Galisteo Basin Preserve Trails: Intermediate Route

Fantastic ridge line riding amid dramatic skies, stunning topography, and unique geology.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
17 km
Ascent
329 m
Descent
329 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
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Galisteo Basin Preserve Trails: Intermediate Route Map

Description

Located in a breathtakingly beautiful area of north-central New Mexico, the Galisteo Basin Preserve is framed by the Ortiz Mountains to the southwest, the Cerrillos Hills to the west, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the northeast, and the Jemez Mountains to the northwest. The approximately 9,500-acre area is a vast, protected open space, intertwined with miles of beautiful public trails that meander through excellent high desert terrain.

The Galisteo Basin Preserve’s dramatic skies, topography, geology, and plant and animal life make this land a sacred place to visit. Here you can enjoy northern New Mexico's world-famous climate, as well as the Galisteo Basin's classic western landscape. The area is celebrated for its mild, semi-arid, high-desert conditions—temperate winters, comfortable summers, and brilliant blue skies in all seasons.

The trails are characterized by gently rolling terrain, piñon/juniper forest, short-grass prairie, and meandering stream corridors. These trails are celebrated by residents and visitors as a place of refuge and inspiration. The broad extent and diversity of the trails invite day-long excursions and short-form wandering. It’s a place for people and wildlife.

There are 28 miles of trails along the ridgelines and through the grasslands and arroyos of the eastern geography. This route describes the best of the trails linked together for a worthwhile, longer, and incredibly scenic ride. Intermediate riders (and beyond) will get the most from this route, finding flow and challenge in riding with increased speed.

Beginners will enjoy this area, as the trails are not too technical or difficult. They can practice and hone their skills where the trail is a bit more challenging by way of loose terrain and steeper gradient. Check out the "Beginner's Route" for an easier, shorter route more suited for those just starting out.

Because of its lower elevation, the Preserve offers great riding year-round with the only exceptions being on particularly hot summer days or directly after a heavy rain or snow.

Please remember the trails are part of a fragile landscape: stay on marked trails and roads, park only in designated areas, and carry out everything you carry in.

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area