Best Bike Rides Albuquerque and Santa Fe  by JD & Emily Tanner /  Shey Lambert

Best Bike Rides Albuquerque and Santa Fe Guide Book

by JD & Emily Tanner / Shey Lambert (Falcon Guides)
Best Bike Rides Albuquerque and Santa Fe  by JD & Emily Tanner /  Shey Lambert
Albuquerque and Santa Fe trails range from rugged and hilly to flat and paved. Rides in this guide cover a little bit of everything. While most of the trails in this guide can be ridden by most people and pose little threat to the rider, knowing a few details about the nature of the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas will only enhance your explorations. It has taken hundreds of millions of years for the forces of nature to sculpt the landscape of New Mexico. Very few places can compare to New Mexico’s diverse geography. Here you will find everything from the low desert plains in the south to the high Rocky Mountains in the north.

© 2015 JD and Emily Tanner / Shey Lambert/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Bike Rides Albuquerque and Santa Fe" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 40.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 40.

Many of the trails in the Sandia Mountains do not allow mountain biking because they are located in the wilderness area. The 10K and Ellis Trails Loop is one of the exceptions, as the trails run right along the wilderness border. Most other traffic on the trails is foot traffic, but mountain bikers do not want to miss out on this fun loop. Riders may encounter hikers and equestrians on the singletrack and motorized vehicles on the road.
Albuquerque, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5
This short and easy ride celebrates a leader in modern- day wildlife conservation. Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. He may be best known for his collection of essays, first published in 1949, titled A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There, in which he discusses many of his ideas on conservation, including the “land ethic.” The access to the Aldo Leopold Trail begins on the northwest side of the Rio Grande State Park Nature Center. Follow the gravel trail south, back out of the parking area. Parking lot gates are locked at 5 p.m., and vehicles still in the lot will be locked in overnight. If you plan on being on the trail after 5 p.m., park outside the gates.
Albuquerque, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.1
The Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail is a great multiuse trail that runs through Santa Fe. Riders can access the trail from numerous locations and can enjoy attractions like Campanas Park. The best time to ride without traffic is early in the morning. This multiuse recreation path follows along the Arroyo de los Chamisos, a major drainage system in the southeast part of Santa Fe. The Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail is a fun little ride on a well-main tained, smooth paved surface that follows the arroyo for 3.7 miles
Santa Fe, NM - Road Biking - Trail Length: 7.4
The Aspen Ranch out- and- back, combines FR 102 and FR 412 to create a great trail for the beginner mountain biker. The route stretches for almost 9 miles, and you may find unexpected solitude within its boundaries. Most traffic will be other cyclists, but there will be the occasional motor vehicle. The trails are wide and offer optimal room for playing around. Expect to encounter motor vehicle traffic, trail runners, hikers, and other cyclists.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.8
Aspen Vista is a great endurance ride with a constant but gradual gain in elevation until you reach the summit of Tesuque Peak at 12,040 feet. The trail contours along the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range. As the trail climbs it passes through aspen-covered forests, crosses small rushing creeks, and offers expansive views around every corner. The best time of year to ride this trail is during fall, when the turning foliage paints the views in majestic hues of orange and yellow. Fall is also the busiest time of year on the Aspen Vista Trail, but it is wide and can easily accommodate a large crowd.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 12
The Atalaya Mountain trail can be very technical and strenuous for most cyclists. Though the trail may seem easy in the beginning, switchbacks climb their way to the summit and seem to go on forever. The trail climbs more than 1,700 feet in just 3.8 miles, and most of the climbing is in the final push to the summit. The views from the summit are astounding and well worth the effort it takes to bike this local Santa Fe favorite. From the smooth singletracks of the arroyos to the rock- hopping trails nearing the summit, this trail has it all for riders looking for a great and rewarding challenge.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7.6
The Big Tesuque Trail is rarely busy beyond its first 0.25 mile, and most of the traffic is on foot from the Big Tesuque Campground and Picnic Area. The trail whizzes down to Tesuque Creek and offers a tranquil spot to relax and cool off in the waters. This trail is for those who like to have their dessert first—the trail is all downhill for the first half and all uphill on a moderate climb all the way back to the Big Tesuque Trailhead.
