High Desert Trail System

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Trail Distance: 18 miles
Time Estimate: 7 hr 20 mins +
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Free
Route Type: Loop
Restroom: No
Description

The High Desert Trail System is a puptacular 18-mile pathway in high mesa country. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy this challenging stacked loop network. There are single-track legs of this route that increase in difficulty. You can travel over the packed clay surface with your furry pal for most of the route. There are a few steep climbs and some sections with a sand or loose gravel surface along the way. This is a desert pathway with no shade cover. Wear sun protection when you come here.

One trailhead for the system is on Coal Carbon Road just west of S Chino Road. There's a parking lot here with a kiosk and next to the entrance to The Stem. This three-mile pathway heads southwest and connects to the 1st Mesa Loop and the Trail System Connector. At this point, you'll cross an arroyo and have a gradual climb to the "six flags" intersection. Head south from the crossroads on the 1st Mesa Loop and follow along with the canyon rim as it winds through the sagebrush. The 2nd Mesa Loop offers a level hiking road with some sandy areas and furrific rock features. On the middle loop, you'll have an easy walk over rolling hills. When you get to the 3rd Mesa, be prepared for twists and turns, ledges, switchbacks, and steep parts. Enjoy the scenic vistas as you travel on this route. 

Share this loop system with your furry pal, but keep them secure on a leash. You'll be hiking in some arid country. Make sure you have lots of water for you and your pooch. Bring bags to remove and pack out any waste.

The High Desert Trail system is a challenging hike but scenic hike. You and your pup can follow the pathway past rock formations, along a canyon, and through a series of mesas. On the way, you'll see sagebrush, desert wildflowers, and some pawesome views of the area's canyons. 

Trail Features
Steep Inclines, Desert, Rocky, Loose Terrain
Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
This loop system is also a mountain bike trail. Yield by stepping to the side of the path when bikers approach to pass you.
Address
S Chino Road and Coal Carbon Road
Gallup, NM 87301
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
S Chino Road and Coal Carbon Road
Gallup, NM 87301
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset