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Alien Run

 4.1 (23)

9.2 Miles 14.7 Kilometers


637' 194 m


-608' -185 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (9°)

6,562' 2,000 m


6,123' 1,866 m


Shared By John Geronimo


All Clear 30 days ago

Getting forecast...

Outstanding high desert slickrock and canyon rim cruising.

John Geronimo

Dogs Off-leash

Features -none-


Alien Run has a bit of everything: swooping flow trail, rim riding, slickrock sessioning, and tight turns among the pinons and junipers. The Alien Run Outer Limits extension throws in rocky climbs and plunging downhills. It's a remarkable mix including one of the largest selections of slickrock in New Mexico.

Bike Magazine chose Alien Run to represent New Mexico in a March 2008 guide to the 50 states.

To reach the trailhead, start at the main junction in Aztec where 544 and 550 meet. Drive 4 mi NE on 550. Turn right on 2770, which is immediately north of mile marker 164. Go east 2.7 mi, then take a left and go north 0.5 miles past a large gas installation. Just beyond a cattle guard, turn right. Go 0.4 miles to the trailhead.

All of these are heavily used gas well service roads that will be messy in wet weather. When driving and riding in this area watch out for "identified flying objects" -- gas field vehicles moving at high velocity!

The sign at the trailhead shows 5, 10, and 19 mile options. The distance is actually 16 mi, not 19, for Outer Limits. This description will cover the 10 mile loop. It is directional: ride counter-clockwise.

The first section is a nice warmup on dirt tread, swooping in and out of small arroyos just back from the rim of Hart Canyon. Soon you are riding on a mixture of slickrock and distinct trail.

At 2.3 mi there is an optional "Black Hole" loop that rolls around the convexities and concavities of the canyon edge. The intermediate rider can follow the arrows but experts will find interesting side features to session.

Now the riding is mostly on slickrock with Moab-style paint arrows. Some are faded or missing so a bit of route finding may be needed. Lots of sessioning possibilities in this area.

At 2.9 miles you can turn left and do the 5 mile loop. Otherwise, carry on along the rim.

Alien Run was developed by Al & Deral Saiz of Aztec. Around 3.2 mi you see an example of their design skills. The trail leaves the rim and climbs up a canyon through boulders to reach another level of rim. This terrain change completely alters the character of the trail.

Around mile 4, the alleged "UFO Crash Site" is off to the left somewhere. Cue the "Close Encounters" soundtrack!

At 4.3 mi you reach the Alien Run Outer Limits option. This is a completely separate loop with very different characteristics.

Turning to the north you leave the canyon rim behind. Now the trail changes to tight and swooping turns among pinons, with occasional sandy sections.


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Your Check-Ins


Jul 15, 2018
Kevin Webster
9mi — 1h 00m
Jul 4, 2018
Jordan Spangler
Apr 21, 2018
Heather Haskie
Mar 7, 2018
Ashley A
Nov 25, 2017
Heather Goodrich
Trail dry and in great shape. 9.2mi
Oct 24, 2017
Josh Powell
two laps on the "5mi" short loop 13.2mi
Oct 15, 2017
Josh Powell
Sep 8, 2017
Ashley A

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 23 votes


in Farmington


  4.1 from 23 votes
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in Farmington


in New Mexico


181 Views Last Month
10,671 Since Aug 20, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate


hansrote2002, there's also a little less known trail (for biking) that takes off from Aztec High School south campus and spits out at Tiger Complex. Sep 8, 2014
John Geronimo
Albuquerque, NM
John Geronimo   Albuquerque, NM
Sara, I finally found and mapped Mountain View this summer. It is up on the site:… Nov 4, 2016
I had a difficult time getting excited about this trail. I planned on the Super Loop and turned around at the 9 mile option due to boredom. The course seems unnecessarily windy, and it was difficult to find any momentum on the trail. Whoever built this trail did not like speed. Any time I benefitted from the slightest gravity, the trail would bend a sharp right or left, bringing riders to a halt. On a positive note, the scenery is great! Jul 15, 2018

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