Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Excellent Mountain Biking in the Fort Bayard Trail System

Last week we did some hiking on the Fort Bayard trail system, just a few miles East of Silver City. This week we decided to do some mountain biking from a different trail head in that same trail system. The Dragonfly trail head is a little closer to Silver City and has the added bonus of being just 1.5 miles from a neat little petroglyph site.

It's good to go with the trail map, but be aware that there are a number of unmarked trails and that the existing signage may not always seem to jive with the map. Just remember to note some landmarks and the flow of the land and you'll be able to make your way back to the parking lot with a little help from the signs and map!

The trails in the South part of the trail system consist of long, gentle rises and descents, a few rolly hills and some fabulous single track along occasional arroyos. Imagine a slight uphill for a few miles, weaving among small hills, around scattered junipers and oak, knowing you have a long, fast, flowing return to the parking lot...a mountain bikers dream!

For those who like hills and more intense riding, I understand the further North you travel on these trails, the harder they will get as they ascend into the foothills and mountains of the Gila Wilderness.

The Dragonfly is a common theme around this particular trail head...

We headed out through grassy plains dotted with junipers;
the mountains of the Gila Wilderness in the distance.

Soon the trail dropped into arroyos and wound its way into the low hills.
It was in the streambed above that we came to the small petroglyph site. These images were created by the Mogollon people.

I'd say the "petroglyph" of the person at the top right is a modern addition.
The others are original Mogollon art.

We were surprised to see a large pool of water at the petroglyph site.
No running water though. Very few creeks have been flowing in the area surrounding Silver City.
The trail continued through wonderful rolling hills.

Expansive views! 

We took a little off shoot trail and discovered an old car graveyard.

These were some awesome mountain biking trails. We will return before we leave Silver City!


  1. What fun! Love those "off of the beaten path" finds!

  2. Do you have hybrid bikes? or a pure mountain bike? What a great find. Don't you hate it when modern people vandalize these ancient art?

    1. We have full suspension mountain bikes. You could possibly ride a hybrid on these trails. There were very few rocky areas on the trails we rode.

  3. Now that looks like a path I could ride. Nice that you found a ride you could really enjoy and not fear for your life. Sounds like a delightful day!

  4. Love that single track!!!
    Box Canyon Mark