Golden Open Space

Consensus:    (details)
  3.5 from 8 votes
blue  Intermediate from 6 votes
Rank: #4 in the Albuquerque area
#32 in NM, #1,474 Overall
Views: 2,394. Last 30 days: 79
Condition Details | Update
Featured Ride in the area near Placitas,
“Sandy singletrack threading around and across arroyos with tight turns.”
John Geronimo on Apr 27, 2014
Getting There     GPX File     Print
6.310.1 milesKilometers 545’166 m Ascent 6,390’1,948 m High 3% Avg Grade (2°)
100% Singletrack -544’-166 m Descent 6,062’1,848 m Low 16% Max Grade (9°)
2:39 average time for 9.8 miles. Details

A bit distant from Albuquerque, Golden Open Space is well worth the drive. Recent expansions downward from the mesa have made this an excellent MTB area with moderate grades and many tight turns. This area has a lot of equestrian traffic which makes the trails very sandy. Trails remain unnamed and are generally marked with cairns. This area is home to snakes and there are many good hiding spots for them alongside the trails.
Need To Know
Take I-40 to Highway 14 (Exit 175). Head north on Highway 14 for about 8.75 miles to La Madera Road, which is past the road to Sandia Crest (536). Head west and then north on La Madera Rd. Go about 9 miles until you see the Golden Open Space sign on the right. The pavement ends but the road is well-maintained. It is also possible to enter or leave from the north on Puertocito Rd.

The lower trails are new, narrow, and somewhat loose. Equestrian traffic can pulverize the trail surface. Be careful not to wash out on turns - you can easily go over the bank.
Golden Open Space is a 1,180-acre preserve consisting of two mesas divided by a rugged and colorful arroyo complex. The dense arroyos cut through red, gray and yellow sandstone, limestone and mudstone making for great scenery.

The mesa top is smooth and flat cruising, while the lower elevations consist of many "V-turns" into small sandy arroyos.

The east trail's branches end at a major arroyo. You can ride down the arroyo from South to North (or vice versa) thus creating loops.

This is not a particularly technical area, but the sandy turns will keep you sharp and it is lot of fun to ride.
Land Manager: City of Albuquerque Open Space
Local Club: AMBA
View in 3D
4.0 (1)
A gnarly mix of singletrack with twisty, long downs and great climbs.
near Placitas, NM
3.8 (24)
The main loop in the North Foothills area with options to lengthen or shorten...
near Sandia Heights, NM
3.1 (7)
A grueling climb followed by a fast descent on the Sandia Peak Ski Area trails.
near Sandia Heights, NM

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PHOTOS of Golden Open Space
  4.0 from 4 votes
Reaching the end of the original Golden Open Space Trail. (Sandia Knolls, NM)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Riding through the cedar trees. (Sandia Knolls, NM)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Winding up towards the mesa (Sandia Knolls, NM)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Tricky switchbacks like this on Golden make it a mountain bikers dream c... (Sandia Knolls, NM)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Along the mesa edge (Sandia Knolls, NM)
  2.0 from 3 votes
Cruising on the mesa top (Sandia Knolls, NM)
  2.0 from 3 votes
The uplands part is flat to rolling (Placitas, NM)
  2.0 from 3 votes
Narrow trail going in to a tight arroyo V-turn (Sandia Knolls, NM)