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La Maria Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

3.9 mile 6.3 kilometer point to point
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 377' 115 m
Descent: -261' -80 m
High: 4,995' 1,523 m
Low: 4,650' 1,417 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

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A desert flatland loop perfect for beginning trail users.

Brendan Ross

Features Views · Wildflowers

Description

The La Maria Trail, a four mile loop extending out from the northern end of the Sierra Vista Trail, is a nice, low-key alternative to some of the area's more challenging routes.

The northern intersection of the trail is found about a third of a mile into Sierra Vista. Look for a brown trail marker (showing the direction for Sierra Vista, not La Maria), and an clearly visible singletrack heading to the southwest. The path is mostly grit and packed dirt. A few softball to volleyball sized rocks are present throughout, but they're spread far enough apart to not cause any real issues. As it proceeds, La Maria makes a very gradual, easy descent away from the mountains. The trail winds frequently but doesn't take many significant turns.

A shortcut across the loop can be found about two-thirds of a mile in. It is unmarked, but like the beginning, the singletrack is easy enough to spot. Not much changes as the trail makes a gradual U-turn on its western flank to return towards the mountains. A segment on the southwest corner connects to a nearby neighborhood.

More experienced hikers may find themselves a little bored by the trail's uniformity. However, the abundant plant life and wide-reaching views redeem La Maria. On a clear day, hikers can see for literally hundreds of miles. Las Cruces is ringed by mountains, with the Organs to the east, the Robledos to the north, the Potrillos to the west, and the Franklins to the south. Even Mexico's Sierra Madre is visible, just past the Franklins. The scenery is outstanding.

The southern end of the trail at Sierra Vista Trail is like its other connectors. Look for an easy to spot singletrack.

Flora & Fauna

Plant life around the trail is often sparse, but most of the Chihuahuan Desert's major varieties are present. Of particular note are some nice ocotillo and Spanish Dagger fields. Towering as high as fifteen feet, both plants are nice to see in full color during the wetter months. There are also a great deal of barrel cacti in the vicinity, which is uncommon. It's easy to see why a wilderness study area has been set up a few miles south on Sierra Vista Trail.

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Apr 15, 2018
Jean-Claude Linossi
Rather easy trail to hike. Not the most scenic but very good views of the Organ Mountains. The ocotillos were beautiful on this hike. 2.5mi — 1h 00m

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 6 votes

#16431

Overall
  3.7 from 6 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
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3 Star
67%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#264

in New Mexico

#16,431

Overall
22 Views Last Month
959 Since Mar 12, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

40%
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Photos

The view of the Organs from La Maria Trail and Sierra Vista Trail is outstanding.
Mar 23, 2016 near Univers…, NM
Looking SE towards the Organ Mountains
Apr 15, 2018 near Las Cruces, NM
Blooming little leaf sumac and Organ Mountains
Apr 15, 2018 near Univers…, NM
Looking east from the trail
Apr 15, 2018 near Univers…, NM

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