Once winter gives way to spring in Santa Fe, an abundance of mountain biking trails reveal themselves beneath the receding snowmelt. Winter-lost trails hidden from view, but visible all the time to those who await them.
Most evenings I’ve been heading up to the Dale Ball network, a sprawl of rocky, switchbacky loops that cling to the surrounding hills, and are linked by a short, leg-warming ride from downtown. Even closer to hand there’s La Tierra, a mellow collection of desert trails that weave their way between tight alleyways of piñon and junipers. I’ve yet to explore the higher elevation areas – the likes of the Windsor Trail – rideable when the snows have melted in the upper reaches of the neighbouring national forest, and the mud has dried out.
15 miles away lies Gallisteo Basin Preserve, known for its early season riding potential. The scope there is relatively limited for now, but plans are afoot to develop up to 50 miles of trails in the area. It’s well marked, with numbered juntion posts and a downloadable map available here to print – or download into your smart phone or itouch.
Transport-wise, I haven’t quite fathomed the timings of the free commuter bus yet, which shuttles between nearby El Dorado and Sante Fe. But you can always bike out there along the Rail Trail bike path for more of a workout, and it would be a great place to wild camp too.
A few photos from our Sunday ride…