The Best Southwestern Adventures: Mountain Bike

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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A mountain biker rides up a trail outside Santa Fe, NM    Photo: Ryan Heffernan / Aurora Photos

In October, Outside’s hometown will play host to the International Mountain Biking Association annual summit, where bike advocates will learn how local riders developed Santa Fe’s sweet network of trails. Within 15 minutes of downtown, there are 11 trailheads accessing 50 miles of singletrack and two dirt-jumping courses. The five-mile outer loop off Hyde Park Road is a great introduction to the beginner-friendly, occasionally steep Dale Ball trails, a 30-mile maze of singletrack you can reach from Outside’s offices. If your lungs survive that (Santa Fe is at 7,260 feet), try the Whoops, a technical stretch of singletrack that leaves from the Unity Santa Fe church, two and a half miles north of town, and swoops through arroyos. But if you have time for just one ride, make it the Winsor Trail. The eight-mile descent starts at 10,300 feet in the parking lot of the Santa Fe ski basin and finishes in a southwestern oasis of cottonwoods and red rock. From there it’s an easy downhill pedal to Tesuque Village Market, where the only thing better than the green chile cheeseburgers are the margaritas. Crash in a private casita at Las Palomas (from $140). For rentals and repairs, there are eight bike shops in town. Our favorite: the Broken Spoke.

From Outside Magazine, Sep 2012 Get the Latest Issue

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