If you are looking for unique places to take the family and explore the outdoors, here are five great kid and family friendly hikes around Las Cruces.
#5 – Desert Discovery Trail
The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park features an easy 1.5 mile trek around the park where hikers can learn about the geology, archaeology, plants and animals of the region.
#4 – Dripping Springs
Hike from the desert-scrub base of the majestic Organs, into the low elevation pinon-juniper where the air is cooler and the spring flows.
There are also great wildlife viewing opportunities, including year-round viewing of the red-tailed hawk, Gambel’s quail, golden eagle and rock squirrel, desert mule deer and coyote.
Also be on the lookout for black-throated sparrow, ladder-backed woodpecker, verdin, black-tailed gnatcatcher, lesser nighthawk, Scott’s oriole, cactus wren, desert cottontail, and collared and tree lizard in the spring and summer.
#3 – Playa Trail at White Sands National Monument
The Playa Trail is an easy, half-mile round-trip, level trail with outdoor exhibits along the way to help you learn and explore this trail and the characteristics that make it special.
Take the self-guided green trail marked with a heart symbol to a small playa and learn how change affects and creates habitats for animals and plants.
The playa can be white, brown, filled with water or growing crystals; find out for yourself.
The end of the trail affords hikers the opportunity to time travel 10,000 years and lean what the area looked like and what giants roamed the land.
It takes about 30 minutes to complete your journey.
#2 – Dune Life Nature Trail at White Sands National Monument
This trail is a moderate, one-mile self-guided loop that is not difficult, but does require hikers to climb two steep dunes with loose sand.
Follow the blue trail markers with a club symbol to meet Katy the Kit Fox and learn about her friends on this family-oriented trail.
Look for tracks of the animals that call these dunes their home.
Kit foxes, badgers, birds, rodents, and reptiles all live in this area.
The average completion time is one hour.
#1 – Bar Canyon
A three-mile loop, which offers an easy and scenic hike very close to Las Cruces.
The Bar Canyon Trail includes scenic vistas of the central Organ Mountains and the southern Mesilla Valley, and is located at the Soledad Canyon Day Use Area.