Doña Ana Mountains feature 15 miles of mountain biking trails. Courtesy photo
White Sands National Park has hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking and sledding. Courtesy/VLC
‘Visit Las Cruces’ News:
LAS CRUCES — Outdoor adventure is a way of life in Las Cruces—where wide open spaces and a mild year-round climate provide the perfect setting for people to be active, while staying safe and socially distanced.
“Visit Las Cruces” recommends safe outlets to fight cabin fever, including exploring the Top Socially Distanced Hiking Trails around Las Cruces followed by some authentic New Mexican food at one of the many restaurants offering patio dining, curbside or take out options.
“It’s a new year, and a great time to explore the beauty of Southern New Mexico,” said Paul Dahlgren, Visit Las Cruces director of marketing & communications. “There is no better way to kick off 2021 than being outside, exploring our majestic landscapes, dynamic sunsets, and family-friendly trails by foot, bike or horse.”
The Visit Las Cruces Top Socially Distanced Hikes for 2021:
- White Sands National Park – Just 50 miles Northeast of Las Cruces, explore the otherworldly beautiful miles of sparkling white gypsum sand dunes at the Nation’s newest national park–perfect for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking and sledding. Trails are dog-friendly and entrance fees are $25/vehicle, $15/person if only one adult (16+) in vehicle, $20/motorcycle and $45 for an annual pass. A free day-use permit is required for horses.
- Prehistoric Trackways National Monument – Explore the Ridgeline, Discovery, and SST trails with options for intermediate to moderately skilled hikers and mountain bikers. Trails are dog-friendly and free. Some OHV-friendly trails as well.
- Bar Canyon/Soledad Canyon – Hike, ride horses, observe wildlife, and take in the stunning views of the Organ Mountains and the Southern Mesilla Valley on a variety of trails, ranging in difficulty from beginner to experienced. Trails are fee free.
- Tortugas “A” Mountain – A quick three miles from New Mexico State University, “A” Mountain features a beginning hiking trail and an advanced mountain biking trail that are free and easily and quickly accessible from town.
- Aguirre Springs – Hike a variety of trails ranging from beginning to experienced, camp, enjoy picnics, and observe wildlife at the Aguirre Spring Campground on the east side of the Organ Mountains. Fees are $5/vehicle and $15/bus; camping is $7/campsite.
- Baylor Canyon – For moderately skilled hikers, Baylor Canyon offers two hikes—a 2.5-mile out and back trail or a 6-mile trail across the pass leading to Aguirre Springs for camping and picnicking. Trails are dog-friendly and fee free.
- Dripping Springs – Beginning hikers will love the four miles of leisurely hiking trails at Dripping Springs. Enjoy Dripping Springs Trail to take in the desert vegetation and piñon-juniper and oak woodlands, as well as a plethora of local wildlife. $5/vehicle, $15/bus.
- Sierra Vista Trail – Experienced to advanced hikers and bikers will enjoy the scenic views of the mountains and the Rio Grande Valley on the extensive, fee-free Sierra Vista Trail. Complete the trail to connect with Franklin Mountain State Park.
- Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park – Enjoy 2.5 miles of trails ranging from beginner to intermediate, as well as bird watching and sightseeing along the Rio Grande. Dogs are allowed if leashed, and the entrance fee is $5 (fee is waived if you bicycle in). Currently only open to NM Residents.
- Doña Ana Mountains – Featuring 15 miles of mountain biking trails, 7 miles of horseback trails and a variety of hiking trails ranging in difficulty levels from beginner to advanced, the Doña Ana Mountains are located five miles to the north of Las Cruces and have no entrance fee.
- Kilborne Hole – Located in Southern Doña Ana County and a National Natural Landmark, Kilborne Hole offers the chance to explore the remnants of an ancient volcanic eruption. Trails range in difficulty from beginner to experienced.
- Picacho Peak – With options for skill levels from beginning to experienced, Picacho Peak is 7 miles west of Downtown Las Cruces and offers hiking, biking and equestrian trails without a fee.
- Slot Canyon – While you will need a state recreational access permit to hike Slot Canyon, these intermediate to moderate dog-friendly hiking trails offer incredible views and chances to spot wildlife.
“Be sure to follow COVID safety guidelines and Leave No Trace principles to help to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the beauty of our public lands for years to come,” Dahlgren added.
Prior to arriving at the trails, hikers are encouraged to call ahead to learn about closures and/or COVID-safety guidelines for each location. For up-to-date information on the latest statewide public health order and restrictions, visit https://www.lascrucescvb.org/covid-19-resources/.