Off-Road Trails: New Mexico

An off-roader's paradise in the southwest

Photo credit: Dmitry Pichugin/
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The state of New Mexico has the official tagline of "the Land of Enchantment" for a reason - it is truly a state that has many different things going for it! From bustling cities to sparsely populated rural areas, New Mexico makes the perfect place for your next family off-road adventure.

Off-roading is a favorite pastime for many who live in this state. With wide open areas that span for miles upon miles, off-roading can be enjoyed by the entire family for seemingly days at a time. New Mexico is one state you need to experience with an ATV or UTV.

  • Size 8,700 Acres
  • Skill Level All
  • Trailhead Las Cruces, NM

Aden Hills Off-Highway Vehicle Area

With 8,700 acres of off-road recreation ready for your family enjoyment, Aden Hills OHV area is one of the most popular places to ride in the state. Open desert and sandy trails characterize the terrain in this area. Off-roaders are free to bring their camping setup to this location as well. Camping is permitted, but there are no designated campsites - come prepared for primitive camping. With no fee collected and an open riding season year-around, Aden Hills is a spot that should absolutely be on your list of ride areas in New Mexico!
ATV Trails new-mexico
  • Size 800 Acres
  • Skill Level All
  • Trailhead Farmington, NM

Farmington Dunes OHV Area (Head Canon OHV Recreation Area)

Sand dunes bring character to an otherwise sparse desert landscape just outside of Farmington, NM. A total of 800 acres of sand dunes and desert trails await, and camping is allowed here, but expect primitive conditions. Local stores are plentiful in the Farmington area.
  • Size 6,000 Acres
  • Skill Level All
  • Trailhead Socorro, NM

Johnson (Gordy's) Hill

Just like many of the riding areas in New Mexico, Johnson (Gordy's) Hill is characterized by very scenic views of sandstone cliffs and beautiful desert trails. There are also sand dunes and massive hills climbs mixed in for off-road recreation enjoyment with family and friends. Some of the technical climbs will require precise driving and plenty of horsepower. Camping is permitted in this riding area, but be sure to bring your own supplies as the area is sparse.
  • Size 577 Acres
  • Skill Level All
  • Trailhead Albuquerque, NM

Montessa OHV Park

Characterized by a large hill climb and many surrounding trails, Montessa OHV Park has something for everybody. Some 577 acres are open for your riding enjoyment, but plan accordingly as camping is not allowed in this primitive area. Albuquerque is the closest large town and has plenty of supplies for you. Be prepared when you come to this location as there is no shade or water in the area. The park is open for year around activities.
  • Size 610 Acres
  • Skill Level All
  • Trailhead Near Roswell, NM

Mescalero Sands North Dune Off-Highway Vehicle Area

For being in the middle of the desert southwest, Mescalero Sands North Dune is surprisingly scenic with an abundance of mature cottonwood trees that dot the landscape. It is said that the water table is very shallow here, thus allowing the trees to thrive. Plus, taking a family break is this mostly arid place is welcomed with the shade of these trees. Approximately 610 acres of sand dunes are open for riding enjoyment. Open year around, this area has RV camping in the north, middle, and south parking lots, plus you are allowed to camp dispersed in the dunes. However, it is advised that you have experience driving in soft sand before you attempt to drive a street vehicle in it. With this remote location in mind, please pack all of your items from Roswell so you are prepared when you arrive in the dunes.
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