Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail
ElevationAscent: 66' 20 m
Descent: -66' -20 m
High: 4,395' 1,340 m
Low: 4,332' 1,320 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
Current trail conditions
Popular runs nearby
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The Notch Out-and-Back
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Manzanita - Smith Spring Loop
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The Bowl Loop
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“A nature trail that provides info on the surrounding environment and sweeping views of the Texas and NM countryside.”— David Hitchcock
Shortly after starting, you pass the return on this loop. This leads down to the amphitheater area. At roughly .20 miles, there is a stone and wood structure with a couple of seats where you can sit and enjoy views of the desert below the ridge. New Mexico and Texas spread out before you. Leaving the structure, the trail narrows in order to prevent wheelchairs from progressing any further due to the descent of the trail after this point.
At this point, the trail drops toward the Old Guano Road Trail, which was used to carry the guano from the trail out and to market. When you meet the old road, you can go to the right and follow the Old Guano Road Trail toward Whites City and away from the crowds, or you can go to the left and make your way back to the visitor center and amphitheater. Signs still identify plants and animals you may encounter. The trail passes the amphitheater, and you are left with another decision. You can follow the trail back up the hill to where you started, which leads back to the parking lot, or you can follow the path that leads back to the visitor center.
This trail can also be started from the amphitheater by following the Old Guano Road Trail or follow the paved path up the hill to where it meets the trail from the parking lot.
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Need to Know, History & Background
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Land Manager: NPS - Carlsbad Caverns National Park