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Level: Intermediate
Length: 30 mi (48.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,118/ -1,111 ft
Total: 125 riders

Mountain Biking Dale Ball

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#22 of 282 mountain bike trails in New Mexico
#1,241 in the world

This is a network of trails that works its way thru the pines and cedar along the foothills on the eastern flank of Santa Fe, from the Hyde Park Road area on the north side to the Atalaya hiking area on the south. Expertly laid out, this network offers lots of entertainment and plenty of variation to keep you interested. This network is a jewel that any city would be proud of. There is a trail map posted at every intersection so getting lost is virtually impossible. There aren't many technical obstacles, and adrenaline junkies may find themselves disappointed with the lack of speed, drops, or difficult obstacles, but if you want a great singletrack ride easily accessible from town then you likely be very satisfied. The south end near Atalaya is really more oriented to hiking and is more of a cardio-challenge. For some good speed and fun rollers pick up trail going southwest from the north parking lot and fly down thru station 12 (watching for and respecting other trail users, of course).

First added by bonkedagain on Oct 10, 2006. Last updated Apr 29, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
If you can't get their by pedaling the major parking areas are: North, off Hyde Park Road on Sierra Del Norte; Central, the Nature Conservancy trailhead near the junction of Cerro Gordo and Upper Canyon Road, or; South, the St. John's trailhead on Camino de Cruz Blanca. But really, as long as you don't offend a property owner you can get on the trails practically anywhere.
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Dale Ball Trail map

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Local Info

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JasonBMtz (on Oct 5, 2021)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Oct 5, 2021)
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Dale Ball videos

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Mountainbiking Singletrack Santa Fe Dale Ball…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Intermediate | 15 mi
Easiest | 12 mi
Advanced | 7 mi
Beginner | 3 mi

Rider questions

Q: Bike rentals nearby?
A: Check out Mello Velo - 10 minute drive or a good bike ride away from the trailhead.

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  • Beauchpe

    Lots of fun trails here. Just the right challenge for intermediate bikers. The elevation plus the climbing gives a great workout

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  • [email protected]

    I'm an intermediate Florida XC MTB rider. I really enjoy this trail, both the climb and descent.

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  • Richard Hespen

    Beautiful scenery and some chunky tech. The trails don't flow all that well, and too much elevation is lost on steep, tight, slow switchbacks.

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  • trek is amazing

    fun trail but I took a wrong turn and went to a hiking section with tight difficult to ride switchbacks. the actual bike trail section was fun but even on the bike trail, there were too many hikers on the trail.

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  • SidewaysCycling

    I only scratched the surface of this trail network but loved what I saw. Can't wait to try more. I did some trails on the north end. They were very ride-able with some interesting challenges. Very well marked but I'd suggest you come with a map which are available in town bike shops or visitor center.

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  • Erica Barnes

    For the most part, this network of trails aren't all that technical. The climbs can be fairly long, but the same goes for the descents as well. Spectacular views of the high desert just outside of Santa Fe.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    I love this trail and I hate it. Climbs are enormously long, steep and challenging with rocks and roots. Downhills are full of blind corners with pedestrians on every turn, so no high speed going down. But those climbs, views and downhills make this trail special. It keep you on your toes every second and that's why I'd love to ride it again. Way better that La Tierra.

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  • skelldify

    I'm gonna get crap for this, but I was disappointed by this area. I rode the South area as it was supposed to be the most technical. But I mostly found loose, steep hills, both up and down.

    I've been told I need to do more exploring to find the good stuff...?

    It was also super hot that day, so maybe I was just off. I'll try it again sometime...

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  • Timothyfluegge

    Rode 13 miles here today in the north and central portions of the network. This area offers quite a variety. All of the singletrack is primo. Much of it is smooth hard-pack track but there are techy rock sections that offer a change of pace. I'm a low-lander but did pretty well out here, elevation notwithstanding. Only had to pick my bike up on one or two gnarly switchbacks. Depending on the direction you take, some of the trails offer nice extended climbs so you're guaranteed a good workout. The main description is spot on; if you take the trail south from the North lot through intersection 12 you will enjoy some sweet DH. This place offers everything, close to town, great views, sweet trails, good workout, flow and speed. Check it out.

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  • norski

    The north and central sections of Dale Ball are great fun! There are lots of sweet sections and a few challenges. Clean every switchback both up and down over a smiling 3-hour ride and you deserve a high five ... or a cold beer. Warning: locals don't leave anything of value visible in their cars. You can tell that more than a few cars have been broken into by the glass in the parking lots.

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  • John Fisch

    Mostly non-technical bobbing and weaving through the very attractive pinion and juniper forest NW of Santa Fe. These are great trails! They are well laid out, have nice flow, and are very well marked. Except for short bursts, the grades are very manageable in the North and Central sections. Unfortunately, much of the trail is goes through a residential area and is within earshot of a busy road, so you don't get the feeling of being away from it all. Big kudos, though, for superb use of space--what a great resource for the people of Santa Fe. Most importantly, what's under your knobbies is always sweet!. It is popular with hikers/dogs, so be courteous.

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  • seanjordan221

    the elevation is marked. each trail intersection has a topo map. I love the way the trail is marked, each intersection is a number and shown VERY clearly on the map. Change of pace from the Front Range.

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  • ckdake   ✓ supporter

    Dale Ball South was pretty intimidating and involved far too much hike-a-bike for me, but everything is very well marked (as far as turns and routes, elevation and difficulty is unfortunately not marked). Combining this with Atalaya Mountain, I had my slowest average speed for a day of mountain biking ever!

    The following day, I rode most of Dale Ball Central and North and didn't have to walk my bike at all. There is still plenty of elevation change, and a loop covering most of central and south was a good amount of riding for one day. As someone at one of the bike shops in town said, it's a "Choose Your Adventure" at Dale Ball and it can be as technical or fun as you like, though pretty much everything is going to be rocky or sandy. And there are lots of sharp switchbacks. Lots.

    I can't rate parts different levels of difficulty, but Central and North are both "More Difficult" and South is "Very Difficult" and referred to as the "Expert section" in Santa Fe.

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  • Fishpilot

    I rode the south trails and they are steep is an understatement! The TH isn't to elusive and the trails are very clearly marked. 29-30 was steep and tight but a blast, I turned right and went down then up the valley to 31 and that was very narrow. 31 straight up countless switchbacks was nearly unrideable, mucho hike a bike. I Summited Picacho peak on foot and then continued down past 35 and to 40. This was a fun DH with quite a few tight switchbacks. There is a hard to figure out fork, you'll need to go right, left takes you to a rock outcrop that is off trail. At 40 I took the middle trail back to 32 and 31, that was a fun half mile. 31 to 30 via the short route is also very fun. 30 back to the TH is a blast as well and may have been my favorite part. You start and end with a steep but short climb that crosses upper canyon road, don't get smushed. Lots of exposure and more switch backs than I care to remember. I have heard the the central and north trails are better for bikes.

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