Best Pedal-Driven MTB Loop Rides near Angel Fire

Go beyond the bike park on the best loop rides near Angel Fire.

Mountain Biking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

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Photo: Greg Heil

Description

The small resort town of Angel Fire, New Mexico, is best known for its downhill mountain bike park. Indeed, the Angel Fire Bike Park is routinely ranked as the best bike park in the Southwestern USA, and even one of the top parks in the entire country! But what happens if you've had enough of the massive jumps and brutal gnar? What if you want to actually go out and pedal up some climbs and earn your descents?

While Angel Fire's pedal-driven loop rides all fly well under the radar, you can indeed tackle a plethora of fantastic loops in the area, ranging from short and mellow to all-day backcountry epics!

To state the somewhat obvious, you can choose to pedal a loop at the resort if you so choose. One dedicated climbing trail claims that it will enlighten you—yes, it's named "Enlightenment." This trail will take you most of the way up the resort, depositing you in the basin below the steep final pitch. The upper section of Enlightenment is hiking only, so you must stop here. Still, this will provide a fantastic loop ride option. 

The local town trails are known as either the "Greenbelt Trails" or simply the "Angel Fire Trails," and they are located across the highway from the ski resort. Running through residential areas and into the woods, you can create several small loop options, ranging from true beginner to upper-intermediate in difficulty.

If you choose to head higher into the mountains, you're going to be in for an epic! If you're looking for a backcountry adventure ride of the first degree, try pedaling high into the mountains to reach the Elliot Barker Trail. The upper stretches of this trail are grassy, steep, rocky, and little-ridden, which will provide that coveted middle-of-nowhere feeling.

Finally, for an even bigger adventure ride, try the Big Kahuna on for size. The locals will often pedal several different variants of the Big Kahuna, so the route shared here is just one example. The Big Kahuna can even be combined with the Elliot Barker Loop, or even the classic South Boundary shuttle. It all depends on how big your appetite is!

Routes included

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