East Loop Trail

East Loop Trail in the Nambe Badlands
  • Description

    A popular single-track loop that forms the east side of a “figure-8”, with the West Loop Trail being the shared western side.  Easier ride than the West Loop Trail. The west side of this trail, which is oriented north-south, is shared as the east side of the West Loop Trail. Normally the East Loop Trail is ridden clockwise.  This loop is easily accessed from the SR 503 trailhead.

  • Distance

    2.0 miles (3.2 km)

  • Elevation Gain/Loss

    +220 ft / – 220 ft

  • Single-track loop

    Normally ridden clockwise

  • Single-track

    Single-track

  • Environmental Awareness

    • Traverses cryptobiotic crusts — stay off the cryptobiotic soils.
    • Keep the Single-Track Single!
    • Do not cut or trim pinon and juniper trees
    • Do not create short-cut trails

Natural Resource Concerns, Impacts, and Mitigations

The northwest section of the East Loop Trail has serious gullied tread trail damage.  Trail users have gone around these deep gullies, resulting in trail widening.  Trail reconstruction that incorporates knicks and rolling grade dips to direct water off the trail tread will help prevent further erosion.  The deeper gullied tread section will need to be filled, requiring significant labor.

The East Loop Trail has been in commission for at least 50 years.  The trail damage from water erosion on the NW corner of the East Loop Trail is fairly recent, resulting from reduced trail maintenance.  In earlier times local trail users kept on top of minimal water-bars and blocked runoff channels with dead vegetation.

It will require significant labor to reconstruct the NW section of this trail, however, regular trail maintenance should prevent future water erosion scars.

Please see the map to the right for the locations and photos of the resource damage on the East Loop Trail.

(c) Copyright - Friends of the Nambe Badlands / All Rights Reserved