One of the best parts about living in Picacho Mountain is enjoying the active lifestyle out in the beautiful desert climate of Las Cruces. Averaging about 320 sunny days a year and moderate temperatures most of the year, the Las Cruces area is the perfect place for year-round activities such as biking, hiking, gardening, and many others.
Whether you enjoy sports or are more inclined to the cultural attractions of the desert southwest, there is something for everyone at Picacho Mountain and surrounding communities. Let’s take a look around, and see what Picacho Mountain has to offer you!
Enjoying all that nature has to offer
The temperate climate lends itself perfectly to a number of outdoor hobbies almost year-round. While you may be the type to venture out on your own expeditions, there are plenty of groups that can introduce you to the activities available in our community.
Golf & Tennis
Golf, tennis, and pickleball can be enjoyed most of the year at the Picacho Hills Country Club, which is just minutes from our Picacho Mountain neighborhood. The pool is also a favorite amenity, especially when it gets hot in the summer! Please visit http://picachohillscc.com for information and schedules.
The desert is more beautiful than your initial impression of it, and the best way to uncover all its hidden beauties is get out on the hiking trails. Hiking is such an integral part of enjoying the active lifestyle in Picacho Mountain that it gets its own section in our outdoor activities list.
Many local trails are marked and well traveled. They are great for beginners and those wishing for a leisurely experience. However, there are many challenging hikes in our area, and some of them are definitely recommended in a group or with a guide.
The Ocotillo Hikers group began as a small group of friends with a common interest in hiking the local trails and has now grown to a loosely organized cadre of hikers with many different skill levels. They regularly host hikes of varying difficulties in Las Cruces and the surrounding areas. Please visit http://ocotillohikers.org for more information.
Whether you like mountain biking, street cycling or just like to get out for a casual ride now and then, the Picacho Hills area is perfect for everyone. The rolling hills and low traffic roads make for some fun yet safe routes. Make your way off the pavement around Picacho Peak and Box Canyon where you’ll find plenty of trails for mountain biking as well.
The Bike & Chowder Club is a group of recreational cyclists that regularly meets up for rides in and around the Las Cruces area. Their gatherings are know to include coffee, food and conversation.
ZiaVelo is a larger Las Cruces group that offers something for recreational and competitive riders alike. It consists of sub groups and teams in both mountain and road cycling categories. The group hosts races and events and many of it’s members participate in semi-professional races around New Mexico
Off Road Vehicles
Las Cruces and New Mexico is famous for some of the best 4×4 off road trails in the country. The annual Chile Challenge of Southern New Mexico is of the most attended amateur 4×4 events in the nation.
At the base of Picacho Peak, Box Canyon is the entrance to well known Las Cruces 4×4 off road trail, “The Gauntlet”. Not only is it a challenging Jeep trail, but it is also a great trail to hike on foot and gets shade during the morning and afternoon hours.
If you are interested in joining a local off road group, the Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club welcomes enthusiasts of all types.
Corralitos Trail Rides is located at Corralitos Ranch, just west of Las Cruces. Located on lands once inhabited by the Warm Springs Apaches, where the Spanish explorers also passed by and the Butterfield and Overland trails once crossed, Corralitos is the perfect place to explore on horseback.
Basic instruction is provided, so no experience on horseback is necessary. You can expect to see many interesting sights on the tours, including:
- The way (swing) stations where mud wagons changed mules
- Abandoned prospects and mines
- The remains of homesteads and fortified settlements designed to fend off raiders
- Ancient migration routes
For more information, visit http://corralitostrailrides.com/.
Gardening and Horticulture
Are you a master gardener? Maybe you are a hobbyist or have years of experience. No matter how green your thumbs, the Master Gardeners program at New Mexico State University has something for every plant enthusiast. Visit http://mastergardeners.nmsu.edu/ to learn more about the programs they offer to the community.
The Artists of Picacho Hills hosts their annual Art in the Garden tour where the artists team up with Picacho homeowners to set up art exhibits in home gardens throughout the community. It has become a popular community event and is a great way to meet your Picacho Hills neighbors.
