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Level: Intermediate
Length: 23 mi (37 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +497/ -416 ft
Total: 73 riders

Mountain Biking High Desert Trail System

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#5 of 282 mountain bike trails in New Mexico
#451 in the world

This trail has map/signs at all intersections and is very easy to follow. The three mesas increase in difficulty. There is a steel sundial at the Third Mesa Overlook and some more art scattered along the trail. The singletrack is smooth and narrow with some short intense climbs. A premier SS rigid ride, and also home to the annual Dawn Til Dusk 12 hr endurance race in mid April.

First added by searsandrewj on Apr 2, 2007. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Gallup I-40 Exit 20 go north 2 miles, then turn left at the Chino Loop traffic signal. Just around the curve look for the parking lot on your left by the gravel road.
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High Desert Trail System Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

B0B (on Oct 9, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Oct 9, 2020)
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Rider questions

Q: Dog friendly?
A: Hiking and jogging is permitted but bikers have the right of way. Well behaved dogs are welcome and often seen on the trails.

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  • Gdb49

    Don't know if I'd drive 8 hrs to ride these trails, but had a great time. If you're in Gallup this is a must ride! Very fun! When you put the I-40 cities together, this should be a stop- Albuquerque, Gallup, Flagstaff, and Sedona make for an epic trip.

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  • Ben Stolinski

    I was on my way to Sedona when some locals at White Mesa recommended we stop here. These trails are absolutely awesome! A nice blend of mostly intermediate trail with some beginner and advanced mixed to keep it fresh. Super fun lines, mild exposure, and flow sections sprinkled with technical sections keep you smiling and having fun the entire ride. Also some great scenic views! Definitely recommend if you're driving through I-40. Locals who get to ride these trails are lucky to have this in their back yards! These trails are made for mountain bikes!

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  • CFM   ✓ supporter

    I've got to admit I didn't expect much when we stopped here on our trip. Was I ever surprised. This trail is laid out extremely well and constantly included interesting features whether natural or man made. The distance was perfect for a break from driving. Tread is well maintained. We will stop here more often!

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  • J-Dogg   ✓ supporter

    Awesome trail built by mtb'rs for mtb'rs. Combo of Kokopelli and west Sedona only faster. Took the Gamerco (east) TH and did the whole loop ccw.

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  • ireiman

    Such a fun trail system in the desert! Nice mix of challenging technical sections and wicked fast flow!

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  • bigfoot

    I have to say this I felt like a pro yesterday this trail is amazing surely need to check it out if you are in this area

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  • sscharin

    Super fun well built trail system in an area that would be thought of as drive thru.Well signed & even some well placed trail side artwork. Nice job Gallup.

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  • reneeATX

    First time riding in Gallup...stopped on the way to Sedona & I'm so glad I did. I started at 9 & rode the whole system before the afternoon winds came in. It's a dry, smooth rolling trail- classic high desert- with short climbs & slickrock. a perfect ride for spring or fall. hope to return for the 12 hour.

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  • TASS

    Great trail system in an area you might not think there was anything. Started from the West TH and road clockwise. Stay left all the way. There is now good signage for each loop and even shows you where you are on the loops. Trails all well marked and in this weekday ride there were others hiking, running & riding the trails. Some great technical single track at the end with drop-offs. Not for beginner here. Trails are a mix of hard pack, sand and slick rock. This is high desert for sure and would not recommend a mid-day summer ride here.

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  • Patrick J. Samora

    Variety of skill levels available. Go to the east TH (the app leads you to the west TH) if you wish to start off or stay on easier but engaging trails. Some nice views and interesting rock formations can be viewed more from the west end however.

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  • wapitihunter

    This set of trails is a blast. Very flowy and easy for novice and intermediate riders--I rode only the first two loops. I had a great ride and enjoyed every minute.

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  • Erica Barnes

    Rode this as part of the 12 hours race, Dawn til Dusk, so I didn't get to do too much exploring. However, I can't wait to get back out to Gallup to ride this again. Mostly cross-country style trails, with a few technical spots thrown in. It's pretty easy to get well over 1000 ft of climbing in, which can be a bit of a leg burner.

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  • AaronT

    GPS Link on Website is for Mentmore TH. USE: 35.558416,-108.76187 for Gamerco TH which is what is listed as the written directions. Either one goes to the other.

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  • stantonit

    rode midday today, have adopted this ride as my home track. not the fastest, or the slowest but i love to ride. light traffic yet every1 is pleasant. would recommend. enjoy :^)

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  • *****

    This is absolutely one of the best trail rides I have experienced in a long time I highly recommend it If you were in the area.

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  • wadeharrison

    Living nearby for a short stint and just checked out these trails yesterday. Rode all three loops clockwise starting from the western trailhead. Fun riding, 3rd loop is definitely the most interesting. Other two have more loose desert sand that makes cornering fast interesting...at least to someone who usually rides east coast dirt. Great desert scenery though. Got into a showdown with a bull on the stretch between the 1st and 2nd loops, but after a minute or so he let me pass which was kind of him. My SS is no longer rigid as of this season but I'd echo the description that it's a great place to take out a SS rigid or not.

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  • abegold

    High Desert's fun the way it cuts thru dirt across hillsides and gullies. Even ran the dog with me and no hassles. The scenery is pretty barren but the trails are fun. Gallup gets cold in winter.

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  • wanderingpops

    Great, fast, easy singletrack. There are a few spots that could be challenging to many riders but most of the trail is very fun and easy. My wife rode most of it and she had not ridden off road in about a year and a half. At the Gamerco Trailhead we did not feel unsafe at all parking there.

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  • John Fisch

    This is a great trail network. There's over 20 miles of superb cross-country desert singletrack. While First Mesa is rated "Beginner" and Second Mesa is rated "Intermediate," I found First Mesa to more interesting. Second Mesa had a lot of sandy cow path. The "Advanced" Third Mesa, however, is the crown jewel in this system. There is top-notch, Fruita-like singletrack here with some very fun technical bits thrown in. I recommend starting at the West trailhead, that way you start and finish with Third Mesa and can decide along the way how much you want to do the rest of the trail system.

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