Hidden Gems A Local's Perspective
Top 5 Hiking and Biking Trails to Explore Outside in and around Gallup, New Mexico Top 5 Hiking and Biking Trails to Explore Outside in and around Gallup, New Mexico

Gallup is more than a convenient stop along Interstate 40 and Route 66, it’s a hub for outdoor adventures! This region offers a plethora of outdoor activities to enrich your road trip in a safe and socially distanced manner without missing out on the incredible landscapes, arts, and more as you travel. 

The Top 5 series aims to help you explore the great assets when you get out of doors in the Gallup region, where there are few restrictions on your adventures. The first places to check out in the Gallup area are the stunning hiking and biking trails. The benefits are that they’re free to use, there are miles to explore, and views you can’t miss!

  1. High Desert Trail System

The High Desert Trail system is comprised of over 22 miles of trail. It’s suitable for an afternoon or an all-day epic hike or bike ride. The trail is single track and organized into three loops with connectors.  The trail landscape changes dramatically from the west end to the east end of the system, making it a fantastic place to explore.  This trail system is close to town and close to two interstate exits.  The trail landscape also includes unique rock sculptures, metal sculptures, sun dials and more. 

  1. Red Rock Park Trails

Gallup’s Red Rock Park includes two trails that connect with each other. Pyramid Trail is three miles round trip from the trailhead. You can hike up to the top of the Pyramid and gather breathtaking views of Gallup and the old bunkers of Fort Wingate.  Church Rock Trail is a two-mile round-trip hiking experience that leads you up to the sandstone spires for which the trail is named.  These are Gallup’s most popular hiking trails and when you see the views, you’ll know why!

  1. University of New Mexico- Gallup Trails

This small trail system is a hidden gem on the south side of Gallup off of Boardman Avenue.  These trails total about 1.5 miles and offer outdoor athletic equipment alongside the trail. The trail is crushed rock which makes it easy for anyone just looking for a nice stretch from being on the road. The best part of this trail- stunning views of Pyramid Peak and the hogback red rocks.  Sunset from this trail is also gorgeous.

  1. The People’s Flag

           This is the shortest trail on the list- clocking in at no more than half a mile. That said- it is a lovely little stretch near the highway that offers a great view of the city of Gallup on a crush rock path that leads to the large flag that sits atop a hill overlooking the town. This flag installation was a collaboration of the City of Gallup, Gallup Land Partners, McKinley County, Veterans Helping Veterans, and donations from throughout the community.

  1. Zuni Mountain Trail System

In contrast to the People’s Flag, this trail system contains the largest amount of trails in terms of miles, offering over 55 miles of trail options for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians to explore. In the winter months, the trail system is great for cross-country skiers.  This area is tucked away with Mt. Sedgwick rising 9256 feet over Ponderosa pine forests, colorful aspen lined canyons and green-topped mesas.  The Continental Divide runs through the middle.

The views along any of the trails are stunning! If you would prefer a hard copy of a trail map, give our Visitor's Center a call at (505) 722-2228 and we can email or mail you one for your trip!