2012 02 16 dirt fest biking photo near yucca brian frazier

(Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

Big Bend Ranch State Park and Lajitas provide some great mountain-biking opportunities, including the park’s Fresno-Sauceda Loop, which was designated an epic ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association in 2010. With the level of rides available and the generally appealing February climate, it is no surprise that the area is the destination for a mountain biking festival each Presidents’ Day weekend.

For years, that weekend was reserved for the Mas o Menos 100K endurance race. In 2011, Desert Sports launched a mountain bike festival, now known as the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest.

In 2018, it was announced that the festival will no longer take place.

Sponsored by Desert Sports, Big Bend Trail Alliance, Big Bend Ranch State Park and Lajitas Resort, the festival is not a race but instead focuses on enjoying the ride and the scenery. The event offers guided rides ranging in length and for skill levels from beginning to experienced.

While the focus is on the opportunity to ride, there are after-ride mixers and festival gatherings at local watering holes to wind down for the evening before hitting the trails again the next day. A highlight of the event for some attendees is the opportunity to test new demo bikes.

Registration is open to only 500 riders and allows those who register to participate in any of the scheduled rides. Riders sign up for the rides of their choice when they pre-register.

For more details, or view photos from previous festivals, visit bikefest.desertsportstx.com.

The March 2024 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

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