652 ft

Total Ascent

808 m / 2,652 ft

Total Descent

3,543 m / 11,624 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Advanced (Black)
Ride Duration: options
Fitness Level: High
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Trail Signage: Good
Mobile Coverage: Limited
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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