If you are a shooting sports enthusiast, Butterfield Shooting Range is a great place to get some practice in. The facility is managed by the Las Cruces Parks and Rec Department. It features an array of multipurpose bays from 25 – 100 meters, a covered pistol range and three separate rifle ranges (300, 500 and 100 meters) with steel targets. On site you will also find Mesilla Valley Shotgun Sports, a dedicated shotgun sports range offering trap, skeet and sporting clays.
Want to try out white water rafting? How about a bike tour at a local hot spring? There are so many adventures waiting to be discovered in the areas surrounding Las Cruces. The key to enjoying the active lifestyle is finding out what interests you the most!
Prehistoric Trackways National Monument, the Chloride Ghost Town, and White Sands National Monument are just a few of the unique natural and historic sites that can be explored in a day trip from Las Cruces. The Gila Cliff Dwellings and many petroglyph sites can also be visited within a day or weekend trip.
For more information about other outdoor activities and day trips, please visit http://swexpeditions.com.
Local Activities and Events
We know that enjoying the active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a fitness fanatic. There are so many activities and events in the Las Cruces area that don’t include grabbing your hiking boots.
Local Vintners and Brewers
One hidden gem within the Las Cruces community is the small wineries that have sprouted up throughout the valley. Many include tasting rooms and specialty gifts in their stores. Why not sample what the local vineyards have to offer? Click here to see a list of local wineries.
Not to be outdone by the vintners, local microbrewing has had an upsurge in Las Cruces as it has in many other up and coming cities. Breweries such as High Desert Brewing Company and Picacho Peak Brewing Company are giving this trend a unique southwest flair. Vist www.lascrucescvb.org/breweries/ for a list of breweries.
Want to get into the home brewing business yourself? You can take a course on microbrewing at New Mexico State University! Click here for detailed course information.
Downtown Las Cruces
Downtown Las Cruces has definitely experienced a renaissance over the last few years. Many new upgrades to the physical space have served to enhance the unique local culture that has always been a part of Las Cruces living.
One local favorite is the Farmers and Crafts Market which runs from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm every Wednesday and Saturday. The market is located along N. Main street, right in the heart of downtown, and features many local handcrafts, foods, produce, and local musical talent. Visit www.fcmlc.org for more information.
The newly renovated downtown plaza hosts many concerts and cultural events, and also has a splash pad for the kiddos to enjoy in warm weather. There has also been a surge in food and entertainment businesses now moving downtown. Here is just a few that have recently opened:
- Rad Retrocade
- Amador Grill
- Broken Spoke Taphouse
- 575 Cruces Crafted Cocktails
- Jax Rooftop Bar
- Little Toad Creek Brewery
Historic Old Mesilla
Historic Old Mesilla is one of the most quaint and also historically important sites in the Las Cruces area. The local histories of the Native Americans, Mexicans, Spanish, and Anglo-Americans intersect in the history of this town square. Founded in 1848, Old Mesilla has seen the passing of the Butterfield Trail and the Gadsden Purchase, and was the site of Billy the Kid’s trial. Restaurants, local artisans, and cultural sites now inhabit the historic town center. Visit oldmesilla.org for more information.
Culture and the arts
The arts are also an important dimension of the lively culture of Las Cruces. Although Las Cruces still has a small town feel, the focus on local artisans and local producers keeps the art scene alive and growing in our area. Whether it is music, painting and sculpture, or theatre, Las Cruces has something to offer every art enthusiast.
Some of the arts experiences you can explore on the local scene include:
Local Activities and Events
There is something for everyone in Las Cruces. Don’t just take it from us, though. Come and experience the active lifestyle that can be yours in this beautiful desert southwest town.
Visit rankthebestlascruces.com to find more reasons that make Las Cruces a great place to live!
An enchanted lifestyle is waiting for you at Picacho Mountain
Las Cruces, New Mexico’s premier master planned community featuring custom homes and private neighborhoods designed for every phase of life.