9:00 o'clock, as we enter Caballero Canyon, we are going to be walking on pretty much evened out pebble bed, from which some might derive more fun than on paved road. Though the hike will eventually accumulate about 1,400' elevation gain, you will feel most of the time you are simply walking on leveled ground.
As the canyon wiggle-waggles along, you check out the rock formation of the cliffs on both sides, and the hilltops above, or, spot some colorful pebbles (if you happen to be a rock lover). And you hear birds chirping, and something like a crispy gurgle of a brook. You wonder, in the bed of a dry canyon, a gurgling brook?!
Yes, a gurgling brook! And by the clear running water, there are plenty of fresh tracks of large mammals, deer and elks.You realize that in the desert, other animals are much in need of water as we are.
You look towards upper stream, there's a grove of mixed deciduous trees, with the tops started changing color. You hobble along, skip over the larger water pools, you would startle the Jesus bugs everywhere to water skiing...
Ah! This is the right spot to stop for lunch, and enjoy the melody of the brook!
As you sit down, you look across the stream, in the shade of rock cliff and taller trees, there are five or six sumac saplings of two to three feet high, and they are like toddlers, screaming bloody murder to catch your attention...
After lunch, you might be tempted to play in one of the absolutely 100% nature-made granite 'bathtubs' buried in the ground. Please be pre-warned: Don't. First things first, you might catch your cold of the season; and second, the deer and elks might not like the taste you leave behind in the water, since, as you know, they are vegetarians. (How the bears and mountain lions, if they happen to share the same drinking water with the 'vegetarians', might like the soup with a tinge of taste of you in, that's a moot point.) You would ask, instead of bathing in, how about dipping your feet in them? Oh, well...
To sum it up, this is a pretty easy hike, canyoneering without scrambling or rock climbing, off trail without bush whacking, and loaded with surprises: canyon rock features, gurgling brook, with a taste of fall colors.
Simply the desert spring part is worth a couple hours drive. It's like a sojourn in wonderland, a stroll in poetry...
Distance: About 10 miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet.
Duration: 5-6 hours.
Pet Friendly? Yes. On leash.
Skill Level: Beginner friendly. But please consider the length of about 10 miles.
Car Pool from Las Cruces: 7:30 am at Telshor K-Mart.