Loop Trail? No
Type: Equestrian Trail, Mountain Bike Trail
Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No Allowed Uses:
Bicycling (off pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
The Sierra Vista Trail is a 29-mile trail built for mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian use. It runs along the west slope of the Organ Mountains just east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It nearly connects the city of Las Cruces with the Franklin Mountain Texas State Park. This route supplants a previous route called the Westside Road that existed in much of the same corridor. Private property development bisected this road in several places, and a new continuous trail was conceived to replace it. The Sierra Vista Trail (originally the Dusty Trail), became a planned recreation action in the Organ Mountains Coordinated Resource Management Plan of 1989.
Las Cruces, New Mexico is in the southern part of the state and this area has not been known as a recreation destination. Northern New Mexico is typically the part of the state that people gravitate to for outdoor activities due to its varied topography and larger population centers (such as Santa Fe and Albuquerque). We aim to provide more recreational opportunities for the expanding local population as well as tourists. The area is situated on a high plateau of 4,000 feet, with the Rio Grande River running through the middle of the Mesilla Valley. The Organ Mountains are a steep, small range jutting up to 9,000 feet on the eastern edge of this valley. They are a part of the southern Rocky Mountains, with the Franklin Mountains to the south forming the last American portion of the range before the Mexican border.
The Sierra Vista Trail can be used as a year-round trail due to the area’s mild climate. There are 330 sunny days per year and an average rainfall of fewer than 10 inches. Average daytime temperatures in the summer are in the 90s, while average winter temperatures are in the 60s. These statistics allow for many comfortable outdoor possibilities.
The Trail has been constructed by the Bureau of Land Management, local mountain biking and running groups, and many volunteers. Boy Scout Troops and youth groups have built newer sections of trail, installed signage, and maintained the tread and corridor.
Many people are able to benefit from having a multi-purpose trail close to the I-25 corridor. Five trailheads are spread evenly along the 29-mile route. Citizens of Las Cruces have easy access to the trail since the northernmost trailhead is 5 miles from the city. Residents of smaller towns and outlying rural areas from southern New Mexico and west Texas are also able to reach the trail quickly.
Mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians can do a short portion of the trail or can travel its entirety in a day or an overnight trip. People can sightsee, bird watch, study nature, take photographs, walk their pet, or have a picnic next to the majestic spires of the Organ Mountains. It is a relatively flat trail that crosses many arroyos. It can provide a gentle day hike or a challenging mountain bike ride through varied desert terrain and vegetation. The Sierra Vista Trail provides a safe, convenient, and relatively easy way to explore the Chihuahuan Desert.
Width: 24 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Sand
Average Grade: 3%
Maximum Grade: 15%
Elevation Low Point: 4,028
Elevation High Point: 5,160
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 2013
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District
1800 Marquess Street
Las Cruces, NM 88005
PhotosNo additional photos are available.
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