FATMAP by Strava

Alien Run: Short Loop

The best bang for your buck ride at Alien Run.

Mountain Biking Moderate

11 km
134 m
134 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2 km
Alien Run: Short 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 is the Short Loop, which is a quick, fairly easy introduction to mountain biking at Alien Run.

Even though this loop is short, you'll still get a fantastic taste of the best singletrack that Alien Run has to offer! The trail tread on this loop 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.

You might not realize it, but as you continue along the far side of the loop, you're slowly gaining elevation. All of that mellow elevation gain pays off in a hurry as you enjoy a flowy downhill back to the trailhead, swooping through the desert. 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
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area