The perfect beginner ride in the Placitas trail system.


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Even though the Placitas trail system is known as a beginner-friendly mountain biking hot spot, this 6-mile lollipop loop combines the easiest of the easy trails in the network for the perfect beginner ride! While these trails are easy and non-technical, that doesn't mean they're not fun! The flow factor is absolutely *dialed* on this route right from the trailhead, with Down & Out providing a swoopy entrance into the trail system and Ewok ratcheting up the flow factor as it twists down a hillside. The only thing that you'll really need to watch out for on this loop are the sandy conditions.

When the soil is very dry, some of the corners can get a bit loose and slippery, thanks to classic loose-over-hardpack desert conditions.

There are also a few somewhat steep pitches on a few of the hills, but most of the climbs and descents switch back and forth across the hillside to keep the grades as mellow as possible. Yes, there are a few climbs mixed in to remind you that you're still getting a workout in, but the swoop resumes again soon on Red Tail and then goes to the Nth degree on the fantastic Prickly Pear.

All too soon, you're back to the junction with Down & Out to return to the trailhead. If you haven't had enough just yet, you can choose to do this loop again before following the stem of the lollipop back to the trailhead.

Or you can even do a variant by skipping Ewok and riding the other segment of Down & Out, or riding some of the cross trails, like Sunrise.