Menu of this month's listings, stories and columns
DinoTracks Tour — Insights Science Center host its monthly DinoTracks tour 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at Mt. Cristo Rey in Sunland Park, open to the general public. Cost: $15; available at eventbrite. Information: 534-0000 or insightselpaso.org.
The 3-mile hiking tour promotes learning in the STEAM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
West Side Pond Tour — The Southwest Koi and Pond Association hosts its pond tour noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, showcasing 10 ponds throughout El Paso. Cost: $5 per person; includes admission to all 10 locations. Admission bracelet available at any of the ponds. Supervised children are free. Information: Myskapa.org or on Facebook at SouthwestKoiAndPondAssociationskapa.
Ponds include 224 Lomont, 300 Sharondale, 269 Fountain, 6233 Camino Alegre, 1105 Eagle Ridge, 6557 Cabana Del Sol, 6569 Cabana Del Sol, 5384 Davis Cup Court, 400 Willow Glen and 4347 Emory.
Enchanted Skies Star Party — The 25th annual night sky event is Oct. 9-13. Night viewing, lectures, and camping are at Star Village in the Cibola National Forest, 15 minutes outside Magdalena, N.M. Astronomers from New Mexico Tech, the Very Large Array, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, and Magdalena Astronomical Society will be on hand. Information, registration: (505) 515-5780 or enchantedskies.org.
Aspencade — Vehicles for the Cloudcroft, N.M. tours to Upper Carr Canyon depart at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14, from forest service parking lot across from the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce, with “cowboy coffee” around the campfire at the end of the tour. All events are free; participants must provide their own transportation. Information: (575) 682-2733.
El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society — The society’s general meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at UTEP’s Centennial Museum, 500 W. University. Victoria Milne, senior veterinarian at the El Paso Zoo, will present an update on the Zoo Raptor Rehabilitation Program. Information: Scott, 581-6071 or trans-pecos-audubon.com.
Field trip information: Mark Perkins, 637-3521 or trans-pecos-audubon.com.
• A Dell City and Hudspeth County tour to look for shore birds, hawks and passerines departs at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, from Evergreen Cemetery, 12400 Montana. Bring a lunch.
• A birding trip to South Texas is Nov. 2-6.
El Paso Zoo — 4001 E. Paisano. Entrance hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $12 for ages 13 to 59; $9 for ages 60 and older and active duty military (including spouse) with ID; $7.50 ages 3 to 12; and free for ages 2 and under. Zoo members admitted free. Information: 212-0966, elpasozoo.org, or on Facebook at ElPasoZoo.
Boo at the Zoo is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28, with music, candy, and family fun.
Celebration of Our Mountains — For more than 20 years, the celebration has included hiking, biking, birding, climbing, photographing, geocaching, studying and celebrating the natural wonders of the Borderland. For a full line-up of events, visit celebrationofourmountains.org.
Keystone Heritage Park and El Paso Desert Botanical Garden — 4200 Doniphan (across from Frontera). Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed Tuesdays. Admission: $2 (free for members); $1 children. Information: 584-0563, keystoneheritagepark.com.
Franklin Mountains State Park — Most hiking and mountain-biking trails begin in the Tom Mays area, off Transmountain Drive on the west side of the park (east of I-10).
Entry fee is $5 per person, free for age 12 and under (with family). Correct cash or check only. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Information: 566-6441 or on Facebook at FranklinMountainsSP. Web: tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/franklin-mountains.
Guided hikes and bike rides are $8 per person ($3 State Park Pass holder; $1 children 12 and under); price includes entry. Dogs welcome on leash on some hikes. Reservations required: 566-6441 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
• Nature Walk Trail Tour is 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Tom Mays unit. Suitable for all ages.
• Peak Fitness Hike is 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, meeting at the Cottonwood Springs Trailhead (strenuous hike, 8-mile round trip.
• A Women’s Hike to Aztec Caves is 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 (moderate).
• A Tin Mine Tours hike is 7 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, starting at Chuck Heinrich Park (moderate).
• Early Bird Hike is 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Birding tour hike, no experience necessary.
• Zombie Apocalypse Hike is 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, with an emergency preparedness/wilderness survival hike meeting at the Cottonwood Spring trailhead.
Rio Bosque Wetlands Park — UTEP’s Center for Environmental Resource Management offers free guided walking tours and other activities at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, 10176 Socorro Rd. in El Paso’s Mission Valley. Tours last about two hours. Information: 747-8663 or riobosque.org.
• Community workday is 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.
• Birding tour is 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21.
• Introductory tour is 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
• Bird Survey is 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. Meet at the visitor center.
Meeting place is a bridge crossing Riverside Canal. Take Americas Ave. (Loop 375) to Pan American Drive, turn left and travel 1.5 miles.
Municipal Rose Garden — The garden at 3418 Aurora (at Copia) is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through November. Admission is free. Information/rentals: El Paso Parks and Recreation, 212-0092 or elpasotexas.gov/parks.
Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site — Ranch Road 2775 off U.S. 62/180 (Montana Ave.). Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission: $7 (free age 12 and younger). Information: 857-1135, ext. 0, or texasstateparks.gov.
The 24th annual Interpretive Fair is 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. to Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20-21. Admission is free.
The Ghosts of the Ancient paranormal fundraising tour is 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Tickets: $20; available only through squareup.com; email confirmation needed upon entry.
Bring water, hiking shoes and sunscreen for all daytime hiking events and tour. Special events (space is limited; reservations required). Fee: $9 ($2 ages 5 to 12).
