Geotourism Mapguide: A travel guide to the places most respected and recommended by locals.
  Hiking Trail or Trailhead

High Desert Trail System

If you want real singletrack - you better get to Gallup, NM's Adventure Capital.  The High Desert Trail system, named after the late Charles High, is a stacked loop system with narrow, single track trails with great vistas and cap rocks. The three loops are named First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa, and go from easy begineer to intermediate to technical, respectively.  Two trailheads at both ends make this very accessible from either end of Gallup.

Great for an afternoon loop mountain bike ride with the family or all day epic ride. This is a mountain bike specific designed trail system that is very well marked and has parking and substantial kiosk at both ends. Map/signs are posted at all intersections.

The High Desert Trail System is home to annual events such as 'Dawn Til Dusk', a 12-hour endurance mountain biking race; the High Desert Screamer, a series of mountain biking races; and the Squash Blossom Classic, running and biking events.

This system was designated as an National Recreation Trail in 2012 by DOI Secretary Ken Salazar.  More information:

Trail Distance: 26 miles

 Pet Friendly Notes

Yes, keep them on leash

For More Information, Contact:

Alice Perez
Gallup, NM 87301

Emmitt Barks wrote on February 22, 2016: For a map of the High Desert Trail System for your smartphone or device, go to or The PDF Maps app map uses your device's GPS, so you can always see where you are on the map!

EJ wrote on June 15, 2012: Congratulations, Adventure Gallup & Beyond on working to get this trail a National Recreation Trail designation. HDTS once a well kept secret.

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Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 35.557646900
Longitude: -108.762760200
Elevation: 6649 FT (2027 M)
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