Blue Ribbon - Gila National Forest.America's first designated wilderness area features an incredible 3.3 million acres of unlimited canine hiking adventure. The variety of hikes include desert wilderness, forest lands, lakes, and aspen-covered peaks (reaching a height of 11,000 feet). The Mimbres Mogollon American Indians, who are known especially for their classic "black on white" pottery, left abundant evidence of their presence within the Gila, including spectacular cliff dwellings.#2 - Lincoln National Forest.
Your dog will find the home of Smokey the Bear much to her liking as well. There are more than one million acres in the Lincoln National Forest to explore desert canyons, cool pine forests and mountain peaks more than two miles high.#3 - Rio Grande River.The levees running along the El Paso-Las Cruces section of the thousand-mile long international boundary that is the Rio Grande River are flat and wide and provide plenty of space for dogs to run around. This is easy canine hiking with plenty of opportunity to enjoy views of the mesa and surrounding mountain ranges.#4 - Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park.
Still a developing recreation area, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park offers an intriguing trail through the jagged Doņa Ana Mountains but canine hikers can expand their day in this 960-acre park by heading for the hills as well.#5 - Franklin Mountain State Park.With 24,000 acres of desert wilderness, Franklin Mountain is the largest state park entirely wihin city limits in the United States.
Your dog can enjoy any length of romp through these billion year-old rocks.#6 - White Sands National Monument.There are officially 6.2 miles of hiking trails in White Sands National Monument but just about any massive dune in the park's 200,000 acres is open to you and the dog.
#7 - Baylor Pass.This is a great moderate to strenuous hike, 6 miles one way through a canyon, peaking at around 6,430 feet. It provides great views of the Mesilla Valley to the west and the Tularosa Valley to the east.
The trail is easy to follow and well-marked.#8 - Irrigation Canals.Walking alongside irrigation waterways is generally easy because the paths are flat and well-maintained.
There is no need to worry about dogs finding snakes, getting stickers in their paws, or finding a nose full of cactus spines. For people who struggle to find beauty in the harsh desert landscape, walking along canals or laterals provides something of a respite. You can wander through pecan orchards; globe willows, weeping willows, cottonwoods, and other trees grow along the paths, providing shade and green. Canals positioned in farmland criss-cross through chile, alfalfa and cotton fields.
#9 - Box Canyon & Picacho Peak.Picacho Peak is a dormant volcano, consisting of 959 acres of land, while Box Canyon is a great place to observe ancestral Rio Grande river deposits. During the Rio Grande's three million year history, it once traveled along a much wider alluvial plain than it does today. Box Canyon is also an excellent place to observe ancient volcanic rocks.#10 - Aguirre Springs.A four-mile loop trail climbs to 6,500 feet through two life zones, the lower Sonoran and the the upper Sonaran.
Every turn in the trail lends itself to a different perspective of outcroppings in the Organs such as the Needles, Rabbit Ears, and Baylor Peak; the Tularosa Valley; or White Sands Missile Range..I am the author of over 20 books, including 8 on hiking with your dog, including the widely praised The Canine Hiker's Bible. As publisher of Cruden Bay Books, we produce the innovative A Bark In The Park series of canine hiking books found at http://www.hikewithyourdog.
com During the warm months I lead canine hikes as tour leader for hikewithyourdog.com tours, leading packs of dogs and humans on day and overnight trips. My lead dog is Katie, a German Shepherd-Border Collie mix, who has hiked in all of the Lower 48 states and is on a quest to swim in all the great waters of North America - http://web.
mac.com/crudbay/iWeb/Katies%20Blog/Katies%20Quest.html I am currently building a hikewithyourdog.com tours trailer to use on our expeditions and its progress can be viewed at http://web.mac.com/crudbay/iWeb/Teardrop%20Trailer/Building%20A%20Tour%20Trailer.
By: Doug Gelbert