22 routes · Mountain Biking · Hiking · Trail Running
Placitas Trail System Figure-8
Flowy desert riding on non-technical trails—a great place for beginners, or those looking to advance their skills slightly.
Mountain Biking Moderate
- 13 km
- 339 m
- 339 m
- 1-2 hrs
- Low Point
- 1.7 km
- High Point
- 1.9 km
The Placitas Trail System is well-known in the Albuquerque area as one of the first trail networks to dry out after a heavy rain or winter snow. The low elevation of the Bernalillo area coupled with the aspect of this network, which receives a ton of sun, results in fast-drying trails.
Interestingly, outside of ABQ locals, not many people know about or travel to this trail network. In some senses, that’s understandable—the singletrack here isn’t world class by any means. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden gems to be found.
The figure-8 route mapped here hits the most technical and entertaining trails in the Placitas trail network, which are still realistically only intermediate in difficulty. Other trails lying further to the west are even easier than the ones mapped here, if you’re looking for a true beginner ride. If you’re a new rider looking to advance your skills, try this route on for size!
The first loop following High Voltage to Chalk Dust to Sidewinder is the rockiest section of this ride, with up-and-down XC singletrack and short, steep rocky drops into the various drainages. There aren’t any extended downhills to be found, but the rolling rocky trail presents an entertaining ride in its own right. You’ll also enjoy beautiful views of the Sandia Mountains, providing a pleasing backdrop to your ride.
After pedalling back up to the top of the hill, drop into the Bobsled Trail. While yes the name is a cliche, although not quite as bad as “Sidewinder” (guess the locals love cliche trail names), you know that any trail with the name “Bobsled” has to be entertaining! Placitas’ Bobsled Trail delivers on the cliche: this is a flowy singletrack with bermed corners, small drops, and small tabletop jumps, sprinkled with the occasional rocky section. The swoop and flow of this trail is absolutely on point! The setup for the tables is perfect, and the berms are superb.
Do note that if you’re an advanced rider, it’s easy to overshoot the small tabletops. Dial in the trail speed and settle in, even if that speed is a tad slower than you’d prefer. If you’re an intermediate rider looking to work on small jumps, this trail would be perfect for you!
Bobsled drops to Fenceline, and Fenceline will deliver you back to your car. If you haven’t had enough just yet, tack on some other trails in the network, or pedal back up for another rip down Bobsled!
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.
Best time to visit
- Rock Gardens