Located on the very edge of the vast Chihuahuan Desert, Las Cruces is one of the most scenic and unusual spots in the great state of New Mexico. The mix of desert topography and the nearby Soledad Canyon combine to create a stunning landscape truly like no other. This makes Las Cruces hiking trails among the best in the areas, encompassing a wide variety of landscapes, flora, and fauna.
Needless to say, many of the staff here at Green Goods are avid lovers of the outdoors! And because we’ve spent so much time roaming the parks, canyons, and wild country around Las Cruces, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Las Cruces hiking trails.
You’ll find relatively easy strolls mixed in with more challenging day-long treks. Whichever you choose, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and don’t push yourself past your limits. More than anything, we want your hiking experience to be fun, rewarding, and safe!
Green Goods’ Favorite Las Cruces Hiking Trails
Achenbach Canyon Hiking Trail
Cuates Canyon Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011
Located roughly half an hour east of Las Cruces, Achenbach isn’t the easiest trail to access. Nor is it the easiest to climb: Described as “moderate” in difficulty, the upper trails feature a fair number of rocks and other challenges to navigate. But those who venture here are richly rewarded: The large open space about a mile from the trailhead offers some of the most spectacular mountain scenery you could ever hope to see. Depending on the time of the year, you’ll see wildflowers and other notable flora in bloom. Feel free to bring your dog here, but it must be kept on a leash.
Picacho Peak Recreation Area – Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
Las Cruces, NM 88007
Rising roughly 5,000 feet above the desert floor, this volcanic mountain offers jaw-dropping vistas of the Mesilla Valley and the nearby Organ Mountains. It’s also located close to town, making it one of locals’ favorite Las Cruces hiking trails. But be forewarned: Making it to the top of the trail will require some strenuous exertion. As they say: No pain, no gain.
Indian Hollow Trailhead
Las Cruces, NM 88011
A popular site for overnight campers, Indian Hollow offers plenty of day-hike fun for trekkers of all ages and abilities. The geography is stark and dramatic, and the slopes are populated by alligator juniper, mountain mahogany, and gray oak, among many other species of desert tree. The trailhead is located about 40 minutes outside of Las Cruces, so be sure to bring abundant food, water, and any other necessities.
17198 N Valley Dr
Las Cruces, NM 88007
Get ready for one of the most dramatic and memorable hikes near Las Cruces (or anywhere in the United States, for that matter). The slot canyon is located about half an hour north of town, making it a popular location for day hikes and nature trips. It’s a great choice for younger hikers, as the terrain isn’t particularly challenging. The payoff, of course, is inside the narrow slot canyon itself, where you can expect the temperature to drop 10 – 15 degrees compared with the sun-baked desert outside. Do keep an eye peeled for the entrance, marked by an easy-to-miss simple green gate.
La Llorona Multi-Use Path Trailhead
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Located on the eastern edge of the Rio Grande, this trail offers the element of water, rare in these otherwise desert lands. The trailhead offers access to several intersecting and connected paths, many of which are suitable for bikes. It’s a lovely, usually uncrowded, and a great close-in option for Las Cruces hiking enthusiasts.