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Mountain Bike Trails - Santa Fe

The unique and varied terrain of Northern New Mexico makes Santa Fe an ideal mountain biking destination. The following list will help you find a few of the best trails for your ventures. Please be safe and always let someone know where you're going when heading out on a trail. 

Enjoy!

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Dale Ball South

Length: 5 miles. Level: Intermediate.

More known as a hiking trail, but it is a good trail for mountain bikes as well, if you're ok with a little hike-and-bike.

Directions to trail: Take Upper Canyon Road to just past the Cerro Gordo trailhead. Take a right up a steep dirt road. There is a single track that takes off to the left about 100 feet up the road. After that the trail is well marked with maps at every junction.

 

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Dale Ball North

Trail Length 6 or 7 +/- miles. Level: Intermediate.

These are tricky, technical single-track twisters through the pinon woods in the foothills overlooking Santa Fe. The tread is good and fast but watch out for the soft shoulders and tight switchbacks and the odd tree root! The outside loop is about 5 miles +/- with cut off trails to vary distances. 

Directions: From downtown Santa Fe drive toward the Ski Basin on Hyde Park Road (NM 475). Look for the trailhead parking lot on the left, at Sierra Del Norte, just across from Cerros Colorados Estates. Approximately 5 minute drive from Plaza area.

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Dale Ball Central and Connecting Trails

Trail Length 7+ miles. Level: Intermediate.

These trails connect to some older trails that have been fixed up, and some newer sections. There is a little more climbing than the North section and the tread is not quite as smooth. Riding the connector trails enables you to vary distances and experiences.

Trail Directions: There are two access points: one at the North trail head on Hyde Park Road heading to the Ski Basin (NM 475) at Sierra del Norte, and the other near the intersection of Cerro Gordo and Upper Canyon Road.

 

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Chamisa Trail

Hike and Bike Trail. Length: 4.75 miles round trip. Level:Easy

Only six miles from the plaza. The Chamisa Trail is well defined and winds through rolling terrain and meadows for 4.75 miles round trip. The hike will take you through large stands of evergreen trees. This is an enjoyable hike or trail run close to town. (Snow in winter possible). 

Directions: At the North end of Paseo de Peralta, turn away from the plaza heading north on Washington Avenue to Artist Rd (Ski Basin Rd, NM 475 aka Hyde Park Rd). Follow Hyde Park Rd (NM475) 5.6 miles to a wide canyon with two prominent parking areas on the south and north sides. Park on the north side. Locate trailhead and follow to big Tesuque creek. 

 
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Borrego Trail

Length: 4 miles Round Trip.

Level: Easy. Altitude: 8240 to 8800 ft Seasonal: 3 Season (Snow in winter: Snowshoe) Driving Distance: 8.5 Miles from Plaza

Just 2.5 miles further up the road from the Chamisa Trail is another excellent choice for hikers, bikers and trail runners. The Borrego is a loop that follows three trail systems for approximately four miles. It is well defined, winding through pines with rolling elevation, dropping down to Big Tesuque Creek and a lovely meadow perfect for a picnic. The trail follows the Winsor trail for a short distance west to the Bear Wallow Trail. Follow the Bear Wallow Trail uphill until it reconnects with the Borrego Trail.

Directions: Follow Hyde Park Rd (Ski Basin Rd) 8.3 miles to Borrego Trail Head. The Parking lot is on the left.

 
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Atalaya Mountain Trail

Length: Trail 174 is approx. 7 miles round-trip. Trail 170 is 4.6 miles round-trip. Level: Hike and Bike, Easy-Difficult. Altitude: 8240 to 8800 ft. 4 Season (Snow in winter possible)

Accessible from the parking lot at St. Johns College, this is one of the most popular and easily accessible hiking trails in Santa Fe. Hikers and bikers have the option of taking the longer route (Trail 174), which is approximately 7 miles round-trip, or parking farther up near the Ponderosa Ridge development and doing a 4.6-mile loop (Trail 170) instead. Both trails eventually join and take you toward the top of Atalaya Mountain, a 9,121-foot peak. The first few miles of the trail are relatively easy, but it becomes increasingly steep and strenuous as you near the summit of Atalaya Mountain. All they way up and especially at the top there are great views of the Rio Grande River valley and the city.

 

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Galisteo Basin Preserve

Length: Currently approx. 14 miles of terrific hike, bike and horse riding trails. 50 miles are planned by the Commonweal Conservancy.

Easy - Intermediate for bikers. All seasons. Distance from Plaza: Approx. 30 miles.

30 miles south of Santa Fe near Lamy. Minimal signage once on trails, but good maps at trail heads. Views are spectacular. Download a PDF map of the Galisteo Basin Preserve here (1 MB file). Or check the map link for directions.

Directions: Take I25 toward Las Vegas. Exit onto the 285 toward Eldorado, Lamy, Moriarty. Drive approximately 15 miles and once over the ridge and past the railroad tracks, before you reach the turn to Lamy, there is a low profile sign to the Commonweal Galisteo Basin Preserve on the right. Signs to trailheads are well marked. Once on trails, the signage is minimal.

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