Sandy singletrack threading around and across arroyos with tight turns.”
— John Geronimo
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.