Desert mountain trails are rugged and rocky. Trail shoes with rock plates are strongly recommended. Cacti, ocotillos, and Spanish daggers can all pose a hazard to trail users as well, so stay on the trail to avoid getting scratched up.
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.
Ocotillo Loop is a short diversionary trail, mostly useful for adding mileage onto an A Mountain loop. If running counterclockwise, Ocotillo breaks off from Tortugas Trail
about a quarter mile after the latter crosses Observatory Road. The first half of the trail is a gently winding, semi-rocky path across several sandy washout areas.
At the halfway point, the trail makes a U-turn and joins an old, sandy dirt road. The path here is mostly straight, cutting through an area with a large number of ocotillos that bloom in the spring and early summer. After about a third of a mile, the loop merges back into Tortugas Trail
Flora & Fauna
Desert plantlife 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.
Shared By: Brendan Ross