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  1. #1
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    stupid security question for High Desert Trail

    Okay, so I know anything can happen anywhere, and sometimes does, BUT, can anyone comment on the safety/security of parking and leaving your car/rv at the Gamerco Trailhead of the High Desert Trail in Gallup? We're planning a trip soon, and I've read on a review somewhere about break-ins when parking there. If it's a random/freak thing, then fine I'll take my chances, but I'd feel like an idiot, if I find out later that "oh yeah, it's common knowledge not to park THERE"...

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    It's not a stupid question. In fact, this comes up in some form every year, and the consensus is pretty much the same.

    IMO, the west side parking area is very creepy. It's not only very isolated, but also shows all the signs of being frequented by the creepy types - broken glass, spent cartridges, etc. Nevertheless, I've never had a problem there during the day, and I don't know of anyone else who has had a problem there, even overnight. I've run into many people while parked there, and they've always been civil, regardless of their reason for being out there. Also, for better or worse, that is for all practical purposes, a dead-end road.

    On the other hand, the east side trailhead is as civilized as Gallup gets. It's frequented by children and grandparents alike. I've personally spent the night there, although you probably have to be a lot more discreet there than on the west side, as I'd expect you'd get rousted by one authority or another if you weren't - but maybe not.

  3. #3
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeT
    Okay, so I know anything can happen anywhere, and sometimes does, BUT, can anyone comment on the safety/security of parking and leaving your car/rv at the Gamerco Trailhead of the High Desert Trail in Gallup? We're planning a trip soon, and I've read on a review somewhere about break-ins when parking there. If it's a random/freak thing, then fine I'll take my chances, but I'd feel like an idiot, if I find out later that "oh yeah, it's common knowledge not to park THERE"...

    Thanks.
    We had a few breakins last spring (mostly local vehicles) at the Gamerco TH. The Sheriff Dept. staked it out and caught the guy red handed and threw him in jail. There have been no incidents since then. I wouldn't worry too much at the Mentmore side during daylight hours. The road to the trailhead is no longer a through road but still has almost continuous truck traffic to the rail loading terminal. The new shooting range is just a little past the trailhead also, so quite a bit of traffic during the day. The shooting range faces away from the trail system, btw.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  4. #4
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    It's also very close to a major street near buisinesses. You could park on the city streets and ride in very easily. So if your worried about break-ins just ride in from the city streets.

  5. #5
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    Thx.

    Thanks everyone. Kinda what I figured, but wanted to double check.

    We're planning to ride High Desert on Tuesday morning, Sep 1st. Probably single-speed, since I've heard that's a good place for it. If anyone wants to show off their trails to some out-of-towners we'd love to have a guide/company. If not, that's cool too--I've got a decent map and GPS. Just looking forward to getting out of the Houston heat!

    -Joe

  6. #6
    I <3 NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeT
    Just looking forward to getting out of the Houston heat!

    -Joe

    man.. i spent a week in H-town at the end of July.. any excuse to get out of that flat, hot, humid town is acceptible!
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeT
    ... If anyone wants to show off their trails to some out-of-towners we'd love to have a guide/company. If not, that's cool too--I've got a decent map and GPS. ...
    High Desert is the only trail system that I'd be willing to say that you could ride without any possibility of getting confused, much less lost. There are little map thingies permanently installed at every intersection, and there are what, maybe a half dozen intersections in the whole system. Just be heads up for the huge rock karins on the slick rock on the west/low side of 3rd mesa to guide you through that section.

    If you start on the east side, turn right when you get to the flags to head to 2nd and 3rd mesas, and pickup the 1st mesa loop on the way back (or vice-versa). If you start on the west side, turn right when you get to the trail proper, so that you ride 3rd mesa counter-clockwise. 3rd mesa clockwise is just not nearly as nice.

    Highly recommend starting on the east side. The climb up from the low point of 3rd mesa is not so much fun when you're cold, and that whole west side park and start is just not nearly as endearing.

  8. #8
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeT
    Thanks everyone. Kinda what I figured, but wanted to double check.

    We're planning to ride High Desert on Tuesday morning, Sep 1st. Probably single-speed, since I've heard that's a good place for it. If anyone wants to show off their trails to some out-of-towners we'd love to have a guide/company. If not, that's cool too--I've got a decent map and GPS. Just looking forward to getting out of the Houston heat!

    -Joe
    The High Desert Trail is pretty well marked, you won't really need a map or gps as long as you find the trail head, which is also pretty well marked. I prefer to start at the Mentmore Trailhead and ride counter clockwise. There are directions to both trail heads at:

    www.galluptrails2010.com/gallup-area-trail-info

    Enjoy
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  9. #9
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    The Casualties

    Don't forget McGaffey Canyon, outta Wingate where 40 miles+ IMBA forest single-track exists. The people at Mesa Cycles can help out in person or on line. These folks are really friendly and eager to give out info.

  10. #10
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    2nd---Mcgaffey is most excellent!

  11. #11
    saddlemeat
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    Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O'Punc
    Don't forget McGaffey Canyon, outta Wingate where 40 miles+ IMBA forest single-track exists. The people at Mesa Cycles can help out in person or on line. These folks are really friendly and eager to give out info.
    The McGaffey District of the Zuni Mountains MTB Trail System is just spectacular right now. For those who venture a little deeper the Twin Springs area is great also, but you will need a map and gps. Riding with someone who knows the area is even better, and no better time than Mem Day weekend. Always plenty of informal group rides, camping, potluck live music, the new mini mtb course in the hills around camp. This is not an organized event, but has been happening for 10 yrs or so, I'd guess. Definately primitive camping and nothing provided but comraderie. There is a functional groover (outhouse without a house over it basically) back in the trees so please use it, as there will be a lot of people and dogs around. Look for the Lion Of Flanders.

    Sadly, the High Mesa Bike Shop is no longer in business, so here is your best source of info for the time being. The NMES Zuni 100 gpx file at the bottom of the page includes 50 miles of spectacular singletrack and can be downloaded to your GPS.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  12. #12
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    thx again

    Thanks again everyone. McGaffey area riding is in the plans for the rest of the week (Sep 2-4). Then heading to Santa Fe for some family stuff. Planning to hit White Mesa on the way though...

    -JoeT

  13. #13
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    just got home

    All I can say is WOW! High Desert Trail system in Gallup is probably the single best trail system I have ever ridden. Awesome scenery, GREAT trail design. It's obvious that TONS of love went into this trail, with all the art and stone work everywhere. If you're within 200 miles of Gallup, this is a MUST RIDE!

    Thanks a ton to anyone/everyone responsible for these trails.

  14. #14
    High Alpine Adventure
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    Thank BSieb and a host of others!
    Dug-Da-Goat

    Something changes at 12,000'
    ...so welcome to the Odyssey!

    Building your trails at FooMTB

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