El Lobo Lupus is a bikepacking loop-us (“lupus”) that heads through the high elevation heart of the White Mountains, Blue Range, and Mogollon Rim of eastern Arizona where the Mexican Gray Wolf has been reintroduced. The Mexican Wolf, also known as "El Lobo," is a highly endangered subspecies of the Gray Wolf. It was nearly wiped out by predator-eradication programs, but the species was reintroduced to Arizona and New Mexico in 1998 and has slowly increased to a population of over 200. Riders will travel through the territory of El Lobo - mountainous terrain known as the "Alps of Arizona." This land encompasses not only tributary headwaters of the Gila and Little Colorado Rivers but also some of the tallest peaks in Arizona at Escudilla and Baldy.
Bikepackers will traverse through miles of subalpine meadows lined with conifers and aspens, travel through dense ponderosa pine forests, ride along trout-filled rivers and lakes, and get endless high-elevation views. Cyclists will ride up to 10,000 feet on Escudilla Mountain and down to 5,800 feet along the Blue River near the last federally-designated Primitive Area in the United States. Look forward to riding along the banks of the Black River, staring at the complex neon greens of Hannagan Meadow, seeing the ecological succession of montane forests after the Wallow Fire, riding the perimeter of high-altitude Terry Flat, passing by enormous lakes in big sky country, and catching glimpses of wildlife such as Mexican Wolves, Black Bears, Mountain Lions, Elk, Big Horn Sheep, and Deer.
Find the Route Guide, Maps, and GPX here.