As a bikepacker, I found the vast open lands that surround Santa Fe were just begging to be explored.
So after shmoozing with the experts at a few local bike shops (listed and linked below), I settled on a custom route tailored to maximize sightseeing while minimizing miles. It was my husband’s fist bikepacking trip, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences we’ve shared together.
First, we stopped at the San Antonio hot springs for a quick dip and a bit of exploration. Then we followed a ledge that skirted the Valles Caldera, a collapsed super volcano from 1.25 million years ago. From there, we crossed through surreal aspen forests, spent some time marveling at the unique Tea Kettle rock formation, then rode down the Rio Cibolla valley, where the forest service is diligently working to restore the native Cutthroat trout population to the area.
Backcountry camping opportunities exist throughout the route and fresh water streams and springs are abundant, so bring a filter and treatment if you don’t want to carry all your water with you.
And about those bike shops…
In my quest to learn more about the trails in the area, including bikepacking options, I spoke to a few employees at shops that proved to be pretty helpful.
Bike N Sport, Broken Spoke, and Sirius Cycles all had knowledgeable staff who were more than willing to discuss, in detail, the trails and the different areas to ride nearby. Finding rentals in town is always an option, though I would suggest bringing your own gear if you plan to do any bikepacking.
Lodging is plentiful around Santa Fe, but the town does not have great options of RVers (the only two parks are far from everything that makes Santa Fe, Santa Fe). The city’s Museum of International Folk Art and Museum of Indian Arts & Culture are both worthwhile cultural stops.
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