Of the great hikes in the Guadalupes, this is certainly the easiest. In just a 2.6 mile loop you will pass three natural springs and, if you are just a little bit quiet, see plenty of wildlife. The first spring is at the ranch house adjacent to the trailhead. Manzanita Spring is next and just .2 miles down a paved path. Just going this far is very pretty and a nice walk for people of just about all ages and fitness levels (you can always turn back from here). Next you'll climb a few hundred feet and go in and out of an arroyo filled with much denser vegetation than in the surrounding area. This is where you're likely to see wildlife in the way to the highest of the three springs, Smith Spring. This hike can easily be added as a quick improvement to a day visiting Carlsbad Caverns from El Paso
- 2.60 miles of Singletrack
- 430 feet
How to get there:
The Smith Spring hike starts at the Frijole Ranch trailhead. From the Pine Springs park headquarters, drive 1 mile east on Highway 62/180 and turn left on Frijole Ranch Road. From there it's just a half mile to the end of the road and the trailhead. Walk toward the old ranch buildings and follow the paved trail. This will take you on a counterclockwise loop along Smith Spring trail.