Horseback Riding the Nambé Badlands

Horseback riding has been popular in the Nambé Badlands for over fifty years.  The best place to park your horse trailer is at the trailhead off the EAST side of NM 503.   Open the gate and park your trailer in the flat parking area on the south side of the dirt road, just 30 yards past the gate entrance.  Would you please close the gate behind you?

Horseback riding is more popular on the trails on the east side of NM 503.  The trails on the west side of NM 503 are narrow single-track and very popular with mountain bikers and hikers.  The soils on the east side of NM 503 have a more granitic component to them and are more robust to horseback riding and mountain biking than the fragile cryptobiotic soils on the west side of NM 503.   If you do ride on the west side trails, please stay on existing trails and avoid any off-trail riding — since it causes permanent damage to the cryptobiotic soil crusts.

A spring and watering trough is located about a mile north of the horse trailer parking area.  Follow the two-track trail that heads due north from the trailer parking area.

Please remember that horses have the right of way on all trails. The recent influx of inexperienced mountain bikers has resulted in some mountain bike riders not respecting the rules of the trails. We are trying to educate the inexperienced riders on the accepted “trail triangle” trail ethics.  Please politely let any wayward mountain bikers know these rules, and please let us know when you have experienced issues from other trail users.  With education, we hope to reduce conflict and protect the resources of this fragile landscape.

Horse trailers can park at the NM 503 trailhead, on the east side of the highway, 5.1 miles from the intersection of NM 503 and US 84/285.  Directions.

View looking east of the horse trailer parking area off of NM 503.  Please close and latch behind you.

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