Alien Run, Aztec, NM
While the High Desert Trails get all the love in northwest New Mexico, a couple hours north, sitting close to the Colorado border just below Durango, lies a trail system I found to be even more entertaining: Alien Run. This sometimes rocky and nicely varied high desert trail system has both interesting singletrack and an interesting history. Legend has it that this mesa was a UFO crash site, complete with little green men spirited away for dissection by the US Air Force. The trail is marked with little alien heads painted on the rock, and there’s even a plaque commemorating the event.
X-Files conspiracies aside, 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. If you’re intrepid enough to find this very remote place, you’ll likely have it all to yourself.