Last week, I had a super fun ride with some new friends. I met up with Mars and Mike at the Galisteo Basin Preserve on Sunday morning. The area is only 15 miles or so from Santa Fe. Since the riding in Santa Fe is so good, I hadn’t really gotten the urge to hit up GBP – even though I’ve heard good things about the new trails out there. It instantly became one of those “why did I wait so long to do this” type of rides.
The whole network is pretty new. From what I heard, most of the mtb singletrack is only two years old, and some new sections were just cut last year. Sweet. There’s around 18 miles of trails at the moment – with plans for 50 miles once the network is completed. SWEET!! Mike lives in Eldorado (right near the GBP trails) – so he played tour guide for Mars and I. With the local trail knowledge on lock-down, he took us on a killer route which I’d highly recommend to anybody hitting up these trails. We did a counter-clockwise loop starting at the Cowboy Shack Trailhead. This TH is easy to get to, and puts you in the middle of the trail system. We started with a moderate climb up the double track North Wagon Trail.
Great views greet you in every direction as your legs warm up. Before you know it, you hit a couple punchy efforts and sharp switchbacks, and you’ve made it to the top of the Sphinx. Catch your breath and marvel at more 360 degree views. There’s great geology everywhere – gorgeous arroyos and canyons that are fun for exploring on foot as well. The area used to be a Native American pueblo, so if you look hard, you’re bound to find old pottery, artifacts, etc.
Anyhoo, our ride continued along Eliza’s Ridge to Sophie’s to Blue Moon to to Leona’s to Nathan’s to Derek’s to Liam’s Lark to Shepherds Trail and back to the car. If you look at the map, it’s a very easy loop to navigate. If you email me, I can send you the gpx file. All in all, it’s a 12 mile loop with 1,000′ of climbing. Except for the North Wagon Trail, it’s nearly all singletrack. None of the climbs are too steep, and the descents are mostly buff, fast singletrack with a couple slickrock spots and some sharp switchbacks. Fun for all skill levels and definitely a great loop to #ridebikeswithfriends.
Shorter, flatter rides can also be had in this area – making it a great place for family rides or beginner riding depending on the trails you choose. The whole network is well-signed, with maps at junctions a la the Dale Ball or La Tierra systems. Grants from REI and volunteer efforts from the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society have helped make these trails a reality – and will continue the building effort as the network expands. I’m Looking forward to enjoying these trails in the future as the system grows.
More info on this trail network and current map can be found at the Galisteo Basin Preserve website.