MTB Project Logo

Alien Run

 4.2 (29)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

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



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.


You & This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Your Check-Ins


Oct 19, 2018
Brian Bass
Oct 19, 2018
Chris Parks
Sep 26, 2018
Mark Price
Excellent short ride 2.5mi — 1h 00m
Sep 19, 2018
Nicole Manfredonia
Fun! 9.4mi
Aug 23, 2018
Brian Cronin
Jul 15, 2018
Kevin Webster
9mi — 1h 00m
Jul 4, 2018
Jordan Spangler
Apr 21, 2018
Heather Haskie

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 29 votes


in Alien Run


  4.2 from 29 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Alien Run


in New Mexico


208 Views Last Month
12,125 Since Aug 20, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

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
Ģnöfudør Ðrænk
In the vicinity of 43 deg l…
Ģnöfudør Ðrænk   In the vicinity of 43 deg l…
Enormous thanks to the crew that built this trail. Fast and flowing with lots of entertaining challenges for the right skill set. This is the best trail in the general area. Oct 9, 2018

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter