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A nature trail that provides info on the surrounding environment and sweeping views of the Texas and NM countryside.

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4,395' 1,340 m


4,332' 1,320 m


66' 20 m


66' 20 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (5°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Family Friendly This trail is short, provides information about the plants and animals in the area, and has some great views of the landscape. The small seating structure provides a natural area for a break.

The trail is closed in the spring and summer in the evenings close to sunset during the bat flight in order to allow the bats to fly uninterrupted from the cave.


The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail provides a trail to move among the desert landscape, learn about the plants and animals that call it home, and enjoy some great views of the New Mexico and Texas countryside.


The trail as described here departs the far end of the parking lot and follows a paved path that is wheelchair accessible. The trail winds along the ridge line. Just off the trail are placards that identify plants and animals that call the desert home, and provide additional details on them.

Shortly after starting, you pass the return on this loop. This leads down to the amphitheater area. At roughly .20 miles, there is a stone and wood structure with a couple of seats where you can sit and enjoy views of the desert below the ridge. New Mexico and Texas spread out before you. Leaving the structure, the trail narrows in order to prevent wheelchairs from progressing any further due to the descent of the trail after this point.

At this point, the trail drops toward the Old Guano Road Trail, which was used to carry the guano from the trail out and to market. When you meet the old road, you can go to the right and follow the Old Guano Road Trail toward Whites City and away from the crowds, or you can go to the left and make your way back to the visitor center and amphitheater. Signs still identify plants and animals you may encounter. The trail passes the amphitheater, and you are left with another decision. You can follow the trail back up the hill to where you started, which leads back to the parking lot, or you can follow the path that leads back to the visitor center.

This trail can also be started from the amphitheater by following the Old Guano Road Trail or follow the paved path up the hill to where it meets the trail from the parking lot.

Flora & Fauna

All kinds of plants and animals can be seen along the trail. Quail can be seen running along the path, lizards and snakes moving among the plants, and even raccoons and deer can be seen in the morning and evening as they feed. A wide variety of desert plants can be seen and learned about along the trail. Flowers and cacti bloom along the trail in the spring, offering opportunities to see the plants up close.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes


  4.0 from 6 votes
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in New Mexico


5 Views Last Month
1,389 Since Apr 7, 2016



Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns.... 750 feet under ground
Mar 9, 2018 near Whites…, NM
Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns.
Mar 9, 2018 near Whites…, NM
Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns.... only 750" under ground
Mar 9, 2018 near Whites…, NM
Chinese Theater.
Apr 3, 2018 near Whites…, NM
The caves here are immense!
Apr 13, 2016 near Whites…, NM
Bat watching amphitheater.
Apr 3, 2018 near Whites…, NM



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Mar 4, 2023
Aug 3, 2022
Haden Smith
Jul 19, 2022
Garret Maier
Easy hike with nice view of surrounding area 0.8mi — 0h 22m
May 14, 2022
Connor White
This was a fantastic first look at the beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and a simple and enjoyable trail to follow. 1mi — 0h 22m
Dec 13, 2021
Kevin Chen
Jul 7, 2021
Eden Bach
0.8mi — 2h 30m
Jun 19, 2021
Trent Caldwell
May 3, 2021
michael kelso