Let’s get number one and number two out of the way right off the bat.
1. White Sands National Monument
2. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
White Sands National Monument is a natural playground like no other. When you visit or live around Las Cruces, NM, White Sands is truly a unique and exciting adventure every time. If you are in the initial planning stages of a trip to White Sands, consider planning your trip around a full moon. Throughout the summer months, there are free concerts in the evenings on full moon nights. It will be a night like no other, even if it's not your first time!
The Gila Cliff Dwellings are a bit further away from Las Cruces than White Sands, but it would be unfair not to include this breathtaking experience in our top two. In NM you have many opportunities to climb through history. In the Gila, you have homes carved into a canyon in the middle of a huge wilderness. These homes were carved in the 1280s. Yes, the 1280s. The hike through the area takes about an hour and a half with kids. The experience is rewarding and will last a lifetime.
Now that we have these two wonderful adventures out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the hidden treasures around Las Cruces.
10. Mesilla Plaza
9. Geronimo’s Cave Hike
8. Soledad Canyon Day Use Area Hike
7. Doña Ana Arch Hike
6. Highway 28 Drive Through the Trees
5. Achenbach Canyon Hike
4. Picacho Peak Hike
3. Explore Downtown LC
2. Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria in Doña Ana
1. Slot Canyon Hike
Aguirre Springs Camping
Bishop Cap / Peña Blanca Hikes
Fillmore Canyon Hike
Aden Lava Flow Hike
I tried including easy hikes that may involve a gate jump (slot canyon), a day drive down the valley shopping, eating and drinking, and a few hikes that aren’t too challenging but tougher than a casual stroll.