Start  of Chalk Dust Trail

The Chalk Dust trail in Placitas is one of the oldest trails in the area, and one of the most unique as well. It is located on the north-eastern boundary of the Placitas trail network.

Chalk Dust is usually ridden East to West, using Strip Mine trail to get there.

The beginning of the trail starts off with a flat section of doubletrack. It crosses a small steep wash and gently climbs, but not for too long.


The climb gives way to a fast section of doubletrack, at the end the trail cuts left onto classic desert singletrack with a few technical and washed out spots at the beginning.


It becomes evident where this trail got it’s name as soon as your tires hit the singletrack.

Zac Eagle leads his brother Ian into Chalk Dust

The trail traverses a bench-cut that has many corners and exposed sections on the riders left hand side, all at pretty high speeds if you are willing to put in some effort.

Ian Eagle, foot out flat out.

After blasting through a few corners and getting up a few punchy climbs, the trail has a great berm corner and a fun hip jump.

Ian towing Zac into the hip jump.
Zac tweaking the bars on the hip jump.
Ian sending it into the sun!

After the jumps, the trails dives left off of the bench-cut in a very high speed section where riders can let off the brakes and really let it fly. Visibility is great here too, as the trail is generally free of trees and bushes.

Zac and Ian dropping off the bench into the high speed singletrack.

The trail is a high speed bomber from here on out, and there are bumps to boost off of and pump for more speed. Try to stay off the brakes! This is the section you came to ride!

Zac styling out on a high speed bump jump.
Ian cornering as the dirt gets more red.

The dirt changes color from white to red as you drop further towards the bottom of the trail. As you near the end, there are a few tight corners and a steep roll off the last hill. This leads into a narrow bridge crossing, with about a 10 foot drop if you miss the bridge, so pay attention!

Zac hitting one of the last corners on Chalk Dust.
The last corner of the descent! What a view!

After the last few corners and the bridge, the trail climbs fairly steeply up out along a hillside for a minute or two, and then there is an intersection to go either South or West.

This trail leaves me with a big grin on my face every time I ride it, and is certainly one of the highlights of the Placitas trail network.

Check out my YouTube Channel for a POV follow cam run! 

This is the Strava Segment for the entire Chalk Dust trail, from where it splits from Strip Mine, all the way down to the bridge.

If you are looking for more info, check MTB Project for “Strip Mine Trail” or the Trailforks mapping site under “Es11”.