15 comments
Avatar Placeholder
Rangermurray
We did this loop, counter-clockwise, on 3/31/2022, with ebikes and 50mm tires. Started at the wildlife refuge visitor center, but unfortunately it is still closed because of Covid. We did chat with a volunteer park host before riding out, and she alerted us that in addition to the border patrol, we might encounter volunteer vigilantes patrolling as well. We did not, and only encountered one border patrol pickup on the entire loop. The gravel/hard packed roads to about mile 15-16 are in great condition (a feature of the heavy border patrol activity in the area). The route is quite close to the border fence at around mile 15 and we could have ridden right up to it. However, we didn’t feel like we wanted to bring that much attention to ourselves so we took pictures a bit further back. The route heads north after the border fence and the road surface was more of a wash, looser and rockier. After riding through this for a mile or two (or maybe more), the climb begins. The road surface was quite good. Our one encounter with the border patrol was on a curve on this climb. Lots of cows in this section who eyed us cautiously. Around mile 23, the road deteriorated into a washed out wash. Lots of rock and trenches to circumnavigate. I believe this lasted for about 3 miles and we were glad when we got out of it. The final stretch back to the visitor center was again on very smooth road and we flew along at high speed. Aside from the cows, we saw a few deer.Uploaded Image
Hide Replies 3
Avatar Placeholder
Master of GravelBachelor of GravelPhD of Gravel
Administrator
Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub
Thanks for the post. We appreciate you taking the time. A question we have would be if this rideable with some moisture in the road? We’ve been on this when it was fine. Gravel is always tricky as the surfaces really change. We are excited to see ebikes out there.
Hide Replies 2
Avatar Placeholder
Rangermurray
We are not sure how the gravel roads would be when wet. Don‘t know if they would turn to “cakey” clay/mud or not. They have a bit of loose particulate on the surface so it might give some traction when wet. If it was very wet, I think the sections that are through the washes would be difficult.
Hide Replies 1
Avatar Placeholder
PhD of GravelMaster of GravelBachelor of GravelGravel Girlie
We’ve been in the area when it’s been really wet. I bet the washes have water so that would make the one long wash pretty hard. We’ve seen some good mud but not on this route. How’s that for less than helpful!
Avatar Placeholder
TomG
I rode the route yesterday (2/15/21)… on a VERY windy day! I saw a pronghorn, lots of deer and many different bird species, plus lots of Border Patrol agents. Would have preferred bigger tires than 38c but then again I’m running a rental bike.
Avatar Placeholder
Erika Shaffer
I did this in an afternoon and really enjoyed it. I loved the start and finish the most. There was a lot of rough wash riding. I had 48s that that made it easier but I think I was out of the saddle for many miles. I didn't really see any wildlife except cattle:) Also what about the cemetery with all the Garcias out in the middle of nowhere? I couldn't find anything about that online. Does anyone know?
Uploaded ImageUploaded Image
Hide Replies 5
Avatar
PhD of GravelMaster of GravelBachelor of Gravel
Administrator
KevinE / Team Dirty Freehub
We researched the Garcias but haven't found much. Thanks for commenting!
Hide Replies 4
Avatar Placeholder
Reta Rutledge
The Garcias lived in the area for many years before selling to the Wildlife Refuge. Their ranch houuse and barn still stand toward the boundary with the National Forest to the east. The family members still come to the cemetary to care for the graves, have a cookout on the Weber grill that is sitting under the tree. That is what I can tell you about it.
Reta Rutledge, volunteer
VP Friends of BANWR
Hide Replies 3
Avatar Placeholder
Master of GravelBachelor of GravelPhD of Gravel
Administrator
Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub
Thanks so much for the info. We are going to reach out for maybe a podcast with you. We just love BANWR ... I watch your webcams all the time. Totally silly but I love it ... and every time we've been to BA, we have met the friendliest volunteers.
Hide Replies 2
Avatar Placeholder
Rets
I love it to and spend many wonderful hours there. We do have wonderful volunteers who want to help everyone enjoy BANWR.
What are you thinking for a podcast?
Hide Replies 1
Avatar Placeholder
Master of GravelBachelor of GravelPhD of Gravel
Administrator
Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub
If you can drop us an email via info@dirtyfreehub.org we can discuss it further.
Avatar Placeholder
Unverified comment
Heidi#1
Newly grated! The road was grated recently all the way to the border wall. Smooth sailing. The next section in the wash still had water on parts but totally rideable.
Avatar Placeholder
Crobrocker
We rode this 12/18. Our favorite ride in the area so far! The wild life reserve is beautiful! We saw lots of birds and pronghorn and white tail deer. I rode 38s and was wanting in places while my wife road 45s and laughed as she rolled by on some of the decents.

We saw a total of maybe 3 cars the entire ride. Highly recommended!
Avatar Placeholder
PhD of GravelMaster of GravelBachelor of GravelGravel Girl
Awesome day today ….riding was spectacular. We thoughts roads were mainly in great shape. Stop in at the visitor’s center (and thank all the volunteers who help keep the place beautiful!) go see the stuffed jaguar at the visitor’s center!
Avatar Placeholder
Jim Cav
We did this ride on 11.13.21. The scenery was great. This was my first time riding it, so I don't have a good point of reference for the road conditions. But, the roads seemed pretty rough due to the monsoons. Lots of rocks, and places with deep gravel and sand. There was water at the start, but it didn't taste all that great. Although it tasted better at the finish.