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