For those about to rock (crawl), we salute you. Rocotillo Rapids is a dramatic desert landscape of rock, bluffs, and hills decorated with ocotillo, prickly pear, yucca, and other native species. This trail is very challenging, but don't let that distract you from enjoying the beauty of the surrounding land. There are many small trees along the trail that will allow you to catch a little relief from the desert sun while you enjoy the scenery and maybe a little picnic.
Located at the northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Southern Robledo Mountains are home to the 100th most active U.S. national monument, the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument, and the Robledo Mountains OHV Trail System. Just four short miles northwest of Las Cruces, this network of trails, including extreme OHV and mountain bike trails, is easy to get to and close to all of the conveniences and services of a modern city. The trails in this system are the original trails of the annual Chile Challenge offroading event, which relocated further north to the Caballo NM area some years back.
The OHV areas here are separate from the Monument's sensitive fossilized trackway, and motorized vehicle travel is permitted only on designated trails and roads. Official signage for the trails is well and frequently placed, so it's easy to spot. The Monument includes a significant deposit of Paleozoic Era fossilized footprint mega trackways containing footprints of numerous amphibians, reptiles, and insects (including previously unknown species), plants, and petrified wood dating back 280 million years.
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