The Organ mountains just to the east of Las Cruces are a National Recreation area. On the Las Cruces side there are picnic grounds and several hiking trails. This area is called Dripping Springs and in the 1800’s there was a silver and copper mine there and in the early 1900’s a hotel and then a health spa but there is little left of them except ruins. We drove several miles on a dirt road to get to it. Hardly anybody lives nearby. This is mostly cattle ranching territory and we drove over a half dozen cattle guards along the way. It is very scenic but unfortunately none of the hiking trails were handicap accessible.
There is are picnic and campgrounds on the western side of the Organ mountains as well. They can only be reached up a narrow, winding road with a lot of hairpin turns and all the sites are perched about two-thirds the way up the side of the mountains on a steep slope. When we had driven back from White Sands the week before I had noticed the sun glinting off of a couple dozen spots and had wondered who lived up here. Every picnic site and camping site had a shelter with a metal roof and that was what the sun had been reflecting from It wouldn’t have been possible to get our motor home up there which is too bad because the view was absolutely incredible.
It was very quiet on both sides of the Organ Mountains. We had stopped at one of the picnic areas on the west side to have a snack and the entire time we were there the only thing we could hear was the wind in the tree branches. It is well worth a side trip if you’re ever in Las Cruces.