High Desert Trails, Gallup, NM
This is a case of there being a fine set of trails with lots of love for the people who made the most of available terrain, but the trail system not standing the test of time, at least for this rider. The first time I rode High Desert, I loved it. I couldn’t wait to share it with others. The second time, I had a friend in tow, but as we rode it, I couldn’t figure out why I had rated it so highly. The third time I hit it, I was yawning much of the time and was looking forward to turning the last corner and heading back toward the parking area. I’m sure part of it was the relentless wind, which never seems to rest, unless it’s 98 degrees outside and you’d actually appreciate a little breeze. Then there’s the constant fear of smash’n’grab at the parking area making it hard to be fully present for the ride itself.
It’s still good, but not great and not enticing for me to want to make repeated visits like I do on other top-rated trails. Interestingly, I could have written exactly the same impression of the even more highly-touted Phil’s World just over the border in Cortez, CO (minus the smash’n’grab fear).