Red Mesa

Technical rock slab riding in the desert that can sometimes be tricky to navigate.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
5.6 km
Ascent
103 m
Descent
103 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
Red Mesa Map

Red Mesa is a technical mountain biking zone located outside of San Ysidro in New Mexico. I say "zone" because, according to mountain bike journalist John Fisch, "this isn't a trail so much as a series of washes and rock slabs that makes for some interesting biking."

Description

While a few of the official routes are marked, others are relatively unmarked or difficult to navigate. The loop mapped here is one of the most oft-ridden routes through the area, but you'll likely still need to reference FATMAP quite frequently if you aren't riding with a local. Be sure to download this area for offline navigation, in case you lose cell service way out in the desert.

Otherwise, if you're not quite sure where you are, simply pedal around the rippled slickrock slabs and explore the area! Do your best to stay on the rock and off the soft soil, and enjoy the free-for-all nature of pedaling around in the middle of the desert.

While it may be difficult to follow an intended route, you'll never be too lost at Red Mesa. "It's easy to get kind of lost but impossible to get completely lost as you can always see White Mesa to the south, and your car is between you and White Mesa," writes Fisch.

Sources: MountainBikeNM.com Singletracks.com

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level 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

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

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area