MTB Project Logo

Dale Ball Central Loop



5.8 mile 9.4 kilometer loop


Ascent: 735' 224 m
Descent: -750' -229 m
High: 7,760' 2,365 m
Low: 7,305' 2,227 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Jared Hagerman

This trail offers a bit of everything from climbing to techie sections.

Jared Hagerman

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


This six-mile loop features a nice bit of climbing and a tech descent during a clockwise loop. There are a few blind corners, so be wary of other trail users. Riders will encounter some trick switchback climbs and nice flowing descents. But when the trail is dry, there are several sections that can be pretty loose and gravel-like.

From the parking lot, there's a nice stretch of warm-up that last till entrance to the housing section. The first climb is broken up into two sections and the first bit isn't that tough. You'll get a bit of a reprieve and a little descent before the second part. The second climbing bit is a bit tougher, the trail narrows and a few of the switchbacks can be a bit vexing... no problem to ride down, but tougher to ride up.

Once you get to trail marker #14 the trail splits... and this loop follows the trail up for a bit more climbing. Nothing tough, though there is one little tech section that you'll have to climb through. You'll know you're there when you see it... watch the tree branch on the left side, it's tried to grab my handlebars more then once.

Once you reach marker #15 you'll reach the biggest "tech" section of the ride - again you'll know your there when you see it... it's a rack stair/step-down (personally, it's one of my favorite parts of the ride). Once past that, the trail settles into just a fun bit of riding, a couple more really short tech sections... nothing major though.

Once you reach marker #27, you'll be on the road for a bit, maybe 3/10ths of a mile at most. Once back on the trail it's a pretty easy spin back to the parking lot. If you'd like to add a more interesting climb consider climbing up Trail Junction 18-19 or tackling Trail Junction 20-12.

As a side note... I don't really consider this a black diamond trail, but the trail is pretty narrow, and I wouldn't really recommend you take a beginner/newbie on it, as there are parts where your bike handling does need to be on point.


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Oct 25, 2019
Dec 31, 2017
Kelsey Riddle
We did a little bit of a variation on this but did approx 6 miles of dell bale. Great scenery, but rocky! 6mi
Nov 12, 2017
Janine DiSalvatore
janine hurting so steve did all the spurs off the Central Loop while Janine stuck to Central loop. 5.8mi
Sep 5, 2017
Oscar P
Jul 4, 2017
Shane Brooks
Jul 4, 2017
Rob Morlino
9.9mi — 2h 00m
May 21, 2017
Christopher Ross
Includes biking to and from the southern trail heads from essentially El Farrol . 9.9mi — 1h 53m
Oct 18, 2016
Tom McKim
4.5mi — 0h 45m

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 11 votes


  3.4 from 11 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in New Mexico


28 Views Last Month
3,194 Since Aug 10, 2013



Heading CCW on the Dale Ball Outer Limits.
Mar 29, 2018 near Santa Fe, NM
A fast, cobbly descent.
Nov 9, 2013 near Santa Fe, NM
Rocky steps into the arroyo.
Nov 9, 2013 near Santa Fe, NM
Sharp left at Junction 11
Nov 8, 2013 near Santa Fe, NM
Rock Stair/Stepdown  = FUN!
Aug 10, 2013 near Santa Fe, NM
Whew.  Top of the 6-Switchback climb.
Nov 9, 2013 near Santa Fe, NM


MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter