New Mexico is spoiled as there are so many awesome places to ride dirt bikes across the state and many are near Albuquerque and Las Cruces.
Many of these spots are free or are low-cost. You can even camp overnight at many of these riding areas so it’s best to get some riding buddies together and make an awesome weekend of thrills and spills.
Editor’s Note: To ride dirt bikes on government land in New Mexico, you will need a New Mexico OHV Permit. These are available online.
Best Dirt Bike Trails New Mexico
We’ve done the research as we’d love to see you spend more time out there exploring the trails as opposed to hiding behind the screen. Who really wants to see another dude riding on YouTube?
That 4-stroke of yours is waiting there in the garage and is eager to take you on new trails with the humming engine with plenty of throttle on check. And when you’re ready, we can recommend these spots.
Instead of a list of MX clubs and tracks for the motocross enthusiast, we’ve aimed this guide towards the recreational rider and enduro enthusiast. It’s us casual weekend riders that are typically searching for new places to explore and do our research online.
The most popular dirt bike tracks in New Mexico are:
1. Aden Hills OHV Area
There are almost 9,000 acres of areas to explore here in Las Cruces, NM which means that you’re unlikely to take the same track twice. It’s mostly sand riding here through the scrub and with almost no trees or water, you’ll probably want to avoid the summer nights. This spot is open all year long as is the camping.
2. Cedro Peak
Head into Cibola National Forest and you’ll find numerous trail systems covering 80 miles which are rock yard or a little soft…plus everything in between. You’ll find pine forests which is a welcome change to the traditional sandy tracks that you’ll otherwise find in New Mexico. You can camp at Oak Flat and Cedro Group Campgrounds.
3. Wills and Hubbell Canyon
This spot gets its name from the railroad tracks that dominated this landscape early last century. Today it’s made up of epic dirt bike riding trails with a combination of single and double tracks. This is also known as Willie White Trails which overlooks Sacramento Mountains.
4. Old Cloudcroft Highway Trail
For loose rocky outcrop areas, we think Cloudcroft offers the best for the easy-going ride. Beginners are welcome to ride their dirt bikes here and there are some technical sections for the more experienced rider. THere are some campgrounds and Old Cloudcroft ties in with Toboggan Canyon Trail.
5. Farmington Dunes OHV Area
While Farmington isn’t the biggest area, the hill climbs up the sand dunes certainly make up for it. This place draws a crowd and is open year-round, though it can get quite hot in summer. Other names for this spot include Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area and Head Canyon OHV Area.
6. Rim Trail (New Mexico)
Rim Trail is a nice forest road with about 30 miles of mountain views to earn. We recommend riding through summer and into late Fall. Campgrounds are plentiful and you can unload the trailer at the Apple Tree Staging Area.
7. Mescalero Sand Dunes (aka Roswell)
You’ll feel as though you’re in the Sahara at Mescalero. The sand dunes are challenging and it’s best for the experienced rider. With more than 600 acres to explore and free camping galore, you’ll find this spot to be perfect for exploring. Just don’t go looking for the aliens…because there’s no such thing…right?
8. Glade Run Recreation Area
Glade Run is within Chokecherry Canyon and you can camp overnight at Brown Springs Campground. With miles and miles to explore year-round, you’ll definitely want go camp here with some buddies. This spot is popular with dual-sport and adventure riders too if you don’t feel like bring the trailer in.
9. Hackberry Lake OHV Area
With more than 100 miles of flat country and desert trails on offer, you’ll love Hackberry Lake. This is flat single track mixed in with some 4×4 trails to explore. If you fancy seeing the top end of your gearbox and triple digit speed records, then this spot is for you. Rocky tracks mixed with some soft sand.
10. Montessa OHV Park
Montessa is worth heading to for sheer open country. We recommend taking beginners here who are learning to ride as there isn’t much to crash into. Unfortunately there aint any camping here as this spot is for day use only but you’ll be pretty exhausted and ready to head home soon enough.
11. Little Apache Trail
While not the biggest spot, this place is worth the trip if you want to explore Lincoln National Forest with your dirt bike. You can camp at Silverwood Campground or the Saddle/Apache campgrounds though these later 2 don’t have direct trail access.
12. Gordy’s Hill OHV Area
As with the tradition with Frontaer, we’ve left the best until last. Gordy’s Hill over in Socorro Valley is epic and this area is very wide and open with miles of sandy tracks to explore. This place is so popular that they host the Annual Socorro Valley 100 every year.
If you’re search for some new friends then get yourself connected with the New Mexico Desert Racing Club. They have a Facebook group that welcomes new comers and beginners from all walks of life, even for casual rides or spectating of races.