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A trail featuring diverse high desert terrain with steep climbing and plenty of technical features.”
— Brian Leddy
This loop represents the core of the Northside Trail System and has incredible views of Gallup and the surrounding high desert terrain. The trail is often narrow, steep, and technical with plenty of exposure in several sections. There are several other trails that split from the main loop, though most lollipop or are an out and back. The best way to ride this loop is counterclockwise.
Start by ascending Pete's Wicked, which begins just south of the paintball field by the water filling station. Pete's has several steep and technical sections in the first two miles, including the gut buster up to Wind Ridge. After that things even out a bit but a few technical challenges remain. At about four miles, you come to a defined three-way split in the trail. Go left (south) to continue on the Lost Dog Trail. This trail easily traverses the upper edge of Rocky Cliff Canyon for a little over one mile before opening up to fantastic views of Gallup to the south. Once you connect with the old doubletrack, continue south towards the edge of the mesa, eventually picking up the singletrack.
Fasten your seatbelt as you are about to drop in to No Guardrails! Things get gnarly pretty quick as you drop off the Patio with some knee-wobbling exposure combined with narrow trail. It's do-able just don't look down. The trail begins to descend east around the southern face of the mesa with some more technical features along the way. At about .2 miles past the drop in point you'll pass a cairned intersection. Continue straight (east) to stay on top of the ridge. The trail begins a steady descent that wraps around the southern faces of the mesa, making for some more slow, technical descending and grand views. Nothing too rugged, just slow and twisty singletrack that requires solid bike handling skills. After three miles of descent, the trail spits you out at the parking lot where you started.