With White Sands National Monument and the Lincoln National Forest close to Alamogordo, the hiking isn’t lacking. And while it may not be your typical hiking scenery, the desert landscape can make the adventure more fun. But if you are looking for big trees and beautiful forest you can find that not too far from Alamogordo, New Mexico.
My favorite place to hike is the White Sands National Monument. The gypsum (sand) is white like snow. It is beautiful to see and more fun to explore. But make sure you bring lots of water because there is no shade on most of the hiking trails available at White Sands. These are the best hikes at White Sands National Monument.
This 5-mile hike is a great way to see White Sands. You may have heard someone say if you have gone to White Sands and haven’t hiked the Alkali Flat trail you didn’t really see White Sands. And while you can see the beauty of White Sands without getting out of your car, hiking is better! This moderate hike makes the view from the car incomparable. Don’t miss this hike. There is no water, no shade, and lots of sand dunes so make sure you come prepared.
This is a great 0.7-mile loop hike with wonderful views. If you are looking for a great place for sunrise or sunset photos this is it! Just make sure you come prepared with flashlights. There is no water, shade, and lots of dunes.
This is an easy 2-mile hike that gives you an appreciation for all of the beauty White Sands National Monument has to offer. It is a great 360-degree view of the white sands with the beautiful San Andreas Mountain range in the background.
This is an easy 1-mile loop hike and a great way to start your day at White Sands National Park. You learn a little about the flora and fauna you will see on the dunes and your kids will love it.
This hike is easy and is wheelchair accessible. The boardwalk has you walk over the sands with the ability to see the nature below your feet. It is a short hike, but great for those with little ones who want to see more than the drive through the National Park has to offer.
The Lincoln National Forest is above and around Alamogordo. There are plenty of hikes in the forest area and the canyons below. Here are my favorite hikes in Lincoln National Forest.
This is an amazing beautiful 5.5-mile hike. If you are going to do this hike you need to prepare for the weather. Start early in the summer months, as the shade is limited on this trail. And going in is primarily uphill. You also need to prepare and watch for thunderstorms. There is very little protection from the elements on this trail. Another thing to consider is the many cactus and rocks along the trail. Closed toed shoes are a must. Dress in a light long sleeved shirt and pants, and make sure you bring enough water for this challenging hike.
The Rim Trail stretches 10.5 miles. It is an out and back trail that gives you great views and the beauty of the Lincoln National Forest. The most popular section is from Cloudcroft to Karr Canyon. The trail is clearly marked and is a combination of logging routes, railroad grades, homestead trails, and Indiana paths all linked together.
This is a 6.3-mile loop trail with some steep climbing on switchbacks for about 2 miles, rolling grassland, and a quick descent into the canyon. Once you arrive at the Arroyo there is no defined trail and finding the quickest line through the boulders, rocks, and sometimes sandy wash can be challenging but fun.
If Dog Canyon Trail 106 sounds too intimidating you can do this 0.7-mile loop trail instead. It won’t offer the same views, but it is easy and still a good hike. It also provides some shade. There is a creek bed to cross that is usually dry from September to June. It is a good hike and with Oliver State Park as a backdrop, it is beautiful as well.
These are a few of our favorite hikes, but there are many more. Get out and explore while TDY or living in Alamogordo. Be sure to let us know which one is your favorite!
Written by: Amanda Huffman