By Susan Brown
Want to rev an engine and zoom across the New Mexico desert or along a forested trail on a dirt bike? There may not be a more scenic place to hit the trails on a dirt bike than New Mexico. Grab your helmet and check out our favorite spots.
The ride along many of these desert single-track trails overlooks the Pecos River, providing beautiful scenic vistas, if you take the time to look. There are three square miles of mostly hard pack terrain to crisscross that take you up some hills, along sandy washes and over loose, rocky sections. No trees along the way means no shade so take plenty of water. Camping available with restroom facilities but there’s no potable water. Open year-round. Entrance fee is $3 and an OHV permit required. Youth, under 18, must wear a helmet.
There’s some big air that can happen on the 14 square-miles of trails through desert scrub brush west of town at this 8,700-acre off road area. The 50 trails are fast and sandy with plenty of exciting terrain features. It’s free to ride out here, but an OHV permit is required. Open year-round. Helmets are required for anyone under 18. Primitive camping is available.
This small trail system is great for those dual-sport motorcycle enthusiasts who love to ride both on and off-road. There are three miles of single track trails through this part of the spectacular Lincoln National Forest. The trail loop begins at Silverwood Campground and ends at the Silver Overflow Campground. An OHV permit is required but there are no entrance fees, only campground fees. Open year-round. Helmets a must for those under 18.
Gordy's Hill is one of the most thrilling places for a dirt biking adventure in the whole state. Situated on 6,000 acres, this scenic spot overlooks the Rio Grande Valley. The best part? It's accessible to a variety of skill levels. Enjoy picturesque routes with immaculate canyons and limestone bluffs on trails that can offer a little bit of a challenge no matter how exerpienced you are.
With 20 square miles of open riding, you can really ride at full throttle. The landscape is relatively flat and sandy, with a smattering of hard pack. You will reach some fenced boundaries, since the area is bordered by a bombing range and some private property, but there is so much space it can’t curb your enthusiasm. Safety flags are recommended. No fees, but an OHV permit is required. Opened year-round with very primitive camping. Under 18, helmets required.