Nature July 07, 2021
These 7 Trails In New Mexico Are 5-Miles Or Less And Will Lead You To Phenomenal Caves
There are dozens of gorgeous hikes in the Land of Enchantment that are worth every single step. Some of these trails are long and strenuous, while others are short and can be completed in an afternoon. We’ve put together a list of seven hiking trails in New Mexico that are less than five miles and each one has the perfect reward waiting for you — a phenomenal cave.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Shelter Caves, Pena Blanca Wilderness Study Area
Shelter Caves is a 3.4-mile trail that is rated moderate. The beginning of this hike can be a challenge with loose rock and a steep climb. However, you’ll see some incredible rock formations and some spectacular views along the way. Once you get to the cave area, take a peek inside and spend some time exploring the area. To learn more about this trail,
2. Sandia Cave Trail, Sandia Mountains
If you are searching for a short and easy hike in New Mexico that leads to a cave, don’t miss the
Sandia Cave Trail
. This is an out-and-back trail that is only 1.1-miles long and rated easy. Once you reach the cave, you must climb a tall spiral staircase. Just make sure you don't look down!
3. Geronimo’s Cave, Robledo Mountains Wilderness Study Area
Geronimo’s Cave is a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail. This trail is rated moderate and beginner hikers will want to be prepared. There is a steep climb and this trail can be difficult in some areas. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and spend some time exploring the cave. This is a lightly-trafficked trail so you can easily enjoy the area without large crowds.
for a map of this trail.
4. Big Tubes Trail, El Malpais National Monument
Big Tubes Trail is a unique hiking trail that must be on every New Mexican’s bucket list. This trail is 1.9 miles long and will take you around two collapsed lava tubes. One of these lava tubes is the longest in North America. Make sure you bring good shoes as you’ll be climbing over many rocks and give yourself plenty of time to explore all of the caves in the area. Check out
to learn more about these lava tubes.
5. Slaughter Canyon Cave Trail, Carlsbad Caverns National Park
You only have to hike 1.5 miles to reach Slaughter Canyon Cave. However, despite the short trek, it is very steep and rocky and is best for more experienced hikers. To reach the cave, you must have a park ranger guide you, but exploring the inside of this cave will be an experience you will never forget. There is a fee to enter both the national park and the cave. To learn more about Carlsbad Caverns National Park, check out
6. Red River Caves and Mountains Trail, Carson National Forest
The Red River Caves and Mountains Trail is a fairly easy 1.7-mile hike.
does require a bit of a climb but it is fairly easy and the path is well maintained. The entire family will enjoy exploring the cave and if you are up for a little adventure, you can climb up some rocks and loose dirt to deserted mineshafts. Be aware that this can be a fairly busy trail with hikers and various motorized vehicles.
7. Sitting Bull Falls Trail, Lincoln National Forest
The Sitting Bull Falls Trail is a short, 0.7-mile hike that is well-known for the mesmerizing waterfall at the end of the trail. However, if you continue climbing near the larger falls, you will come across some small caves that are fun to explore. This is another hike in New Mexico where you’ll want to choose your timing carefully as this is a busy outdoor area. To learn more about this trail,
Did your favorite cave in New Mexico make our list? If not, please tell us all about it!
For more short hikes that are under 5 miles long,
check out this article. Address: Las Cruces, NM, USA Address: Sandia Mountains, New Mexico 87122, USA Address: Robledo Mountains Wilderness Study Area, Las Cruces, NM 88007, USA Address: El Malpais, New Mexico 87020, USA Address: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad, NM 88220, USA Address: Carson National Forest, New Mexico 87530, USA Address: Sitting Bull Falls, New Mexico 88220, USA