Santa Fe has five distinct riding areas and other outlier trails. Depending on the time of year, weather, and type of riding you enjoy, there’s almost always a trail system that will meet your needs. Let’s take a closer look.
Located on the eastern edge of downtown, Dale Ball Trails offer quite a good bit of variety for in-town trails. Starting at 7,200′, Dale Ball Trails almost entirely forested with pinon and juniper and ponderosa pines higher up. From the high points, you will enjoy excellent views of downtown and the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
- XC/Trail style trails
- Moderate to Technical in difficulty
- Best March-November
- Accessible from town
Fast, fun, and easy to access: the La Tierra trail system is the go-to system for XC riders and a great winter option. Like Dale Ball Trails, La Tierra can be ridden to from town or hosts a handful of large trailheads that are rarely busy. Rather than elevation, La Tierra offers a more classic desert riding experience, which makes it great year-round and a fun option for most riders. La Tierra also hosts a technical area and dirt jump park.
- XC trails, technical and dirt jump areas
- Easy to Moderate in difficulty
- Best year-round (exception for mud during snow melts)
- Accessible from town or parking at trailheads
If you weren’t aware that Santa Fe has miles and miles of alpine and dense forested singletrack, you are now. Starting around 8,000′ and topping out above 12,000′, our Upper Mountain trails traverse a variety of terrain including rocky chutes, aspen groves, ponderosa stands, and scrub. In the summer months, these are the premiere trails for riders looking for big climbs, fast descents, and abundant scenery.
- Trail to All Mountain style riding
- Moderate to Extreme in difficulty
- Typically April through October
- Accessible primarily from Hyde Park Road
Galisteo Basin Preserve (GBP) is our go-to year-round riding destination. With classic desert scenery and miles of purpose-built trails, GBP offers a winter reprieve for local riders as it is typically another 5-10 warmer than in town. Located a 15-minute drive from downtown, GBP is a classic desert singletrack for those looking to get some base miles in and enjoy the beautiful New Mexico landscape.
- XC trails
- Easy to Moderate difficulty
- Year-round riding (exceptions for immediate snow/mud)
- Accessible from Highway 285
Looking to test your enduro skills? Glorieta Camps, located 25 minutes from town, hosts some of New Mexico’s most technical trails. While there are some less difficult trails located at Glorieta, the attraction is the challenge. Big descents also mean big climbs, so be prepared for strenuous climbs and ripping descents–and we’re talking drops, chunk and steep. Located at the Glorieta Adventure Camps, access is provided via an access trail off the highway.
- All Mountain trails
- Moderate to Extreme difficulty
- Best March-October
- Accessible from I-25 and access trail
Other Riding Areas
Surrounding Santa Fe are some lesser-known trails and areas worth noting.
The Arroyo Hondo area, located behind Atalaya and connects to Glorieta, has a myriad of backcountry trails and open camping. While not nearly as popular as other areas, routes through these trails can connect from Glorieta to town and is great for bikepacking.
The Caja del Rio area, just Northwest of town, can be a fun and challenging desert area popular with bikepackers and explorers. While most trails are rudimentary or old doubletrack, this area can provide days worth of adventure.
North of Santa Fe and at lower elevations, the Nambe Badlands are an up and coming trail system reminiscent of Road 18 trails. Big views, loose dirt, and good weather.