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Tucked away in the shadow of the Caballo Mountains and New Mexico Sierras, the tiny town of Caballo, NM is proving more popular with visitors by the year. Caballo’s name speaks to the town’s romantic frontier past -- Spanish speakers might note that the word means "horse", and the area was named after the wild horses that ran there. Caballo’s main draw is its spectacular scenery, centered around the gorgeous and serene Caballo Reservoir, Sierra County’s second largest lake and a furrific spot for all kinds of outdoor recreation. The town is a little too small to sustain its own veterinary practice, but you’ll find a couple of clinics to take care of your buddy a twenty-minute drive away in the neighboring city of Truth or Consequences.
It should come as no surprise that Caballo doesn’t have its own dog park, but you and your pooch are still sure to sniff out something to do! You’ll find a pawesome state park right on your doorstep, and there are some other fantastically fur friendly hiking options not too far away. And if your furry friend needs to run free, don’t fret -- you’ll find plenty of op-paw-tunites for off-leash adventure in the surrounding area!
Since you’re already in the area, it’d be a huge faux-paw not to check out Caballo Lake State Park! The park doesn’t have much to offer the serious hiker, but the trails are still well worth a wander -- there are a couple of routes that snake alongside the Rio Grande, as well as some paths around the lake and through cactus gardens. Not only that, but the trails are mostly flat, making this an accessible day out for everyone from the most athletic animals to older furry friends that can’t quite move like they used to. Careful, though -- the routes aren’t very well-marked, so it’s best to look up a map before you go!
Curious tourists might feel a little crestfallen when they learn that Truth or Consequences did not get its title from a Wild West shoot-out, but was named after an NBC Radio gameshow that was quite popular in the 1950s. There’s one thing about T or C that’s guaranteed not to disappoint, though, and that’s the city’s mutts-visit dog park! Centrally located on S. Date Street, the park has three separate areas -- one for big pups, one for little pups, and one for doggos who get a bit overwhelmed. There’s plenty of room to romp in each, and bags and water are provided.
If your pooch likes to hike, you’d be barking mad not to take them to Elephant Butte Lake State Park! Caballo Lake State Park is a much better bet for those who crave solitude, but the preserve in Elephant Butte has a lot more to offer pooches and people who like to explore. The West Lakeshore Trail is ideal for those seeking a long walk -- the path stretches for a whole twelve miles and boasts fabulous views of the lake and the mountains. Once you two have walked up an appetite, why not chow down at the Smoky Turtle Restaurant at Turtle Mountain Resort? Their slow-cooked brisket is excellent, and you might even be able to catch some live local music on their pup-friendly patio.
Truth or Consequences three-mile Healing Waters Trail really does have something to offer everyone! The trail starts in Veteran’s Memorial Park, and winds in a three-mile loop around the city, taking in the historic bathhouses that were Truth or Consequences' original claim to fame (the city was previously named Hot Springs). Not only that, but some parts of the path offer panoramic views of downtown T and C and the Black Ridge Mountains! Afterward, consider stopping in at Carmen’s Kitchen. This local joint serves up paws down the best huevos rancheros in the area, and they cater to canines outside.
If you and your pooch are looking for a little variety in your off-leash adventures, why not drive down to Las Cruces and check out Las Cruces Dog Park? This pawpular dog run might be a ways away from Caballo, but make no bones about it, once your fur baby gets through those double gates, you’ll be glad you made the trip! Located in the central Las Cruces neighborhood of Loma Heights, the park has enough room for even the most rambunctious of pooches to blow off a little steam. Like the park in Truth or Consequences, this one has a separate small dog area, but that’s not all -- there’s some doggy agility equipment, too, as well as a couple of play pools to cool down in.
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