Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Museum Hill and Dale Ball Trail - On the Bike

An abdomen injury has kept me off the running trails of late - but as fortune would have it, running trails make great biking trails.  Daylight is a bit scarce after work, so I've been racing up Museum Hill way, past St. John's, and up and around the west Dale Ball loop.  The route has single-track, speed, solitude, and gorgeous sunsets.  And yes, all of this comes standard on any run, bike, or hike in NM, but it's something that really never gets old.

Museum Hill
When running this way I usually take the Arroyo Chamiso east towards Atalaya.  Arroyos are a lot less fun on two wheels so I rode east up Zia to the relatively new trailhead at Calle de Leon, (left on Conejo from E. Zia Rd.). From here there's a great network of footpaths and single-track that wind around and through the arroyo just south of the Museums.  Lots of cactus-sabotage on the narrow sections of these trails - not as noticeable or dangerous when on foot.   Rock some bike-control and you can admire the pinks and purples of an evening sky in the foothills free of incident.

 Continue east towards St. Johns or cut north when the paths thin out, and climb up to Santa Fe Trail on a path behind the NM state lands building.  Up Camino Cruz Blanca to the west Dale Ball loop which is just as awesome on wheels as on foot.  Fantastic single-track, no cactus.

The sky from Camino Cabra
Round trip from the RailTrail trailhead at Zia Rd. is about 14mi and takes just over an hour if you're hammering.  Variations include the Dorothy Stewart trail, Atalaya mtn., or the Barbaria Rd. linkup.  Finish with a Sierra Nevada and playoff baseball game. 

Sweet-ass ride.

A click-able map of the Museum Hill trailhead below.

View Museum Hill Foot Trails - Santa Fe in a larger map

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