Hike of the Week: La Llorona River Park Trail

La Llorona River Park Trail

If you’d like to head for someplace warmer but don’t want to take the risk of being in a packed aircraft or spending 10 hours on the road, how about Las Cruces? The worst that can happen is that you’ll forget to ask for the medium chile and get the el fuego chile on your enchiladas instead. You can also visit White Sands National Monument, old Mesilla and the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks Monument while you’re in the neighborhood.

Las Cruces has developed a number of trails that wind thru and around the city, as well as along the river. They’re totally hike-able and bike-able and it’s a fun way to spend a day. La Llorona River Park Trail runs along the Rio Grande and is part of the planned 400 mile long Rio Grande Trail. I’ve provided a trail map below.

Location: Las Cruces
Difficulty: Easy, 4.8 miles, 20 feet of elevation change, out and back
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Cost: $0
Dogs: Allowed on leash
Camping: There’s great camping about 15 miles east of Las Cruces at Aguirre Springs Campground
Maps: Las Cruces Trails | La Llorona Multi-Use Path

The Hike: The trail starts at Run Along Road where it connects to another trail called the Outfall Channel Trail. The trail then heads south along the Rio Grande. At the midpoint, the La Llorona Park acts as a trailhead and provides parking for trail users. Past the park, the paved pathway continues south through the riverine brush, and concludes at a parking lot near Calle Del Norte.

Pro Tip: Speaking of first aid preparedness, when was the last time you attended a first aid course? The Red Cross, NOLS Wilderness Education, SOLO Wilderness Medicine and other providers offer affordable and fun courses. You might want to add in the CPR training as well? Better safe than sorry if things should go south.

Important Fun Maximization Tip: If you’re going to be biking it’s essential that you either have tire liners or a tire sealing fluid in your tires such as Slime because of the probability of goat heads and thorns that await.

To Get There: If you’re hiking or biking you can connect to the La Llorona Trailhead at 1900-1958, Run Along Rd, Las Cruces. If you’re driving you can park at La Llorona Park and the address is 3440 W Picacho Ave. There is also a small parking lot at the southern end of the trail, near Calle Del Norte.

Terry Owen, Sierra Club-Rio Grande Chapter-Outings Chairman
January 20, 2021

Hike of the Week: La Llorona River Park Trail