I recently bought a copy of Greg McKee's book "Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces-El Paso Area" and I want to start doing some of the hikes in the book starting with the easier ones and working up to the harder ones. This Sunday I would like to hike the Fillmore Canyon-La Cueva Trail in the Dripping Springs Natural Area. The last time we were at Dripping Springs we saw two species of deer in the first 0.5 mile of the hike and the weather was lovely. This trail will start at the Visitor’s center and will lead back to the Fillmore Waterfall (which I assume will be dry since we have not had rain in a while), it will continue on to the base of the La Cueva rocks, where there is an archeological site. (http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/las_cruces/dripping_springs.html)
I’d like to make the hike longer so there will be two options for the hike: 1. Hike the loop once for a total of 3.5 miles and 2. Hike the loop twice, once in each direction for a total of 7 miles. Since the trailhead starts and ends at the parking lot, people can choose if they want to do the 7 miles after the first leg.
Let's meet at Milagros Coffee at 8 am on Sunday morning or 8:20 at the parking lot for the Dripping Canyon Visitor Center. Please leave a comment on the announcements page if you are planning on meeting the group at the Dripping Spring parking lot. See link above for directions to the Dripping Springs parking lot. There is a $5 charge for parking at the Visitor’s Center, so if possible would be best to carpool. If you have a National Parks pass it allows you to park at the Visitor’s Center. If you carpool from Milagros, please make sure there is an agreement about how long each person is planning on hiking (as we don’t want people stranded at the end, if the driver only wants to do the shorter hike).
There are restrooms and a water fountain at the Visitors Center, but please plan on bringing water to carry with you on the hike. Since this will be a longer hike please carry at least 2 liters of water and a snack. The predicted temperature for Sat night is 35 and for Sunday the high is 56, and we will be hiking in the shade of the Organs, so be prepared with layers that can be added or shed if you get too hot or cold.
Dependent on the ending time and if people desire, we can get lunch afterwards.
Distance: 3.5 miles or 7 miles.
Duration: ~3-5 hours. The pace will not be too fast, and the group will take short breaks as necessary.
Elevation gain: There is 512 ft elevation gain on the La Cueva portion of the trail and 435 on the Fillmore Canyon portion.
Terrain: Maintained trail.
Skill level: Beginner friendly for the 3.5 mile part, more intermediate for the 7 mile part.
Pets friendly?: No pets allowed.