FATMAP by Strava

Alien Run: Long Loop

The very best of the singletrack in the Alien Run trail system.

Mountain Biking Moderate

15 km
238 m
238 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2 km
Alien Run: Long Loop Map

The Alien Run trails fly well below the radar, but mountain bikers in the know rave about this small trail system as one of the best in northwestern New Mexico. While the High Desert Trails near Gallup tend to get more acclaim (in part since they’re located directly off I-40), mountain bike explorer extraordinaire John Fisch says he “found Alien Run to be even more entertaining."


“The singletrack here is the real draw as it offers everything from wicked fast juniper dodging on fast and flowy trails to major rock obstacles on the 'Black Hole’ trail,” writes Fisch. "If you’re intrepid enough to find this very remote place, you’ll likely have it all to yourself,” he concludes.

The trail system is divided into four stacked loops: The Short Loop, Long Loop, Outer Limits, and Area 51. Black Hole is a short, optional add-on found just off the Short Loop. The route mapped here covers the very best singletrack in the trail system, which is found in the lower stretches of the network. Referred to as "Long Loop," the singletrack here is well-ridden, creating a fast, flowing trail that dips and bobs through the junipers, intermittently running over exposed slickrock slabs. These slickrock slabs create superb mountain bike playgrounds with plenty of alt lines to explore and get creative on.

The primary playground zone is known as "Black Hole." If you're not feeling up for the challenge, this small slickrock bowl can easily be bypassed by sticking to the Short Loop. Or, if you're really digging these cool rock rolls and drops, you can spend an hour sessioning the many lines in the Black Hole—it just might suck you in!

You might not realize it, but as you continue along the far side of the Long Loop, you're slowly gaining elevation. All of that mellow elevation gain pays off in a hurry as you enjoy a tight, twisty, flowy romp back to the trailhead, slaloming through junipers and popping off of small rock drops. This artistic singletrack experience is a true treat—be sure to savor it!

Sources: Singletracks.com



Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area