We’ll spare you the history lessons and art talk. What is it about Santa Fe that makes it a great place for mountain bikers?
With 325 days of sunshine, mild summers, stunning fall colors, and cool nights, Santa Fe has some of the most pleasant weather anywhere in the Southwest.
With highs never reaching beyond 90 degrees and most days in the low 80s, our summers are as about as perfect as it gets. Couple the cool, 50 degree nights, with afternoon monsoons to keep the trails riding fast and it’s a veritable mountain bike paradise.
Ok, fall is the best riding season just about anywhere. Here in Santa Fe we enjoy cooler days, dry trails, and the changing colors of aspens and cottonwoods throughout the area. Couple that with the smell of roasted green chile and pinon wood fires and it becomes a full sensory experience.
This is not Tucson. We get plenty of snow here in town and in the mountains. If you ski or snowboard, Ski Santa Fe is 30 minutes from downtown, but otherwise we get the full Rocky Mountain treatment for winter. Expect cold (into the single digits), snow, and wind.
Wind. No really, it’s quite windy here in spring. That doesn’t stop us from riding though, as the Dale Ball Trails and other foothills thaw, we will seek the trees and enjoy the warming weather. Spring is the most volatile time, as we can get a foot of snow well into late May. Keep apprised of trail conditions.
High Alpine? Check. Wide-open desert? Check.
The variety of terrain and scenery in and around Santa Fe is astonishing. With the city at 7,000′, we sit right at the transition zone between high-desert and mountains. To the West and South we have classic high-desert trails great for XC and warming up. To the North and East, proper mountains will test your lungs.
One can ride from town to above treeline in a day, through scrub oak, ponderosa, spruce, aspen and finally windswept mountain tops. Where else is that possible? We are spoilt for choice in terrain around here.
After ride options are sometimes the highlight as much as the trails and Santa Fe certainly delivers. While there are plenty of world-class restaurants for your evening enjoyment, post-ride beers and burritos are our go-tos.
Here are some of our favorites.
- Second Street: with three locations, we tend to find ourselves at the original brewhouse (less than a 1/2 mile from our shop) or the Railyard pub, which has a great outdoor patio for after ride refreshments.
- Tumbleroot: With a new connector off the River Trail, Tumbleroot has played host to many great events and is a family-friendly option for larger groups.
- Santa Fe Brewing: Taprooms in Eldorado (if you’re riding Galisteo Basin), one downtown, and a new headquarters near I-25.
Places to Stay
Aside from camping, Santa Fe boasts a tremendous variety of accommodations. There are roughly 1,200 AirBnB and VRBO listings in town alongside hotels ranging from your standard Marriot to world-renowned local hotels. There are a lot and it’s rather difficult to find a bad one. Here are a few that get our nod as being bike-friendly and a good place to stay.
- El Rey Court – eclectic, near the shop, and old school Route 66, this hotel is a reasonably priced option just out of downtown. They have a great tequila bar and pool in summer.
- Old Santa Fe Inn – located downtown and locally owned, this is about as affordable for ‘downtown’ as they get. You can ride from here to La Tierra, Dale Ball and the upper mountain.
- Hilton Santa Fe – also downtown, the Hilton is quite bike friendly and knowledgeable. Another great location near the historic center of town.
- Inn on the Alameda – more upscale and along the river trail, the Inn on the Alameda is old school Santa Fe and is easy access to the Dale Ball trails and the Plaza.