New Mexico ATV Trail Guide

New Mexico ATV Trails

The Best New Mexico ATV Trails

When it comes to off-road trails in New Mexico, the state really lives up to its “Land of Enchantment” nickname thanks to a favorable climate, natural wonders and stunning landscapes ranging from large deserts to rugged mesas, to steep slopes, to dense forests, to its 88 mountain ranges. Wondering where to ride ATVs? Want to learn the “can’t miss” ATV riding and UTV riding in the state? Trying to figure out how to find ATV trails near me when you’re in New Mexico? Here you go. Below is a list of just a few of the most popular New Mexico UTV trails and ATV trails, compiled by the experts at Treadworld, with location information and websites where available.

Aden Hills

Location: Dona Ana County, south-central New Mexico, 20 miles outside of Las Cruces, NM


This 8,700-acre section of the Chichuahuan Desert is a dream for both ATV riders and UTV riders since 1993, when it was officially designated as a place where off-road/cross-country travel would be allowed. It doesn’t get much better than 4-wheeler riding through this scrub environment of low mesquite and creosote-stabilized dunes, with a variety of dropseed grasses, yucca, and cacti all around. Exploring all of the trails in this area could take weeks and there are limited services, so be sure to pack a lunch. Or two.

Big Burro Mountains

Location: Grant County in central New Mexico, 15 miles southwest of Silver City, NM


Part of the state’s protected Gila National Forest, this area offers miles of New Mexico OHV trails with highly scenic views of everything from rugged mountain forests to high desert. Difficulty levels run the gamut, ranging from easy to challenging. The Big Burro Mountains span 35 miles in central New Mexico. Expect some sand, a few mud bogs and some rocky trail segments among the many steep hills.

Caja del Rio Plateau

Location: 8 miles west of Santa Fe, NM, in the Santa Fe National Forest


If you’re allergic to dust, move on to the next listing because this area is in a drier section of the Santa Fe National Forest and sports lots of sage and mixed grasses. But if you don’t have allergies, get set for some spectacular ATV trail riding on a nearly 25-mile loop combination of 2-track dirt roads and tight winding paths through the forest amidst the natural beauty of the New Mexico wilderness. If you’ve got the time, consider exploring the variety of trail off-shoots you’ll encounter along the way

The Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area

Location: Off Highway 371, Farmington, NM


For some of the best off-roading in New Mexico, check out this area’s 20 miles of trails weaving through 800 acres of diverse landscape, ranging from large sand dunes surrounded by towering sandstone walls, to steep hills, to gentle hills, to sandy arroyos. As you would expect, the terrain is mostly sandy, with a little dust, some rocks and even the occasional mudding trails, along with some small and large jumps and berms.

Glade Run Recreation Area

Location: Pinon Hills Blvd. and Glade Road, Farmington, NM


The southern section of this 19,000-acre area offers around 42 miles of ATV riding trails over 3,800 acres of challenging terrains that will have you climbing steep mountain trails, heading through sandy arroyos, negotiating rolling terrain and crawling over boulders, slickrock, mountain foothills, and rock piles. In fact, Chokecherry Canyon in this area is the host location for the W.E. Rock Grand Nationals, where competitors complete eight challenging courses of over two days.

Haystack Mountain OHV

Location: Chaves County in south-central New Mexico, 22 miles northeast of Roswell, NM


Here you’ve got miles of desert trails spanning 1,900 acres of rugged terrain that offers challenging ATV and UTV riding trails through deep gullies and up steep hills for expert riders, and some more moderate areas for beginning 4-wheeler riders that are mostly hardpack with some bare rock, sand washes and a few rockier sections. Providing spectacular views overlooking the Pecos River, this area is designed for OHVs no wider than 50 inches

Johnson’s Hill OHV Area

Location: 901 South Highway 85 Socorro, NM


Overlooking the town of Bosque and the Rio Grande Valley, this 6,000-acre area (which is also known as Gordy’s Hill) provides riders with some seriously outstanding scenic views. The New Mexico ATV trails here offer a grand variety of ATV and UTV riding trails suitable for the gamut of experience levels, with deep canyons, high sandstone and limestone bluffs, terraces and steep slopes, along with sandy washes and dry, barren desert. The area is divided by the Quebradas Back Country Byway from east to west, unpaved county road traversing about 24 miles of rugged, colorful landscapes east of Socorro, NM. The name Quebradas is Spanish for “breaks”, and refers to the numerous arroyos, ravines and cliffs that the trail covers as it takes you through badlands areas, narrow box canyons and beautiful almost-vertical multi-colored, water-sculpted limestone, sandstone and granite cliffs.

Red River Off-Road Trails

Location: Taos County in north-central New Mexico; head out from main street Red River, NM, in any direction


Here you’ll find several ATV trails and UTV trails with a variety of ratings to accommodate and challenge riders of all skill and experience levels. For instance, the Old Red River Pass trail (forest road 488), rated as “difficult”, is a nearly 13-mile trail that’s over 100 years old and steeped in history that stars Ute and Jicarilla Apaches, explorers, fur trappers and prospectors, and hundreds of gold, silver and copper mines. It ranges in elevation from 8,750 feet above sea level to 9,852 feet at the top, and offers spectacular views of the Red River Upper Valley, Wheeler Peak and Gold Hill, along with tons of wildlife like black bear, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bobcats, elk, mule deer, beaver and of course, chipmunks. Goose Lake (forest road 486) is a nearly 14-mile trail recommended for experienced riders as it gets up to an elevation of 11,500 feet, and features a river crossing, and some narrow, rocky paths. The 4th of July Canyon Trail (forest Road 490) is a very narrow, steep and rugged 4- mile trail which is rated as “very difficult” and should only be driven on by highly experienced drivers. The Pioneer Canyon trail (forest Road 485), built by miners at the end of the 19th century, offers a 6-mile round trip along Pioneer Creek while reaching elevations of 10,200 feet, and includes remnants of gold and silver mines that operated until 1931.

Robledo Mountains OHV Trail System

Location: Dona Ana County, south-central New Mexico; Rocky Acres Trail, Las Cruces, NM,


These lightly-maintained desert trails in the hills and mountains around Las Cruces, provide some of the most popular ATV riding in New Mexico, taking you through a landscape of rock, cliffs, hills, and washes highlighted by tons of diversions in the form of side 4-wheeler trails into rugged canyons, through desert chaparral and across craggy ridges. Watch out for enormous rocks that require specialized equipment for passage, and keep an eye open for ocotillo, prickly pear, yucca, and other plant species native to New Mexico.

That’s Just a Few

New Mexico is an outdoor lover’s dream, with a wide variety of terrain and a pleasant climate offering plenty of opportunity for ATV and UTV riding enthusiasts to pursue the ultimate ride. We’ve only highlighted a few of the many New Mexico ATV trails here, but you’ll be able to find hundreds more throughout the state, with very little effort.

We’re Treadworld, Home of the Best Specialty Tires Anywhere

Whether you’re ATV and UTV trail riding in New Mexico or anywhere else in the U.S., you can count on us to provide you with the dependable, high performance Master ATV and UTV Tires you want. Here at Treadworld, we have the right ATV tires for every type of adventure riding, in every part of the country. The ATV tires we provide you with offer the finest in top quality, long-lasting, never-let-you-down reliability, manufactured with strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, then covered by our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have on the best ATV tires for you.


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