This trail has it all! Awesome views, gorgeous waterfalls, creek crossings, treacherous rock gardens, steep grades, tight switchbacks and smooth, tight singletrack that cuts through varied terrain. If you crave a backcountry mountain bike adventure, the Rio En Medio has what you need.
The trail starts just a short ways down the Upper Winsor Trail #254
from the Santa Fe Ski Area parking lot. When you get to a bridge, don't take it as that is the Winsor Trail
. Go straight and you're off.
You'll be following the river the entire way. The first section (before Aspen Ranch) is perhaps the toughest part of the trail as the grade is very steep and there are some nasty rock gardens. This first part is unrelentingly tough and will require every bit of expertise you can muster. Soon you'll get to the Borrego Trail
and follow it for a stretch before heading west again.
The portion along the Borrego Trail
is steep but fairly smooth. As you descend on the Rio, the trail starts to flatten out a bit and it becomes a lot more rideable. There are a number of technical hazards along the way but most of it is manageable and can be ridden at a quick tempo. Soon the grade steepens again and the technical nature of the trail takes a turn for the super burly. You'll have to manage big rock gardens at a steep grade. Take your time as there are a series of waterfalls that start to appear in this area.
Once you are clear of this section, you get to a couple of trail intersections. The Viejo Trail #179
will be on your right and it should be marked. The lesser known Double Discount Trail will be on your left a little further down after a stream crossing and it is unmarked. If you are headed all the way down to the town of En Medio then go straight and you'll be there in no time, as the trail is fairly easy from here on out.
This is really a gem of a trail and you'll want to do it again soon!