2nd Annual
Tour of Socorro
April 19-20, 2008
Socorro, NM, USA
Socorro Fat Tire Fiesta

Barite Mine and Box Canyon

Name: Barite Mine and Box Canyon
3/5 Fitness 3/5 Skill 2/5 Route
Length: 17.4 miles, 4.0 hours
Elevation: 4600 ft min, 5200 ft max
Start: Escondida Bridge
Updated: Way back in 1993.
At the bottom of the slot. Copyright 2004 Mark Bottjer.

This ride explores a beautiful area on the east side of the Rio Grande, and includes a variety of riding conditions: single-track, some sand, and a couple of portages in the box canyon where the narrow stream-bed has cut through solid rock.

Climbing out from the valley. Copyright 2004 Mark Bottjer. At the Barite mine. Copyright 2004 Mark Bottjer. Heading toward the slot. Copyright 2004 Mark Bottjer. How NOT to get down. Copyright 2004 Mark Bottjer.


Escondida Bridge

Take I-25 exit 152, marked Escondida. The exit ramps dump you out onto NM 408; turn east (toward the valley floor). After about a 1/4 mile the road will make a sharp turn to the north, and start paralleling an irrigation ditch; continue for 1.4 miles to the intersection with Pueblito Road. Turn right onto Pueblito Road. After 1/2 mile you will encounter the mighty Escondida Bridge over the Rio Grande (don't blink!). Park in the dirt lot on the southeast side of the bridge.

To get there by bike from Socorro, see the trail Socorro to Escondida Bridge.

Mileage Log


Escondida Bridge. Head east on the paved road, following it as it heads south and becomes dirt.

1.4 DIRT

Pass the turn-off for the Quebradas Back Country Byway. Don't turn.

1.9 DIRT

Honey for sale.

2.6 DIRT

Welding. Both branches of the road rejoin shortly. Go south.

2 8 DIRT

Turn left up an arroyo (east); there should be some indication of a road. The road will become clear in 0.1 mile and immediately climb out of the arroyo onto the ridge on the south bank of the arroyo. Do not continue up the arroyo. If you miss the turn-off (which is easy to do), you will soon see bee hives on the right; go back about 0.1 mile (and make adjustments to the mileage log).

3.5 DIRT

Cross a buried pipeline. You are now past most of the sand.

3.9 DIRT

Gate. Continue east. Close the gate.

6.8 DIRT

Another gate. You will be in a valley, heading south.

7.1 DIRT

Barite mine area. Look at the crystals, but be careful of open mine shafts and deep pits. Exit this area toward the southeast on an old (barely visible) road right next to the cliff-like rock wall, across an arroyo. The road appears more like a single-track; it will be a good test of your riding skills!

8.4 DIRT

The road ends after a steep down-hill into a large arroyo. Down stream, to the right (west), is a very narrow and wonderful canyon. You can lower your bikes through the canyon and continue following our route which will circle back to the mine, or you can eave your bikes here, explore the canyon by foot, and return to the mine the way you came. To continue on the loop

8.5 DIRT

Follow the arroyo downstream for about 0.6 miles.

9.1 DIRT

Turn right up a side arroyo that is wide enough for a jeep, and soon shows evidence of vehicular traffic.

10.3 DIRT

Back at the Barite Mine. Retrace your path back to

17.8 DIRT

Escondida Bridge



Map courtesy of Socorro Country Fat Tire Trail Book, 2nd Edition (ISBN #0-88307-712-4).