New Mexico riders — it’s your time to speak up and get some ink!
I have had the pleasure of riding over 40 trails in New Mexico, but there are still holes in my south-of-the-Colorado-border riding resume. What do you think are the must rides in New Mexico? Classic and popular rides like Otero Canyon, White Mesa, and South Boundary quickly spring to mind. Tell us what others you think deserve to be on the short list.
I know most bikers think lift access and gravity oriented riding when mentioning Angel Fire but IMO the Enlightenment XC trail at the resort combined with numerous downhill options (Lemonade, Lower Boogie, etc) is absolutely top notch XC riding.
Those are the usual suggestions and they are great. As a riding trail I think White Mesa is a little overrated, however it is a very unique experience which is why I think it always makes lists. As far as some other ones besides the ones you already mentioned:
Windsor – Great descent! Although you have to really watch out for hikers. It is the only trail in the state that I feel like we have Colorado front range levels of trail conflict on.
Challenge Trail in the Sandias. – Another great descent. It is a shuttle. I prefer to start at the top of Sandia Peak. Take it down to the start of 10k, take 10k for about 100 yards then hang a left. It drops you out at the bottom of Ski Sandia. It isn’t ridden a lot because it is pretty technically demanding, and because of that it is raw. But that is part of the reason I love it.
1oK>Tree Spring>Oso Corridor – Another great descent in the Sandias that is also a shuttle, unless you just really want to pedal up the road. There tends to be quite a bit of hikers on Tree Spring since that trail is used as an entrance into the wilderness area. Tree Spring is also super rocky with tons of basket ball size rocks stuck in the ground. If you want to continue the fun, from Oso take South Faulty to Armijo trail.
Quemazon Trail – Such a great descent. This was a regular stage at the Los Alamos Endurofest and I looked forward to it every year. It is basically an out and back, although you can make it only a descent if you ride up the dirt road (Pipeline Road).
East Fork>Lost Lake – The trails we were “allowed” to keep during the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness fiasco. I myself haven’t ridden this trail yet, however friend whom I respect said it is a great high alpine trail with great views and great riding. I am hoping to tick this off my to-do list either this year or next.
Those are the other trails that I suggest besides Boundary and Otero. Also, my suggestions tend to be more gravity oriented, so keep that in mind. I have heard that the Zuni Mountains trails are great for more XC minded people. I will find out when I race the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest next month.