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Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail

Easy

Trail

0.8 mile 1.3 kilometer loop
97% Runnable
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 66' 20 m
Descent: -66' -20 m
High: 4,395' 1,340 m
Low: 4,332' 1,320 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A nature trail that provides info on the surrounding environment and sweeping views of the Texas and NM countryside.

David Hitchcock

Features Views

The trail is closed in the spring and summer in the evenings close to sunset during the bat flight in order to allow the bats to fly uninterrupted from the cave.

Overview

The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail provides a trail to move among the desert landscape, learn about the plants and animals that call it home, and enjoy some great views of the New Mexico and Texas countryside.

Runner Notes

The trail is paved or gravel, so running is easy along this trail, although it may be crowded due to its ease of use.

Description

The trail as described here departs the far end of the parking lot and follows a paved path that is wheelchair accessible. The trail winds along the ridge line. Just off the trail are placards that identify plants and animals that call the desert home, and provide additional details on them.

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.

Flora & Fauna

All kinds of plants and animals can be seen along the trail. Quail can be seen running along the path, lizards and snakes moving among the plants, and even raccoons and deer can be seen in the morning and evening as they feed. A wide variety of desert plants can be seen and learned about along the trail. Flowers and cacti bloom along the trail in the spring, offering opportunities to see the plants up close.

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Dec 14, 2019
Charly Jackson

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#2852

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
25%
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25%
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Run Rankings

#35

in New Mexico

#2,852

Overall
50 Views Last Month
869 Since Apr 7, 2016
Easy

100%
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Photos

Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns.... only 750" under ground
Mar 9, 2018 near Whites…, NM
Chinese Theater.
Apr 3, 2018 near Whites…, NM
The caves here are immense!
Apr 13, 2016 near Whites…, NM
There is a small seating area with views of the New Mexico and Texas countryside from the top of the ridge.
Apr 23, 2017 near Whites…, NM
The view of the surrounding countryside spread out before you. Flowers can be seen blooming in the spring.
Apr 23, 2017 near Whites…, NM
A view looking back to the visitor center; at this point, the trail goes from being paved to being gravel as it is part of the Old Guano Road.
Apr 23, 2017 near Whites…, NM

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