Words and Images by Nicolas Switalski
Time stands still here, it almost seems it has done so for some decades. From time to time reality settles in, but I can imagine clearly what old Mexico would have looked like. This lost town in the middle of the western Sierra Madre has its own magic, cobblestone streets, old pickup trucks running through town, some working in perfect conditions, and some clearly have been parked there for no less than eternity accumulating rust and nursing weeds growing inside them, the typical “Ranchero” with his “sombrero” riding his horse to get to his home or field are unique images from this old town. Life moves at a different pace in “this part of town”.
Mascota and its surrounding towns like Navidad, Juanacatlan and San Sebastian del Oeste have a great history, here the Hacienda of San Sebastian keeps some memories stopped in time
Navidad is a picturesque town higher up in the Sierra that has some great riding trails. Temperature and climate change drastically from the lower town like Mascota, it can get quite chilly this high up.
Suddenly everything goes fast again, time flies, and our steeds look futuristic, we embrace the moment and enjoy what these paths line up for us. These ancient trails, maybe once used by miners or locals traveling from one town to another become our playground. But what matters is right now, this moment, the never-ending perfect trail that flows through these mountains like rivers, and lets us come along for the ride.
Let go and enjoy the ride…
Mascota and its surrounding towns like Juanacatlan, Navidad and San Sebastian del Oeste to name a few have become a popular destination for mountain biking. It’s relative closeness to Puerto Vallarta and its international airport make this a great destination away from the tourist venues and into a more authentic Mexico. It’s a two and a half hour drive from busy Puerto Vallarta to get to Mascota, and normally the road access to this town is in good shape, but from time to time the old paved road suffers from heavy rains and can get a bit complicated but for most of the year it’s fine.
There is plenty of accommodation, and good little restaurants and coffee shops, to make the trip worthwhile. Don’t expect five-star hotels, but the hotels in Mascota are quite nice!
Trails are mostly long natural trails with few man-made features. Most of these paths were once used for mining purposes or for communicating between towns, so they carry a lot of history, there are new trails too built specifically for mountain biking. There is a great variety of trails going from fast flowy singletrack to steep, tight and rowdy switchbacks that will make your arms pump and brakes scream! Rest assured, these trails are fun!
Mascota Bike A.K.A. Peter Bocaccio is a one of a kind fun character takes care of these ancient paths, and has done a great job maintaining and promoting these trails. He is always scouting for new ones and will always let you in on his latest trail discovery.
Trailforks can be used to find several of the trails here and that can give you a glimpse of what the trails are like and where to find them but be sure to contact Mascota bike to pay your trail fee, and they’ll surely be glad help you out with any details.
There are a few guiding companies that can get you sorted out if you are planning on coming here, for sure give Mascota Bike or Mascota Ride a call and they can sort you out with anything you might need.
Every great journey comes to an end, and it must so we can start writing the next one. But the memory scrapbook will always be there projecting images and experiences to feed our minds with great memories. Let’s keep filling it up!
Adios amigos, till the next one!
Special thanks to these great riders and friends: Julia Hoffman, Daniel Schaefer and Alvin Chilldown
The Mazatlan Post