Hiking the Dog Canyon Trail near Alamogordo, New Mexico with your dog on a leash is a great way to spend an afternoon together, and both you and your pet are sure to sleep soundly after this difficult hike! It will likely take you about five hours to complete this out-and-back trail, and the best time of year to use the path is from September to May. Visiting during the summer means you'll be subjected to even more extreme desert heat than other times of the year.
During your hike, you'll get to experience the best of the Sacramento Mountains, including state parks, stunning canyons, and unparalleled views of the Tularosa Basin, White Sands National Monument, and the Organ Mountains.
Every quarter-mile of the trail is marked with a brown stake to give you a good idea of how far you've come. About three miles into your hike, you'll come across a cold stream where you and your dog can get some relief from the extreme heat.
The trail is tranquil during the week, but it's not uncommon to come across fellow hikers on the weekends. Because of the steep elevation gain in only 5.5 miles, this hike is incredibly strenuous and not recommended for beginners.
As the elevation changes, you'll get to come across a variety of different plant and wildlife species along the way. In some areas, you'll see desert vegetation, and the higher you climb, you'll start to see cottonwoods and junipers. Hikers often spot wildlife including lizards, snakes, elk, hawks, vultures, mountain lions, and a variety of birds.
Bring an abundance of water to keep you and Sparky hydrated throughout your hike, and always clean up after your pet.If you're looking for a challenging hike to complete with your dog in the mountains of New Mexico, look no further than the beautiful (and aptly named) Dog Canyon Trail!