Santa Fe, NM - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.6
This little ride connects three trails in the Cibola National Forest for a super fun loop. Start out with a somewhat steep and technical climb before hitting a flat ridgeline, a fun downhill, and then a fast section at the end through Otero Canyon. The mountain bike trail system that has developed in the Manzano Mountains has been an ongoing project by the forest service and has become one of Albuquerque’s fun quick getaways. Locals can reach these trails in a matter of minutes, depending on where they live in the city. Mountain bikers can easily fill up a weekend riding trails here and still have plenty more to ride for the next few weekends. The Blue Ribbon, Gnasty, and Otero Canyon loop makes for a fun and fast trip with a little something for every rider.
Albuquerque, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.3
The Borrego, Winsor, and Bear Wallow Trails Loop just may be one of the most popular trails along Hyde Park Road. Perhaps that’s because of its close proximity to Hyde Memorial State Park. Many locals flock here after work for a quick bike ride or jog with their dog for a super fun loop. Bring a friend and cool off in one of the creeks during the hot and dry summer months. This is a great trail for the whole entire family. Even the pooch can come play on these dog- friendly trails. The loop can be ridden from either direction, but most people prefer doing the Bear Wallow Trail at the end. Escape to the shade of the trees in summer and enjoy every wonderful thing nature has to offer you here.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.1
The Caja del Rio Trail is a fun and easily accessible trail for those who are new to mountain biking. The trail is also great for riders looking to gain some extra mileage under their pedals. The trail winds past livestock corrals and piñon trees and glides under the open New Mexico sky. Mostly flat with a few small gradual climbs, wide trails, and little obstacles, the Caja del Rio Trail will be enjoyable for the entire family.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 15
A trip to Cerrillos Hills State Park could satisfy several interests for some riders. A drive along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway will take you through some of New Mexico’s finest scenery, a few ghost towns, and even a couple of artist destinations. If the drive isn’t satisfying enough, the 4.8-mile ride will take you through several rolling volcanic hills that were once successful mines for silver, iron, and lead. By linking together several of the trails in Cerrillos Hills State Park, riders can enjoy a 4.8-mile loop and discover much of what this park has to offer. The rolling hills crossed by the trails are relics of the volcanoes that were active here nearly 30 million years ago. Iron, lead, and silver were deposited here during that time. Millions of years later, Native American and Spanish explorers and settlers came here to mine those minerals as well as turquoise. The area experienced a brief and largely disappointing mining boom in the 1880s.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.8
The Chamisa Trail (#183) goes through a ponderosa pine and mixed- conifer forest just east of Santa Fe. The short drive from downtown Santa Fe to the trailhead and the short length of the loop described here make this an ideal getaway when you need that quick fix but don’t have a lot of time. Two trails leave from the Chamisa Trail parking area, located right off Hyde Park road. The main Chamisa Trail leaves the northeast corner of the parking area and goes uphill and east through the trees; the alternate route runs north through the canyon. The alternate route connects with the Chamisa Trail at a saddle about 1.0 mile from the trailhead. As described here, this alternate route can be used to make a fun training loop from the trailhead and back again.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.6
Located in northern Albuquerque, the Corrales Bosque Trail offers mountain bikers a great quick escape when you don’t have time for a long drive. The trail offers beautiful views of the Rio Grande, provides many opportunities for birding, and even offers wildlife viewing. Rio Grande State Park, located just minutes from downtown Albuquerque, is right on the central Rio Grande flyway. Park visitors can expect to see some of the 250 species of birds that live in or migrate through the area. The bosque, a riverside forest, has plenty of cottonwood trees to offer shade to riders and provides opportunities to see sandhill cranes, porcupines, roadrunners, and other wildlife.
