Farmington hosts non-profit youth riding group at Alien Run

Darren Scott, Public Affairs Specialist

Durango Devo has been operating out of Durango, Colorado for nearly 16 years, with a goal of encouraging youth to get out and mountain bike, while fostering a sense of adventure and exploration.

The problem is, riding bikes is tricky in early spring when there’s still snow on the trails. The solution? A 45-minute drive down to Farmington, New Mexico, where the ground is dry and the public lands are close and accessible.

A photo of a group of youth mountain bike riders sitting atop their bikes on a desert trail, with an evening cloudy sky in the background.
Youth with the Durango Devo riding group pose on their bikes at Alien Run Trail System outside Farmington, New Mexico. Durango Devo is a non-profit that focuses on fostering a sense of exploration while teaching responsible riding and recreation. (Photo by Levi Kurlander, Durango Devo Executive Director).

“We head down south and ride in dry trails earlier in the year,” says Durango Devo Executive Director Levi Kurlander. “For a lot of these kids it’s their first time camping, and Alien Run Trail System is an accessible place to show kids how to ride responsibly and respect the trails and areas where they’re camping. Then they get to go home and share that with their parents and friends.”

The organization worked with outdoor recreation staff to secure a special recreation permit, and they now take several camping trips in Farmington each year. One of their main goals is to educate kids on how to recreate responsibly, treating the trails they ride and the land they camp on with respect. They teach the kids Leave No Trace principles, and are committed to leaving as little waste behind as possible. Levi says they often only carry away one bag of trash for a group of 40-50 kids.

“Durango Devo are great stewards of the land and the resources,” says Jake McBride, Farmington Field Office Outdoor Recreation Planner. “They teach amazing youth programs and have great trail and environmental ethics.”

Durango Devo works with multiple BLM offices between Colorado and New Mexico, a unique partnership which has made these types of trips possible.

A photo of a group of youth mountain bike riders sitting atop their bikes on a desert trail, with an evening cloudy sky in the background.
Youth with the Durango Devo riding group pose on their bikes at Alien Run Trail System outside Farmington, New Mexico. Durango Devo is a non-profit that focuses on fostering a sense of exploration while teaching responsible riding and recreation. (Photo by Levi Kurlander, Durango Devo Executive Director).

“We work really closely with the BLM offices in Durango and Farmington for all of our programs,” Levi says. “We love working with Jake from the Farmington office. He’s friendly and responds quickly. He makes it easy for us.”

Durango Devo hopes to continue their trips to Alien Run well into the future, helping teach youth how to care for public lands and helping to ensure the safe and proper use of those lands for current and future generations.

“They’re a very important member of the mountain biking and local communities, while also being a great partner,” says Jake. “We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

A photo of a group of youth mountain bike riders sitting on a ledge, with an evening cloudy sky in the background.
Youth with the Durango Devo riding group pose on their bikes at Alien Run Trail System outside Farmington, New Mexico. Durango Devo is a non-profit that focuses on fostering a sense of exploration while teaching responsible riding and recreation. (Photo by Levi Kurlander, Durango Devo Executive Director).

Photos by Durango Devo

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