“The 8-mile, modernly strenuous, trail system offers expansive views of Seminole Canyon and the Rio Grande, which forms the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. Whether riding a mountain bike or hiking, be sure to take a moment and reveal in the world-class scenery.”
Canyon Rim Trail at Seminole State Park Texas
Level: Intermediate, great practice for intermediates to improve rock riding skills, fun for advanced, and a good challenge for beginners looking to gain desert rock riding skills. Fantastic canyon views for all!!
Terrain: Single track limestone rocks, flat lava rock, desert, rugged, gravel double track
On a cool March day, I rode this epically beautiful rocky desert trail. Bringing a liter of water, snacks and sunscreen I headed out on the Canyon Rim Trail from our campsite at Seminole State Park. After spending the previous afternoon exploring parts of the Canyon, along with its 4000 year old pictographs, while on a guided tour. I was now stoked to take to this area by my favorite means of transportation, the mountain bike.
With L7 semi-blasting in one ear, I sped down the large gravel double track dipping into the trail. It’s been a few years since I’ve ridden desert rocks and the love came gushing back as if it had never left! As if my love couldn’t get any deeper I turned a corner exposing the entire Seminole Canyon. I stopped in my tracks and just looked. Miles beyond miles of Canyon. My thoughts were taken to the natives. They lived on this land. Yeah it was tough but the pay off had to be the views. Now I had the privilege of riding in their back yard. Did they take moments of awe and just look, like I had? Wiping the drool from my chin I moved on.
Guided by the ding dong of my bike bells, I wondered if I would encounter any of the many animals that live in the area. Maybe a rabbit or deer? A black bear, I hope they hear my bells. Or a rattlesnake or too, I REALLY hope they hear my bell. They have ears, right? The pleasure and freedom of riding took over my fears of beasty bites.
The colors of the rocks changed from black to red to brown and back again. The cacti and plants were even more diverse in colors with reds, purples, yellows, blues and whites of newly blossomed spring flowers. I found it hard to pay attention to the path, I was so distracted by the vividness of this place. Following the trail head directions, I took my time to enjoy, to connect and most importantly, I made sure that I didn’t accidentally ride off the canyon edge!
It was a cool over cast day and the closer I got to the US/Mexico boarder of the Rio Grande the darker the skies became (no pun intended???). This grand river had not shown her lovely face, just yet. At each turn I hoped she’d be there to welcome me. With that thought, I turned the bend to a turquoise river flowing to meet up with the Lady Grande herself. Matched in color and grandeur, the rivers flowed below as I flowed above.
Thanks to the great trail markings, I knew I was about 5 or so miles into the ride and was just about to reach the overlook. Laying Skidmark gently down, I sat on the canyon steps. Looking out, there was just a matter of feet separating me from Mexico. And a Grande River. I got to thinking about what a boarder means? Not only to people but to the landscape, to nature herself. What did Lady Grande think bout all this? What happens when we touch this beauty that only nature can build? Do we have that right? And if you say we do, then an even better question is, should we?
After filling my head with deep deep deep thoughts, I thanked the river for the great views and made my way back to camp via the double track. The desert terrain steadily transitioned from arid to spring blossoms. All smiles, I was beyond stoked about my first ride of the year, and yes, of this year. And yes, I know its April.
The canyon views bring the past to the present, with strong natural beauty making us all grateful for the natural epicness of this earth. If you’re looking for an afternoon of fun, rocky, flowing single track this trail is for you. A big thank you to the Texas State Parks for preserving this land and for allowing us to enjoy it and all its wonder.