General FAQs  (scroll down to read the Biking and Hiking Specific FAQs)

Is this on the regular Taos Ski Valley slopes?

No, same valley, other side. All on private land.

 

Why do I need an access permit?

Because you are on private land, and you must pay a fee, and you must have permission to access the land. You are welcome to recreate on the property so long as you follow the rules and are courteous to our staff and to other trail users. We have to have real good insurance in order to allow this access, and that costs money. We also have to maintain the trails, the porta potty, the signage, print forms and trail maps. Please respect the property by picking up after yourself, and by staying on the trails.

 

Isn’t this public land?

No. This is private land, and you are our guests.

 

How many miles of riding and hiking are there and what's the elevation gain?

There are approximately 18 miles of trails and old roads. The climb straight to the top of Frazer on Frazer Mtn. Rd. is 5.5 miles from the parking lot one-way. The Alpine Wildflower Loop is 10.3 mi. The Crossover Loop is approx. 9 mi. The elevation is between 10,000 and 12,163 feet so expect to be short of breath.

 

Are the trails signed?

Yes. All the trails and roads are signed.

 

Can I take my dog?

Yes, if your dog can be kept under strict voice command. You may encounter horseback riders on the public trail and other trail users, so your dog must be kept under complete control. If any incident occurs where your dog causes damage or injury to anything or anyone, you will be strictly liable for any such damage or injury.

 

What is the weather and climate like?

Read all about it on the Weather page.

 

Where do I get a trail map?

Trail maps are available at the trailhead kiosk, and wherever access permits are sold. Please recycle your map and do not litter.

 

Where do I park?

Lots of info on the Location & Info page.

 

Are there any Village services?

There are several great places to eat, drink, shop and sleep. Ride the chair lift, and check the Chamber website here for upcoming events.

 

Can I camp?

Not on Northside. We have no camping facilities, and no fires are allowed on the property at all. No smoking is allowed on the property either. Anyone violating this rule will be evicted.

 

Do you have a patrol staff?

Yes. There will be people working at the trailhead at various hours. Staff will be riding the trails and working on the trails. Please expect to be asked to show your Northside access permit and have it with you at all times. This applies anytime you are on Northside property as defined by the boundaries shown on the trail map.

 

I heard I could earn a free access permit by doing trail work?

Yes! We will have work days for trail building and trail maintenance. 4 hours of work gets you a half price season/yearly permit and 8 hours gets you a free season/yearly permit.

 

Biking Specific FAQs

Hiking Specific FAQs

What's the riding like?

This is high alpine riding, so the trails and old roads vary widely from smooth to rocky. The first mile or so has the most climbing, so don't be discouraged. The steepest trail section is a 23% grade hill climb we call “Big Daddy” on the Frazer Mountain Road. If you ride the area clockwise you will come down it. There are three other climbs (all on the Bull of The Woods Road) which are named the First, Second, and Third "Mothers", mostly because of the pitch. The First Mother is short, steeper and loose. The Second Mother is longer but packed. We do have a singletrack bypass for the Third Mother called Sawmill Trail. Gold Camp Trail has a short steep section called "Hike-A'Bike" where you will have to hike it uphill. The majority of the other inclines are less than 15% grade. So the first mile and a half from the trailhead kiosk is the most difficult, after that the climbs are more mellow with plenty of breaks. The Crossover Trail undulates across the mountain face and connects the Bull of The Woods Trail with the Frazer Mountain Road. Overall the terrain is not considered technical except for a few spots, (and on the expert only trails), but interesting enough to keep you on your toes and having fun. If you don't feel comfortable on singletrack trails, you can ride the entire area on double-track. Of course the ride back to the village is a rippin' fun downhill!

 

What should my ability level be?

You should be a decent intermediate to expert level rider to have the most fun, however, it is more important to have a good level of fitness and an adventuresome attitude. If you have to hike the bike up one of the steeper pitches, no worries, you're not the only one.

 

What should I bring?

Every rider is REQUIRED to wear a helmet and eye protection. It's a smart idea to bring rain gear as afternoon thunderstorms are very common and can move in quickly. Mornings are typically clear blue skies, so don't be fooled. Temperatures cool off fast in an alpine environment with a little cloud cover.

 

Besides the usual bike repair stuff, bring water and a snack to enjoy at one of our many scenic overlooks. We also recommend a great attitude for adventure and several friends.

 

What are your dates and hours?

Usually the trails dry out by mid to late June and snows again by the end of October. The trails are open dawn till dusk every day. Check the Trail Updates page for the latest news.

 

Are there bicycles available to rent?

Yes. More info on the Bike Rental page.

What's the hiking like?

This is high alpine hiking, so the trails and old roads vary widely from smooth to rocky. The first mile or so has the most climbing, so don't be discouraged. The steepest trail section is a 23% grade hill climb we call “Big Daddy” on the Frazer Mountain Road. If you hike the area clockwise you will come down it. There are three other climbs (all on the Bull of The Woods Road) which are named the First, Second, and Third "Mothers", mostly because of the pitch. The First Mother is short, steeper and loose. The Second Mother is longer but packed. We do have a trail bypass for the Third Mother called Sawmill Trail. The majority of the other inclines are less than 15% grade. So the first mile and a half from the trailhead kiosk is the most difficult, after that the climbs are more mellow with plenty of breaks. The Crossover Trail undulates across the mountain face and connects the Bull of The Woods Trail with the Frazer Mountain Road.

 

If you're new to Northside, we recommend hiking the Alpine Wildflower Loop. Go to the Favorite Rides page for more information. For information on how to access Northside for hiking, check out the Location & Info page.

 

What should my ability level be?

All of the trails in Taos Ski Valley are rated "strenuous" with only the Williams Lake Trail rated "moderate". Hiking on Northside requires an initial climb of two miles to the Bull Of The Woods Pasture where the terrain levels out. We do have a shorter loop to

Jean's Meadow that is a one mile climb.

 

What should I bring?

It's a smart idea to bring rain gear as afternoon thunderstorms are very common and can move in quickly. Mornings are typically clear blue skies, so don't be fooled. Temperatures cool off fast in an alpine environment with a little cloud cover.

 

Dress in layers, bring water and a snack to enjoy at one of our many scenic overlooks, a stand of aspen, or a quiet meadow. We also recommend a great attitude for adventure and several friends.

 

What are your dates and hours?

The trails are open for hiking and snowshoeing dawn till dusk every day. Check the Trail Updates page for the latest news.

 

Northside at Taos Ski Valley, LLC • PO Box 400 • Taos Ski Valley, NM 87525

575-776-3233