The steep-sided crevices, canyons and majestic spires of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks host stunning views, great recreation opportunities, archaeological sites and native plants found nowhere else in the world. The proposed Monument area also includes important historical areas including 22 miles of “Butterfield Stagecoach Trail”, Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock, and the International Border of the Gadston Purchase. The following is a guide to visiting the natural and urban features of the region. Learn more about recreation, history, culture and wildlife within the national monument with the interactive map.
What to see and do in the Monument Area
- You can purchase a guide to day hikes in the Las Cruces/El Paso Area at the Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) http://www.wildmesquite.org/
Picnic Areas – Aguirre Springs, Dripping Springs
- Visit Dripping Springs This is an easy but spectacular hike just outside of Las Cruces. There is a nice visitors center and a hike up a “beautiful lush canyon at the base of the massive 1,500-foot high cliffs of Baldy Peak. Rare and endemic plants, as well as historic ruins are located in the canyon.” (From Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces – El Paso Area Published by Southwest Environmental Center by Greg Magee)
Well known Archaeological Sites – Apache Flats, Valles Canyon, Providence Cone, Pena Blanca, La Cueva, Chavez Cave
The Monument has hundreds of archaeological and cultural resources for the public to enjoy. Please look, interpret and interact with our cultural landscape but leave all artifacts and resources in context for future generations and academics to study and enjoy.
Scenic Vistas – Picacho Peak, Bishops Cap, Mount Riley, Organ Peaks, Dona Anas, Lookout Peak, East Potrillos, Providence Cone, San Augustine Pass Overlook
- Picacho Peak This is the gateway to the Robledo and Uva part of the Monument and provides a view of the whole Monument Area. It is easily accessible from Las Cruces and part of the routes follow the historic Butterfield Trail.
Popular Hiking Trails – Baylor Pass, Achenbach Canyon, Aguirre Springs, Pine Tree Trail, Soledad Canyon, Fillmore Canyon, Valles Canyon, Picacho Peak, Lookout Peak, northern Robledo Box Canyon
Unique Geologic Sites – Killborne Hole, Aden Crater*, Providence Cone, Robledo Cave, Chavez Cave, Achenbach Cave, Pena Blanca Caves, Robledo Fossil Beds, Uvas Grasslands
Historic sites – Butterfield Trail, Slocum’s Ranch, Deming Bombing Targets, Dripping Springs Resort, Historic Ranches, Box Canyon and Apache Canyon Dams, CCC Terraces, Topp Hutt, Modoc Mine
Mountain Biking Trails – Dona Anas, Sierra Vista, Picacho Peak
Horse Trails – Baylor Pass, Picacho Peak
Climbing Sites – Organs, Pena Blanca, Rough & Ready
*Aden Crater (In the Potrillos; Proposed Wilderness Area) – a Lava Flows. Can see the Organs and the Uvas.
Fly in to: Albuquerque or El Paso International Airports
On the way down from Albuquerque
- Hot Springs @ Truth or Consequences
- Sierra Grande Lodge owned by Ted Turner (www.sierragrandelodge.com)
- Riverbend House has view of river (www.riverbendhotsprings.com/)
- Blackstone Hot Springs (www.blackstonehotsprings.com/)
- Charles Motel & Hot Springs (www.charlesspa.com)
- Hatch – New Mexico’s Chile Capital
- Sparkies is a Hamburger Joint famous for its green chile cheeseburger
- Pepper Pot is a famous New Mexican Food place
On the way up from El Paso
- El Paso Archaeological Museum
The El Paso Museum of Archaeology presents 14,000 years of prehistory in the El Paso area, the greater Southwest, and northern Mexico. You’ll see dioramas and exhibits of American Indian lives and their material culture from the Paleo- indian hunters of the Ice Age to their modern Indian descendants.
- University of Texas – El Paso Campus
Nestled in the mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert in far west Texas, at the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border, the campus of The University of Texas at El Paso evokes the image of an ancient and mysterious Himalayan kingdom.
- War Eagles Museum
“The War Eagles Air Museum is dedicated to collecting, restoring and displaying historic aircraft of the World War II and the Korean Conflict eras. This unique Museum pays special tribute to military aviation and reminds us all of the significant role these airplanes, their pilots and support crews played in securing our freedom.”
- Old highway 180 “scenic route”
HOME-BASE: LAS CRUCES/MESILLA
Places to Stay:
- Happy Trails Ranch and Bed and Breakfast – has amazing views of the Organs – Sylvia and Matt Burns, 575.621.0588, call to see if they are still operating
- Meson de Mesilla – (In Mesilla)
- The Lundeen Inn of the Arts – (In Las Cruces)
- Ramada Palms – have been very supportive of OMDP and local tourism
Sites to See:
- Farmers & Crafters Market
Saturday & Wednesday 8:30am – 1pm year round
125 N. Main, Suite 102, Las Cruces, NM 88001
- Old Mesilla Town Center
Was a Mexican town until the Gadston Purchase. It was a stop on the Butterfield Stage. Billy the Kid was held there across from La Posta.
- Prehistoric Trackways National Monument
“The Monument includes a major deposit of Paleozoic Era fossilized footprint megatrackways within approximately 5,280 acres.”
- Farm and Ranch Museum
“The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is 47 acres packed with real stories about real people. The interactive museum, which has welcomed visitors from all over the world, brings to life the 4,000-year history of farming and ranching in New Mexico.”
4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces, N.M.
- New Mexico Spaceport
- White Sands National Monument
About an hour from Las Cruces. Stunning white sand dunes made of gypsum that have formed because of the lack of a water outlet from the basin.
- Andele is a good local New Mexican food place in Mesilla. Chopes is another alternative.
- The Shed Best breakfast in the state. Some prefer the Mesilla Valley Kitchen.
- Nopalitos – in an old church downtown with an art gallery. Been there for years.
- De La Vega’s- Locally owned restaurant with craft beers and custom mixed drinks. Patio dining available
- Downtown Bistro- right on historic Main Street Las Cruces, New Mexico beers on tap, patio dining available
- St. Clair Winery & Bistro (in Mesilla). There are a few wineries along the Rio Grande only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Rio Grande Winery south of Mesilla (noon-6pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Fort Selden Winery in Radium Springs 1 acre place.
- Milagros Coffee Shop – an institution and has long support the monument and the university community. Becks is another great coffee shop.
- High Desert Brewery – Local brew pub with good food as well. Patio dining available.
- The Game – a local hang out, sports bar with live music on Fridays. Dozens of beers on tap. Patio dining available.