At Silver City’s backdoor, there is a treasure worth discovering by cycling enthusiasts. Southwest New Mexico has diverse terrain, from desert grasslands to high mountain vistas, with many developed roadways and trail systems that can please road and off-road cyclists of all levels. With the backdrop of the Gila National Forest, consisting of 3.3 million acres of forested hills, breathtaking mountains, and range land, Silver City serves as the hub to accessing treasures of the Gila and surrounding areas. With cool summer temperatures and mild winters, year-round cycling can be enjoyed.
Mountain bike trails are numerous in region. Mountain bike riders can depart from Silver City and within just a few miles be in the Gila National Forest or on other trails within Grant County notable for rich mountain biking experiences. Some of the most popular mountain bike trails easily accessed from Silver City include the following:
- Boston Hill trail system offering a scenic view of Silver City with the trail system’s 13 miles of trails.
- Signal Peak area is a target location for mountain bikers, as it is located in the Pinos Altos mountain range just 14 miles north of Silver City, offering challenging and sometimes demanding trail sets. Signal Peak, as the second highest mountain in the area, at an elevation of 7295 feet, the climbs are exciting through a beautifully forested region.
- Little Walnut area is easily accessible, just a couple of miles from Silver City, giving riders a chance to travel through pines, meadows, and experience breath-taking views of the Gila. The trail system is a fast riding single track, fun for all ages.
- Fort Bayard is a special site that is a national historic landmark. Many of the fort’s officer quarters’ homes and the barracks still remain on the property. Elk, deer, javelina, turkey, and other wildlife are often seen regularly in the region where grasslands and pine trees meet. There are several trails departing for the area including the trail to the Big Tree!
- The Dragonfly trail is another favorite of locals, with its 3.5 mile ride, lightly traveled, located near Arenas Valley. The trail is good for all levels and features a river. The trail is primarily used for hiking, birding, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Road riding in southwest New Mexico will take riders through many incredible landscapes from desert grasslands to mountain vistas. No matter which way you travel from Silver City, the roads for cyclist are sure to impress. One of the most memorable loops made by riders is that called the “inner loop”-a 120 mile ride. Depending on your desire to climb or descend difficult switchbacks, tight corners, and navigate through intense landscapes, the direction taken on the loop is the rider’s choice. Most seem to prefer leaving Silver City, traveling to Pinos Altos on NM HWY15 and then entering the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. This ride will take riders through challenging curves, climbs, and very steep descents the first third of the ride. Once riders reach the Sapillo area, to turn toward Lake Roberts area on NM HWY35, the ride levels out through the quiet and peaceful Mimbres Valley. Eventually, the riders loop back to Silver City, having seen some of the most beautiful scenery the area has to offer.
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