Local Tours in South Central New Mexico
Let an expert guide show you our main attractions and hidden treasures! There are a variety of tour options for every kind of adventure in South Central New Mexico.
La Morena Walking Tours – Preciliana Sandoval, a fifth-generation native historian, conducts walking tours of historic Old Mesilla. Experience adobe buildings dating back to the days of Billy the Kid.
Southwest Expeditions – A variety of tours in the Las Cruces area are available. Take epic hikes and camping trips in the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, experience the paranormal, travel down El Camino Real, and more.
Ted Turner Reserves – Are you looking for an Eco Tour? Visit Ted Turner’s Armendaris and Ladder Ranches and experience the flora and fauna of the desert Southwest.
Truth or Consequences Historical Walking Tours – Monthly walking tours in downtown Truth or Consequences are sponsored by the Geronimo Springs Museum History Club.
White Sands National Monument – Monthly full moon hikes through the gypsum sand dunes are led by park rangers. Registration is required.
Science & Technology Tours
Botany Tours – Join Kirsten Romig of the Jornada Experimental Range on bimonthly botany tours exploring the flora of the Chihuahuan Desert. Tours will take place in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area.
DinoTracks – Insights Science Center provides tours of these 97 million-year-old dinosaur tracks near the US-Mexico border.
Magdalena Ridge Observatory – The MRO is a closed facility. Sign up for an official tour during the yearly open houses in the spring and fall.
Prehistoric Trackways National Monument – Join the Bureau of Land Management’s monthly guided hikes to see world-renowned track fossils!
Spaceport America – Spaceport America is a closed facility. Sign up for an official tour. Tours leave from Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Very Large Array – The Very Large Array is open daily. Guided tours are available on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
Rafting the Rio Grande
Summertime is for rafting the Rio Grande! Winding your way through our rugged desert landscape with your family and friends is something you don’t want to miss.
Southwest Expeditions – Southwest Expeditions provides rafting trips in the greater Las Cruces area. Short trips and longer trips are available during the summer months.
Whitewater Weekends – Whitewater Weekends provides rafting trips in the Truth or Consequences area. Six mile trips are offered to groups both large and small. Rafts, kayaks, and float tubes are available.
If you like rafting the Rio Grande as much as we do, consider signing up for the annual Raft the Rio event hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Las Cruces. Groups and individuals build and decorate rafts using a variety of innovative materials according to each year’s theme. Others join in and float down the river in traditional watercraft too!
Fishing & Hunting
South Central New Mexico is home to Elephant Butte Lake – New Mexico’s largest lake! The lake is known for record-breaking bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, white and black bass, and stripers. Fishing opportunities abound!
Fishing guides are available in Elephant Butte for all of your fishing adventure needs.
South Central New Mexico is also an excellent location for your next big game hunt! Big game include antelope, bighorn sheep, bison, deer, elk, mountain lion, and oryx. The oryx is a popular trophy hunt. These majestic animals were first brought to New Mexico from Africa in the 1960s.
A list of hunting outfitters in Sierra County can be found here. Hunting outfitters in the rest of our region include Big Rim Outfitters, LOH Outfitters, NM Arrowhead Outfitters LLC, S.O. Hunts, South Peak Guide Service, and Tierra Encantada Outfitters/Guides. Click here for the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides’ Outfitter Directory.
Adventures on Horseback
Acacia Riding Adventures – Explore canyons, mesas, petrified sand dunes, ghost towns, and the banks of the Rio Grande near Socorro, New Mexico. Visit San Lorenzo Canyon on horseback. Full moon riding tours are available.
Corralitos Trail Rides – Explore Native American rock art, old mines, and abandoned homesteads in the vast desert landscape of the Corralitos Ranch west of Las Cruces. Ride north into the rugged Sierra de las Uvas.
Concho Hills Guest Ranch – This guest ranch is located in the foothills of the San Mateo Mountains near historic Magdalena, New Mexico. A stay at this dude ranch includes horseback riding, western ranch activities, and historical tours.
Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch – This dude ranch is located in the heart of the Gila National Forest. Stay in cabins nestled among the ponderosa pines and explore the area on horseback, including the most picturesque canyons.
Bosque del Apache – The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico is a birding hot spot. It is renowned for the tens of thousands of cranes, geese, and ducks who winter at the Bosque each year. Free, naturalist-led tours of the birds, reptiles, and mammals are available year-round. The annual Festival of the Cranes is held each November and features over 100 guided tours, hikes, and photography classes.
Ladder Ranch Birdwatching Tours – Ted Turner Reserves will take you on a birding tour tailored specifically to your experience level. Hundreds of species of birds, including black hawks, golden eagles, elf owls, curve-billed thrashers, and more can be found at Ladder Ranch.
Mesilla Valley Audubon Society – Bird walks are hosted throughout the year at the Mesilla Bosque State Park, Tellbrook Park, and Leasburg Dam State Park in the greater Las Cruces area. Field trips to additional locations in the region are also available.