Canyon National Recreation Trail, New Mexico

From U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Located in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) , this 2.2-mile interpretive trail provides access to wildlife viewing in the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.

by American Trails Staff


The Canyon Trail in in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Featured
National Recreation Trail

Designated in 2008


• View more details for this trail
in the NRT Database

• Learn about the NRT Program.

This trail is located in the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico and accesses the Indian Well Wilderness Area of the Bosque del Apache NWR. Several trails are open for wildlife observation in a variety of settings, ranging from a desert canyon to a trail by the Rio Grande.

Here you can search for stories in the tracks; beetles, kangaroo rats, lizards, snakes and box turtles leave stories in the shifting sands. Follow them to see what the critter was up to. “Tracks” of geological forces can be observed in the preserved sand dunes and water-deposited rock formations.

Birds and bats roost and nest in the canyon walls. Ancient pack rat nests show layers of feast and famine. Rock wrens line the entrance to their nests with pebbles. Junipers and black grama grass remnants left over from a cooler, wetter time grow on the northern slopes while Creosote bushes are encroaching on the hotter southern slopes. This trail is used by refuge staff for interpretive programs to school groups and is open year around to refuge visitors.

Each season at Bosque del Apache NWR offers unique wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak visitation occurs in winter, when cranes, bald eagles, and snow geese are present. During the spring and fall, visitors can see migrant warblers, flycatchers, and shorebirds. The summer months are a good time to see nesting songbirds, waders, shorebirds, and ducks. Some year-round residents include mule deer, coyote, porcupine, muskrat, turkey, quail, pheasant, and roadrunner.

A picnic shelter and picnic tables are located near the visitor center parking lot. Visitors are welcome to picnic at their vehicles along the tour route. Please pick up and pack out all litter.

 

Directions

To reach the refuge from Socorro, drive eight miles south on I-25 to exit 139, continue east one-fourth mile on US 380 to the flashing signal at San Antonio, turn right onto Old Highway 1, continue south nine miles to the Visitor Center. From Las Cruces, drive north on I-25 to exit 124 (San Marcial), then north on Old Highway 1 to Visitor Center.

For more information

Bosque del Apache NWR PO Box 1246, Socorro, NM 87801 (505) 835-1828