The land around Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument has been important to Native Americans for generations. In 2014, this land was approved as a National Monument by President Obama.
Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the area sits at 9,000 feet above sea level and just under 500,000 square feet. This area actually covers four different areas: the Doña Ana Mountains, Organ Mountains, Potrillo Mountains, and Desert Peaks.
This area is not just important because of its natural beauty. In fact, it has a lot of cultural and historical importance as well. People have lived in the mountains and caves for thousands of years leaving their petroglyphs and artifacts behind.
The closest city to Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument is Las Cruces, New Mexico. It’s only about a 20-minute drive from there. For those traveling from longer distances around the Southwest, the National Monument is only minutes off Interstate 10.
Plenty of visitors will also check out some of the other nearby parks and monuments. These include White Sands National Monument, San Andres National Wildlife Rescue, and Franklin Mountains State Park.
Things to Do
Although this area can feel like a remote desert, there’s still lots to do. Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument is home to both natural beauty and some interesting history.
One of the favorite activities of visitors is hiking. Because the monument is in the desert, hiking is a year round activity here. One of the most popular hikes is a 1.5-mile long trail that goes to Dripping Springs.
One note of caution: if you do hike in the summer, be sure to bring plenty of water. It can get very hot. And the reverse is true for the winter – make sure you bring layers for cooler nights.
Another big attraction to the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument are the petroglyphs that visitors will find in the park. People lived here in caves over 7,000 years ago and left behind some of their drawings.
In this area, you’ll find lots of archeological and excavation sites which have excited historians and archeologists for decades. If you love this aspect of history, this area is one place that should be on your bucket list!
Of course, every National Park has plenty of photo-worthy spots, but Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument has many great spots. You can take incredible photos of the desert and mountains as the sun sets.
You can take incredible photos of the desert and mountains as the sun sets. There’s also plenty of natural wonders like cacti to check out. And, this area is often a stopping off point for many bird watchers to check out some migratory birds on their way south.
If you’re spending any time in the Southwest, consider making Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument a stop on your journey. You certainly won’t regret it!
Have you been to the parks in this area, let us know which ones are your favorites!