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Hydra Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

3.2 mile 5.2 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 162' 49 m
Descent: -150' -46 m
High: 5,328' 1,624 m
Low: 5,200' 1,585 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Brendan Ross

An easy loop around one of a kind desert rock formations.

Brendan Ross

Features Birding · Views

The park gate is closed between 9 pm and 7 am; overnight camping is available. Day passes are $5 for adults.

Runner Notes

Southern New Mexico summers can be hot, with temperatures in the nineties or higher. Avoid midday and early afternoon runs in the warmer months.

Description

The Hydra Trail is City of Rocks State Park's main loop. Flat, wide, and well-maintained, it is a leisurely run with a few options to add mileage. Getting lost would be difficult, but numerous markers are placed along the trail, along with some sun shelters. A few smaller rocks require attention to the trail, but in general Hydra is easy work.

Trail maps ask that the trail be taken in a clockwise direction. The eastern trailhead is behind the Visitor's Center, near a windmill. The wide, flat doubletrack heads east, crossing a minor washout area, and turning north near a trail marker and a short connection to an observation point to the south. Hydra then meanders to the north for three-quarters of a mile. Near a connection to the campgrounds is an opening in the fence to the right; the trail for Table Mountain. A sun shade is just ahead, and the path then turns to the west.

After about a mile along the park's northern boundary, the trail passes another sun shade and marker, turning to the southwest. A trail extension to the west is in this area and is easy to miss. Hydra continues to the south, passing connections to the same extension and a shortcut to the campgrounds. Hydra passes one more sunshade, and finally circles back towards the main entrance area near the Botanical Garden.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#8388

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#139

in New Mexico

#8,388

Overall
5 Views Last Month
232 Since Sep 13, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

50%
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Photos

Windmill and start of trail
Apr 12, 2018 near Faywood, NM
View of the boulders
Apr 12, 2018 near Faywood, NM
Looking east from the trail
Apr 12, 2018 near Faywood, NM
Looking east from the trail
Apr 12, 2018 near Faywood, NM

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