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Announcing our Spring 2019 Back by Noon Schedule!

Calling all Nature Enthusiasts

The Southwest Environmental Center is excited to announce the Spring 2019 schedule of its popular Saturday morning, guided natural history outings. Nature lovers from across the region are invited to visit one of the nation’s largest desert grasslands, hear through the ears of a bat, learn about the ecological impact of the border wall, participate in a border-wide citizen science project, and learn about the volcanic turmoil that brought us our beloved Organ Mountains.

Back by Noon: Anthony Gap Cave

Franklin Mountains State Park


Enjoy the wildflowers, and great views on this 2 mile round-trip hike to a cave that is part of an extensive underground cavern network at the northern end of the Franklin Mountains. Our guide will be Don Baumgardt, an avid hiker, biker and owner of GeoBetty tours. $5 fee per vehicle to enter the Franklin Mountains State Park. RATING: Strenuous climb up a steep rocky trail.

Back by Noon: Spring Raptor Migration

Rio Grande


Every year thousands of raptors migrate north along the Rio Grande flyway through Doña Ana County. Join expert birder Wyatt Egelhoff on a walk along the Rio Grande near Mesilla to spot migrating raptors such as Sharp-shinned Hawks, Mississippi Kites, Swainson’s Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks and Northern Harriers. Be sure to bring your binoculars! $5 fee per vehicle to enter the park. RATING: Easy. (Hike #45 in SWEC’s hiking guide.)

Back by Noon: Reptiles of the Chihuahuan Desert

Baylor Pass Trail in the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.


Did you know that New Mexico is home to more species of reptiles than almost every other state? Herpetologist, Niki Harings will explain why as she leads us on a short trek up the Baylor Pass trail in the Organ Mountains where we’ll look for snakes, lizards and turtles basking on and around boulders. RATING: Easy. (Hike #23 in SWEC’s hiking guide.)

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