Summer is finally here… WAIT. Summer is almost over? That can’t possibly be! There is still so much to do, more ice cream that needs to be eaten, and more trails that need to be explored. Luckily, autumn is the perfect time to break out your mountain bike for a scenic adventure. The picturesque mountains change from a lush green forest to a beautiful golden color as the daytime temperatures drop to cool and comfortable levels. While there are tons of great trails to explore, some of our favorites really shine in the fall. Test out your skills and immerse yourself in nature on any one of these great trails.
Aspen Trail is quite accurately named as the trail up is covered in large aspen trees. During the fall, aspen trees melt into a bright yellow and cover the hillside in golden waves. The moderately graded trail leads you to the top of Tesuque Peak where you will enjoy panoramic views of the Santa Fe wilderness.
The Water Canyon Trail leads you through an old canyon with a seasonal stream. While the stream only runs during the spring and early summer, there is enough water to support lots of aspens along the trail. You’ll find a fork at about a mile into the trail; a right will take you to an old reservoir and you can explore the remains of the concrete dam. If you venture left, you’ll keep heading up the trail filled with yellowing aspens. Either way, this is a great easier trail that the whole family can enjoy!
This trail has a bit of a steeper gradient which is perfect for working up a sweat and building those calf muscles. There are a lot of switchbacks winding through pines until you reach the high point then a fun ride down into the meadows. You’ll cross creeks, meander through green meadows, brush against golden trees, and see beautiful views the whole way. Double back to return to the trailhead or keep riding until you meet Bear Wallow Trail 182 to Hwy 475 and make a large loop.
This technical ride is the perfect place to test out your biking skills and have a blast in the woods. There are lots of rocky obstacles and constant ascending and descending making it quite fun. After exhausting yourself on this section, the trail mellows out to be a little smoother. This is an expert trail and offers lots of options to merge with other trails and create your own custom loop.
The best part about the autumn season is the cooler weather. Trails that would be unbearable during the heat of summer are suddenly accessible and fun to ride. The Rift Valley Trail is desert riding at its finest, so even though the sun isn’t as intense, make sure to bring more than enough water and snacks. This mellow grade trail is great for beginners and intermediate mountain bikers. From technical rock crawling to low-incline easy rides, the area has a trail for everyone. Bring water and snacks for a perfect day exploring the New Mexico wilderness. After you’re done on the trail, return to Casa Escondida B&B for an evening of relaxation and peace as you gaze out on the mountains you just climbed.Ready to bike New Mexico this fall? Book a stay at Casa Escondida, a hacienda-like Bed & Breakfast in Chimayo, NM.