“A sandy sidetrack in the shadow of the Organ Mountains.
— Brendan Ross
Southern New Mexico weather can be hot, windy, dusty, or all three at once. Summer heat is usually in the high 90's, and afternoon thunderstorms are common. Make sure to check the forecast and bring more water than you think you'll need. There is very little shade, so morning runs are preferable in the summer months.
Wider, smoother, and easier to manage, Arroyo Loop is a mile-long sidetrack on the eastern side of Tortugas Trail
. On its southern end, it splits off from Tortugas right where the latter turns from a dirt road to singletrack. After a brief descent away from A Mountain, the trail turns left at a fork just before reaching an arroyo.
From here, it's an easy, mostly flat run along the side of the arroyo, turning back to slowly merge into Tortugas Trail
after passing the intersection with Turtleback Trail
. The path is sandy and generally free of rocks, like the southwestern segments of Tortugas. Because of this, it's a much easier run, though advanced runners may be disappointed in the lack of a challenge. Nice views of the western foothills and Organ Mountains can be had along the way. The trail ends about a tenth of a mile from the connectors to the Monte Vista parking lot.
Desert plant life is best seen in the spring and early summer when there's more precipitation, but the heat hasn't dried everything out yet. Animal life includes roadrunners, jackrabbits, lizards, hawks, and of course, snakes.