Organ Mountains

Organ Mountains

The Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument’s 496,000 acres surround Las Cruces.  The Monument is home to a range of recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping and wildlife viewing.  

Hiking & Camping

Aguirre Springs
Location & Information:
The Aguirre Spring Campground is located on the east side of Organ Mountains, 21 miles east of Las Cruces in Dona Ana County.
Skill Level: Beginning – Experienced
Types of Recreation Available: Hiking, camping, horseback riding, picnicking, watchable wildlife. Leashed pets are allowed on trails.
Directions: Take U.S. 70 for 14 miles east of the I-25/U.S. 70 interchange in Las Cruces, then turn south on the Aguirre Spring Road (1.1 miles after San Augustine Pass) for six miles. At mile 4 the road becomes a one-way loop and climbs steeply.
Fees: $3 per vehicle for day use and $3 per night to camp. There is a $25 reservation fee for the two group campsites.

Dripping Springs
Location & Information:
The Dripping Springs Natural Area is located 10 miles east of Las Cruces, on the west side of the Organ Mountains. The Dripping Springs Natural Area has over four miles of easy hiking trails, including the Dripping Springs Trail, which shows off desert scrub and low elevation pinon-juniper and oak woodlands. The area also boasts excellent wildlife viewing opportunities
Skill Level: Beginning – Experienced
Types of Recreation Available: Wildlife viewing, hiking, picnicking.
Directions: From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east to the end.
Fees: There is a $3 per vehicle day use fee, and a $25 reservation fee for the group picnic site.

Sierra Vista Trail
Location & Information:
Extensive trail that runs right along the edge of the Organ mountains and consequently, has beautiful views of the mountains and Rio Grande Valley and eventually connects with the Franklin Mountain State Park.
Skill Level: Experienced – Advanced – Has loose sand in some spots.
Types of Recreation Available: Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding.
Directions: The trail is east and southeast, of Las Cruces. There are several trail heads. One is along the Soledad Canyon Road. From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east for about 4.5 miles, then turn south on the Soledad Canyon Road. That road will turn east in a mile; follow it until you come to a parking area on your right. You can also access the Mossman Arroyo Road trailhead by exiting Interstate 10 at the Mesquite exit. Other trailheads can be reached by taking the Vado Exit off Interstate 10, and NM 404 at Anthony Gap.
Fees: None

Bar Canyon/Soledad Canyon
Location & Information:
10 miles east of Las Cruces, there are several trails for mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian use, with beautiful views of the Organ Mountains and Southern Mesilla Valley.
Skill Level: Beginning – Experienced
Types of Recreation Available: Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing.
Directions: Located on the west side of the Organ Mountains, 10 miles east of Las Cruces. From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east for about 4.5 miles, then turn south on the Soledad Canyon Road. That road will turn east in a mile; follow it all the way to the end.
Fees: None

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was established in May 2014 to protect significant prehistoric, historic, geologic, and biologic resources of scientific interest, and includes four areas: the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Doña Ana Mountains.

The Organ Mountains are a steep, angular mountain range with rocky spires that jut majestically above the Chihuahuan Desert floor to an elevation of 9,000 feet.  This picturesque area of rocky peaks, narrow canyons, and open woodlands ranges from Chihuahuan Desert habitat to ponderosa pine in the highest elevations.  Located adjacent to and on the east side of Las Cruces, this area provides opportunities for photography, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

The Desert Peaks include the Robledo Mountains, Sierra de las Uvas, and Doña Ana Mountains, characterized by desert mountains rising steeply from flat plains.

The Potrillo Mountains are the most remote section of the Monument located a distance to the southwest from Las Cruces, and is comprised of a volcanic landscape of cinder cones, lava flows, and craters.

The Doña Ana Mountains have extensive pedestrian trails, equestrian trails, mountain bike trails, rock climbing routes, and some limited routes available for motorized use.

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument includes

• Over 22 miles of the Butterfield Stage Trail
• Kilbourne Hole National Historic Landmark
• Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock
• Geronimo’s Cave
• 243 Known Petroglyph and Archeological Sites
• Estimated 5000+ Archeological Sites
• Apollo Mission Astronaut Training Sites
• Original US/Mexico border from Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (Changed by Gadsden Purchase)
• Historic World War II Aerial Targets
• Fort Mason and Historic Ranch House Ruins

For more information about the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

Hotels in Las Cruces near the Organ Mountains

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