• Rare Plant Tour is 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.
• Tai Chi at the Mountain is 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.
• Women’s Hike is 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
• Stargazing is 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.
• Junior Ranger Program is 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
Reservations are recommended for the self-guided area and for camping: (512) 389-8911.
White Sands National Monument — The glistening gypsum dunes are about 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, N.M., on U.S. 70. Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 3. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Nov. 3. Last entrance is 8 p.m. Entrance fee: $5 age 16 and older. Free for children. Information: (575) 479-6124, ext. 236 or (575) 679-2599, ext. 232; nps.gov/whsa or on Facebook.
Sunset strolls are offered daily at 5:45 p.m. through Oct. 7; 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8-21; 5:15 p.m. Oct. 22-Nov. 3.
Full Moon Hike is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. Reservations required, starting one month in advance of each hike; online only. Cost: $8; $4 age 15 and young, plus monument entrance fees.
Full Moon Night program is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.
Ranger-guided Lake Lucero Tours are 10 a.m. Saturdays, Nov. 3 and 24. Program fee is $8 ($4 age 15 and younger). Check website or call for details; reservations required, available one month prior to tour.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park — 110 miles east of El Paso on the way to Carlsbad. Entry fee: $5 for ages 16 and older, good for one week and all trails. Pine Springs Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Camping is $8 per site per night. Information: (915) 828-3251 or nps.gov.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park —160 miles east of El Paso, off the Carlsbad Highway (U.S. 62-180). Information: (575) 785-2232 or nps.gov/cave.
Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; tours available 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m..
Daily bat flight talks offered just before sunset at the amphitheater through mid-October.
Star Walks are Oct. 5-6, and Moon Walks is Oct. 20. Participation is free, but space is limited.
New Mexico State Parks — Day-use fee is $5. All programs are free with park entrance, unless otherwise listed. Information: (575) 744-5998 or nmparks.com.
• Oliver Lee State Park, Highway 54 south of Alamogordo at the Dog Canyon turnoff. Information: (575) 437-8284.
Night sky viewing of the First Quarter Moon is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
• Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. 5000 Calle del Norte in Mesilla. Information: (575) 523-4398.
Audubon Bird Walks are 7:15 a.m. Saturdays, led by park volunteers. Ranger-led Nature Hikes are 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Fitness in Nature walks with the Second Chance Walker Program are 8:30 a.m. every Saturday beginning at the Visitor Center.
• Leasburg Dam — 12712 State Park Road in Radium Springs, two miles off Interstate 25 at Exit 19. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for day use. Information: (575) 524–4068.
Music and the Stars night sky events and concert is 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
Bird ID Walking Tours are 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 and Oct. 27.
• Percha Dam State Park and Caballo Lake State Park, 60 miles north of Las Cruces on Interstate 25. Information: (575) 743-3942 (Percha Dam) or (575) 527-8386 (Caballo Lake).
Star Program is 8 to 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
A presentation on Whiptail Lizards is 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20, in celebration of National Reptile Awareness Day.
• Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, N.M., State Roads 11 and 9. Day use hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Information: (575) 531-2711. The 13th annual Pancho’s Car Show is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, presented by Friends of Pancho Villa State Park.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument — 44 miles north of Silver City on NM Highway 15. Entrance fee: $10 (annual park pass is $45). Information: (575) 536-9461 or nps.gov/gicl. The trail to the cliff dwellings is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. year round. Everyone must be off the trail by 5 p.m. Visitor center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Reservations required for special programs. Call for times:
• Gila Nights Program highlighting dark skies and stargazing is Oct. 6.
• Canyon View hike is Saturday, Oct. 13 (strenuous, 3-4 hours).
• Full Moon Hike is Saturday, Oct. 27.
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park — 1504 Miehls Drive N., Carlsbad, N.M. Admission: $5 ($3 ages 7-12). Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Information: (575) 887-5516 or livingdesertnm.org.
Desert Starlight night sky viewing events are 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12.
Wolf Awareness Day activities are Saturday, Oct. 13.
The last full moon walk of 2018 is 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.
Alameda Park Zoo — Alameda Park, 1321 North White Sands Blvd. (U.S. 54/70), Alamogordo. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission: $2.50 ($1.50 ages 3-11 and 60 and older;). Information: (575) 439-4290.
The annual Zoo Boo is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20. Admission is free.
Aguirre Spring Campground — The Organ Mountain recreational area, run by the federal Bureau of Land Management, is off U.S. 70 about 15 miles east of Las Cruces. Day-use fee is $5 per vehicle; camping fee is $7. Information, group reservations: (575) 525-4300.
Dripping Springs Natural Area — The recreational area is at the base of the Organ Mountains at the end of Dripping Springs Road, about 10 miles east of Las Cruces. Gates open 7 a.m. to sunset through October and 8 a.m. to sunset November through March. Admission: $5 per vehicle. Information: (575) 522-1219.
Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park — ?56501 N Jornada Rd, Las Cruces. The park, part of Asombro Institute for Science Education, is northeast of Las Cruces. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Information: (575) 524-3334 or asombro.org.
To get there: Take I-25 in Las Cruces and head east on U.S. 70. Take the Mesa Grande Road exit (at Oñate High School). Make a U-turn under the highway to head west, and stay in the right lane. Turn right (north) on Jornada Road. Follow Jornada Road for 6.4 miles and turn left at the park sign. Follow the entrance road to the parking area and trailhead.
Asombro Institute for Science Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing scientific literacy by fostering an understanding of the Chihuahuan Desert.
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