The Sunset Loop

El Paso, Texas

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This is a long, hard, treacherous ride through difficult terrain, a test for any mountain biker. Or it is a fairly routine, straightforward hour or so in the desert, if you bail onto one of the shortcut routes. But it is one of those world-class bike trails they ought to have the friggin’ Olympics on someday, it is that tough. The ride I describe for you starts with the Lower Sunset Trail and then connects with the Upper Sunset Trail to return you to the parking lot at the start. Some stretches through the arroyos are steep, loose, and desperately difficult. Some stretches are long and flat, but on loose ankle-deep gravel that I can barely ride, if at all. Some stretches are barely marked by bike tracks; you will only find your way because the trails are so well signed by the state of Texas. There are signs every half-mile or so that correspond to points on the map, and without them you are basically buzzard-bait. Take a map, take plenty of liquid, and sun screen up before you start. Screen up heavy, it will be a long day.

The Sunset Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This is a long, hard, treacherous ride through difficult terrain, a test for any mountain biker. Or it is a fairly routine, straightforward hour or so in the desert, if you bail onto one of the shortcut routes. But it is one of those world-class bike trails they ought to have the friggin’ Olympics on someday, it is that tough. The ride I describe for you starts with the Lower Sunset Trail and then connects with the Upper Sunset Trail to return you to the parking lot at the start. Some stretches through the arroyos are steep, loose, and desperately difficult.

Some stretches are long and flat, but on loose ankle-deep gravel that I can barely ride, if at all. Some stretches are barely marked by bike tracks; you will only find your way because the trails are so well signed by the state of Texas. There are signs every half-mile or so that correspond to points on the map, and without them you are basically buzzard-bait. Take a map, take plenty of liquid, and sun screen up before you start. Screen up heavy, it will be a long day."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: El Paso
Distance: 15
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Difficult
Season: Year-round; summers are very hot
Trailhead Elevation: 4,800 feet
Top Elevation: 5,000 feet
Local Contacts: Franklin Mountains State Park
Driving Directions: Directions to The Sunset Loop

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May 2018