Albuquerque, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 13
Stretching for almost 11 miles, the Coyote and Chamisoso Trails are part of the Manzanita Mountains Trail System, nestled within the boundaries of the Cibola National Forest. The Coyote and Chamisoso Trails are technical and full of curvy, tight singletrack turns throughout. Located just minutes east of Albuquerque, these super fun trails are a great place to get your biking fix after work or on your weekend outing.
Albuquerque, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10.9
The Dale Ball Central Trails blend long moderate climbs with fun, zippy descents through piñon. The trails are very well marked, and there are trail maps at every junction, so it is very easy to find your way around. Not as busy as the north end, the Dale Ball Central Trails offer a little more solitude, if that is what you are seeking. The Dale Ball Central Trail System sees less traffic than Dale Ball North. The Central Trail System connects the North Dale to the South Dale Trail System; trail users can even ride to Atalaya Mountain from here with some pre-trip planning. Users also can cycle to the Randall David Audubon Center. Dale Ball Central is a super fun link that can be ridden in several different ways.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6.2
One of the most popular trail systems in Santa Fe, the Dale Ball North Trails provide cyclists with great singletrack trails that any city would be proud to call their own. Trails are mostly smooth and hard packed. Dale Ball North Trails also tend to stay dry well into the winter months, when other trail systems can be wet. These trails are mere minutes from the Santa Fe Plaza and offer a quick escape. The Dale Ball North Trail System weaves through piñon and offers sweeping views of Santa Fe and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The entire Dale Ball Trail System encompasses over 30 miles of trails, so there are an almost overwhelming number of trail options. The north side of Dale Ball is pretty moderate.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.6
The Dale Ball South-Camino Loop is great for those days when you can’t decide whether to mountain or road bike. This loop has both of these options in one. Start the ride out on a mountainous singletrack and glide down an arroyo onto an unpaved road. The unpaved road eventually becomes a paved road, and at the end you have the option to keep on the paved road or ride along a groomed gravel trail all the way back to the trailhead.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4
The East Fork Trail is a wonderful riding destination in the Santa Fe National Forest. The section of the trail that runs from Battleship Rock to Jemez Springs is a popular destination for nature lovers. McCauley Hot Springs, located along the trail, provides visitors with a place to rest and relax midway between the start and end points. The Battleship Rock to Jemez Falls section of the East Fork Trail (137) offers riders a challenging uphill climb with a rewarding view of 70-foot-tall Jemez Falls. The ride back is a much easier downhill journey, with the option to rest your legs in the McCauley Hot Springs, or warm springs as some people call them.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7.2
The East Fork of the Jemez River originates in the Valles Caldera as a small meandering stream in a vast crater. The latter part of this trail follows the course of the East Fork. This portion of the river was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1990. The East Fork of the Jemez River passes through the heart of the Jemez Mountains’ most popular recreation area on its way to its confluence with the Rio San Antonio. This trail takes you through a conifer forest, aspen groves, and wildflower meadows before dropping down to meander along the banks of this National Wild and Scenic River.
Santa Fe, NM - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 9.6
The master plan for the Galisteo Basin Preserve Stewardship Community includes 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Currently about 18 miles are open to the public, including this fun little 6.0-mile loop that connects a series of trails through the preserve. According to the official website, “the Galisteo Basin Preserve is the flagship initiative of Commonweal Conservancy, a nonprofit conservation-based community development organization.” The Commonweal acquired the land that eventually became the Galisteo Basin Preserve in 2003. Since then, the conservation neighborhoods of West Basin, New Moon Overlook, Southern Crescent, East Preserve, and Conservation Ranches have all developed along with a small network of private and public access trails. The website hails the preserve as a “model for stewardship- based community development in the Southwest.”
Santa Fe, NM - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: Various