Parks & Monuments
Las Cruces is just a short drive away (less than 90 minutes at most) from several national and state parks. Venture out to any of the nine New Mexico State Parks including: Elephant Butte Lake, Leasburg Dam, Caballo Lake, Oliver Lee, Percha Dam, City of Rocks, Rockhound, Pancho Villa and Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Grab a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses and hit the dunes of White Sands National Park for some sledding!
Nearby, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park is 935-acres of scenic desert encompassing a section of the Doña Ana Mountains and the basin surrounding it. It is a topographically and biologically diverse area, and includes an amphitheater, pet and wheelchair accessible trails, artwork, plant identification and much more.
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument surrounds Las Cruces. Characterized by majestic desert mountains, rising boldly from flat plains, the 500,000-acre monument includes: the Organ Mountains, Robledo Mountains, Sierra de las Uvas, Potrillo Mountains and Doña Ana Mountains. The extensive ecological range of the monument allows for a variety of activity including hiking, mountain biking, bikepacking, horseback riding, OHV use, camping and wildlife viewing.
Prehistoric Trackways National Monument
The Prehistoric Trackways National Monument includes a major deposit of Palezoic Era fossilized footprints within approximately 5,000 acres. Fossil viewing is limited as many of the fossils have been moved to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, but visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the entire Mesilla Valley as well as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and OHV use. Additional information about the Paleozoic Era fossils that were found at the site may be found at the Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science. Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park is New Mexico’s newest State Park. Opened in 2008, the park is located along the western bank of the Rio Grande southwest of the town of Mesilla. The heart of the park is 52 acres of Rio Grande floodplain known as the ”Old Refuge;” the total park acreage is about 945 acres of both wetlands and Chihuahuan Desert. The park will present many opportunities to enjoy and learn about wildlife. The goals of the park are conservation, education, and restoration: protection of natural and cultural resources; education of the public about the resources; and restoration of the original environment.
The Monumental Loop is a 250-mile bikepacking route that takes riders through all four regions of the Organ Mountains Desert – Peaks National Monument. While the route was created for bikepacking, it is suitable for any non-motorized use.
Caballo Lake State Park
The Caballo Mountains serve as a majestic backdrop for Caballo Lake State Park. The park boasts a full array of water recreation, winter waterfowl watching, and cactus gardens in bloom.
City of Rocks State Park
Formed of volcanic ash welded together 35 million years ago, then sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks, these incredible rock formations give City of Rocks its name. Hiking trails, a botanical garden and a public night sky observatory add to this unique destination.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
Encompassing the largest and most popular lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park provides camping, boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing, hiking and bird watching. The visitor center offers regional information and interpretive exhibits. Southern New Mexico’s mild climate makes this park a popular year-round destination.
Leasburg State Park
Leasburg Dam State Park offers camping, picnicking and bird watching. From mid-March to mid-October the park offers fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
Oliver Lee State Park
Set against the desert foot of the dramatic Sacramento Mountains, this park features historic exhibits and a fully restored 19th century ranch house.
Pancho Villa State Park
The park is located on the grounds of former Camp Furlong from where Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing launched 10,000 troops on an 11-month, 500-mile pursuit of Villa into Mexico. The Exhibit Hall tells the story beginning with the 1910 Mexican Revolution and ends when the U.S. enteried World War I.
Percha Dam State Park
Set in the intimate shade of towering cottonwoods, Percha Dam State Park features camping, picnicking, fishing and bird watching on the Rio Grande.
Rockhound State Park
Rockhound State Park consists of the main park and the Spring Canyon Recreation Area. The main park includes a 30-site campground, hiking trails and a visitor center on the west slopes of the Little Florida Mountains. The Spring Canyon Recreation Area is a day-use area located across the valley in the foothills of the Florida Mountains and includes picnic sites and hiking trails.