Last week I met a guy that wanted to ride his new mountain bike and he asked me that question, where do I ride my mountain bike in Placitas, New Mexico?
Then the next day I got to the parking lot in Placitas and saw some folks from Colorado looking confused, not sure if they were at the right place. I told them I would show them where to ride and proceeded to get my bike ready and before we left there was a van that pulled up with some folks from Montreal, wondering the same thing, where are the best places to ride in New Mexico.
People travel from everywhere to experience Mountain Biking in New Mexico
The cool thing is that people from around the country…and Canada, are starting to see the beauty of riding their mountain bikes in New Mexico. I converted to the mountain bike scene from being a roadie for 2 decades just a few years ago and I’ve traveled to some destination spots to ride in Utah and Colorado but I have to say that we have some pretty awesome trails here in beautiful, sunny New Mexico and the word is starting to get out.
With mountain bike riding as good as it is here, I see a time in the near future when there will be a bigger percentage of riders on the trails that are from out of town.
How Do You Get to Placitas, New Mexico?
Here’s a short video that gives you the driving directions to the Placitas trail head. While you’re there you can watch some of the videos of the trail segments to see where you might want to ride.
If you don’t want to watch the video, from the intersection of I-25 and 550 highway, drive 2.8 miles east, toward the mountain and make a right into the parking lot. It’s actually kind of hard to miss. You can also go to the Strip Mine trail head about 1/4 of a mile further east on the same road, Highway 165.
Remember to properly prepare for your ride
Be sure to take your last poop before you leave Bernalillo. There are outhouses somewhere southeast on one of the jeep roads but there is no place to relieve yourself appropriately at either trail head. There is also no water at the trail head. Be sure to bring everything you need with you.
After you have found the trail head, properly relieved yourself and full of water and food, you’re ready to hit the trail. Overall the trails in Placitas are not overly technical. Beginners may
need to walk over some areas. If you’ve been drinking a few too many beers and eating donuts and your fitness is down, you may need to walk up some climbs, but there is nothing wrong with that…the walking part that is. You can keep eating the donuts too but…you get the idea.
Read on and I will help you navigate through a great ride in Placitas, based on your technical ability, fitness level and of course the most important, your desire to have fun.
For the Beginner:
A great place to start if you are a beginner in terms of technical ability but you want to tackle some single track and stay off the jeep roads is a good 2.4 mile jaunt that Strava calls “Wendy’s Fave.” (The guys at Placitas Area Trails are threatening to tap into Strava’s servers and change the names) We definitely show our gratitude to the guys at PATA that worked with the Forest service to get signs up recently. So in our directions, we will use the official names as they are posted and maybe occasionally throw in some Strava names. (I don’t think PATA will be successful in hacking Strava)
From the main parking lot, follow the signs south and then east on what is called Mustang Alley. You will only go about a quarter mile or so and you will come to your first junction. You will turn off of Mustang Alley and head south on Fenceline just over a half mile. There will be an intersection that has the option of going east, toward the mountain. This easterly Strava trail segment is called Beam Me Up but there is no forest service sign here. It is only .3 miles but is a gradual uphill. There will be another intersection that you can take to head back north called Bootleg. On Strava that segment is called Whoop de Whoop. Bootleg is about .7 miles and generally has a slight downhill grade of about 1% but realistically it swoops and flows up and down. When you get to an intersection you can either go straight through or turn left and both options will eventually get you back to Fenceline and Mustang Alley where you started and then back to the lot.
What Goes Up Must Come Down
If your fitness can handle a bit more climbing and you want the payoff of some fun, flowing and minor technical stuff you can plan your ride to take you further east to Bobsled. There are several names that Strava calls this segment so if you are a Strava Junkie, look there. There are several different options that can get you to the top of Bobsled, one of which is to continue east when you were climbing Beam Me Up all the way until you hit the dirt road. When you hit the dirt road, turn left for about 1/10th of a mile and you will see a sign that says Bobsled.
Bobsled is about a mile and a half of slightly downhill fun. There is enough technical stuff for the advanced rider to have fun but not overly technical for the beginner if you had the fitness to climb to the top. Mind you, it’s nothing compared to the climb required to enjoy the exhileration of Joe’s Ridge in Fruita, Colorado. But the payoff at Joe’s Ridge is pretty awesome and definitely worth the climb. Bobsled won’t disappoint either.
Bobsled has jumps that we are blessed to have because of the CCC after WWII. The jumps and infrequent technical spots can be spotted in advance allowing you to dismount and walk through it or take a closer look and go slow or balls out.
Most of the mountain bike trails in Placitas can be found in the trails section of our website. You can watch and get an idea of the tech skills and fitness levele that will help you have the most enjoyable time possible.
Placitas, New Mexico has trails for the beginner mountain biker to the advanced. If you are traveling from out of town or a newbie getting started, Placitas has something for everyone.