The southernmost state on the CDT, New Mexico t offers many wonderful trail experiences! From the rugged Rocky Mountains to the desert grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert, the CDT extends for 820 miles through New Mexico, a mosaic of azure skies, adobe architecture, vistas of the “Wild West,” and red rock cliffs. In New Mexico, the CDT runs through the present-day and ancestral lands of numerous Native American tribes, including the lands of the Chiricahua Apache, Pueblos, Western Apache, Ute, and Zuni tribes.
The CDT meanders through some of New Mexico’s most spectacular natural and historic landscapes: the dramatic mountains of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness, mesa tops and canyonlands made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe, the Wild & Scenic Rio Chama, thousand year old Zuni-Acoma trade routes, the volcanic badlands of El Malpais National Monument, and the nation’s first wilderness area, the Gila.
New Mexico is home to roadrunners, gila monsters, javelina, and turkey vultures, as well as ponderosa pines, cottonwoods, aspens, mesquite, prickly pear, and yucca. A trip across these landscapes will have no shortage of ecological, human, and geological interests.
What You Should Know
Many people assume that because New Mexico has an arid climate, rain isn’t a consideration. New Mexico’s “monsoon season” in July, August, and early September often catches visitors by surprise with its frequent, violent afternoon thunderstorms. Flash flooding can be a concern as well. By mid-September, the monsoon pattern has usually weakened substantially; by late September and October, the weather is glorious withbright, sunny days with turquoise skies and cool, pleasant nights.
The Southern Terminus of the CDT, located at the Crazy Cook Monument in New Mexico’s bootheel, is only accessible by foot or by a road suitable only for 4×4, high-clearance vehicles. Please exercise caution if traversing these rugged dirt roads, particularly during or after monsoon season (late summer to early fall.) CDTC offers shuttles to those hoping to access the southern terminus – details are at the following link.Southern Terminus Shuttle