This ride is a personal favorite, though some may balk at the idea of having to climb the steep entrance to Chamisa to get to the techy flow of Saddleback. But if you’re willing to suffer a bit in the beginning, it’s worth it. Make sure to park at the bottom of Nun’s Corner by the trail exit, then warm-up on the road before you hit Chamisa. Fast turns, chunk, drops and more await.
7. Rio en Medio
This ride can really be divided into two parts – both of them downhill. The upper sections are technical but mostly rideable by those who are experienced, and quite fun. The lowest part of the trail is an absolute mess of loose rocks, drops, boulders, exposure, etc. Regardless of its condition, this is one of those rides you do so you can brag to your friends, notch your belt and share a beer over. The good news is you can bail out about half way through at the Aspen Ranch parking lot, then head back up to do Winsor.
8. Santa Fe Rail Trail
If you’re looking for an easier ride with scenery, the Rail Trail might be for you. The trail begins downtown and follows the tracks south. Once out of town, the trail turns to packed dirt and gravel, with stunning views and only minor elevation changes. Ride all the way (15 miles) to Lamy if you are so inclined. The Legal Tender restaurant and Chili Line Brewery are waiting for you at the end.
9. Atalaya Trail
Atalaya is a great trail to test your fitness on. It’s technical, steep and challenging from top to bottom. Take the less-steep way up and you can decide to descend or continue up. If you come down you can link to Dale Ball trails. If you decide to continue, be prepared to walk a fair amount. But the payoff at the top is worth it. Descend over to Picacho, or turn it into a huge ride off the back side bordering the watershed.
10. Aspen Vista
Another classic Santa Fe mountain bike trail, Aspen Vista is actually a dirt road that climbs 6 miles to the top of Ski Santa Fe. The scenery is amazing and, while not technical, the elevation is enough to slow you down. Once you reach the top you can turn around or come down the ski area fence line then down Alamos Vista (this is a steep, loose, technical trail and full-suspension is a must.)
11. Rancho Viejo Loop
When you want to get away from it all, Rancho Viejo is your ride. It’s 18 miles of single track in the middle of nowhere, with fun descents, a fair amount of climbing, water crossings, epic views and more. This is an all-day affair. Bring a GPS, or be comfortable with backcountry route finding.
If you want to turn your time in New Mexico into an epic mountain bike trip, consider these nearby rides as well:
South Boundary Trail
One of the best rides in the country is a little over an hour away from Santa Fe. The 30+ mile route climbs from Angel Fire up to 10,000 feet among the Aspens, then a rip-roaring desert descent back into Taos. There are multiple route options, but most of them require a shuttle.
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Trails
Why these trails are relatively unknown is a mystery. The mountains above town are criss-crossed with fun, technical trails that traverse the volcanic landscape. Check out Perimeter Trail or Guaje Ridge Trail.
Santa Fe Bike Shops
Check with Santa Fe Bike Shops to get current trail conditions or recommendations on other rides in town. Several shops rent bikes, including full-suspension. Here’s the list
- Broken Spoke (505) 992-3102
- Mellow Velo (505) 995-8356
- NM Bike & Sport (505) 820-0809
- Rob & Charlie’s (505) 471-9119
- Sirius Cycles (505) 819-7311
- Sincere Cycles (505) 983-8081