Because of a large fire much of the park was closed. I visited the Piney Spring Visitor Center and did several short trails with Boo, when visiting on Memorial Day.
The visitor center has a great exhibit on desert animals and plants. Well worth 1/2 hour or so of your time to stop and read the information. The Pinery Nature Trail, right behind the visitor center, leads to buildings from the Butterfield Stage, a 2800 mile route from Saint Louis to San Francisco. We did this short trail twice, once right after I visited the exhibit. Then Boo and took a lunch break, walked to the campground then repeated the trail. There are a lot more trails but none allow dogs.
There were some shorter moderate trails I was interested in but none were currently open. I’ll have to return!
They opened the Frijole Ranch and trails, the day before I left town, so I drove back out before leaving to see the historic buildings. I had expected to walk the Manzanita Trail. I knew the Smith Spring Trail is not open to pets but neither was Manzanita, unfortunately, and I didn’t want to leave Boo even for that short trail.