One hidden gem among U.S. national monuments is a treasure like no other. At the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, visitors take a deeper look into spectacular chapters of our nation’s history through the natural resources that make it what it is today.

Desert Peaks National Monument, east of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was “established to protect significant prehistoric, historic, geologic, and biologic resources of scientific interest”, and includes four areas: the 9000-foot-high Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces, the sprawling Potrillo Volcanic Field, Desert Peaks and the Doña Ana Mountains. Reflecting the vision of its backers, the monument encompasses some half million acres, or nearly 800 square miles, divided into several areas within southwestern New Mexico.


The monument, which serves as a popular destination for visitors, features recreational opportunities like strolling through desert nature trails and the chance to encounter petroglyph and archeological sites. Of course, visitors must – by law – leave the artifacts undisturbed. Still, it’s not unlikely that adventure seekers may stumble upon remnants and debris of campfires left behind by hunters and gatherers thousands of years ago.

Things To Do

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In addition to being a National Monument, The Organ Mountains are home to a range of recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping and petroglyph exploration.  The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument includes:

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

Over 22 miles of the Butterfield Stage Trail

Original US/Mexico border from Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (Changed by Gadsden Purchase)

Historic World War II Aerial Targets


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With the addition of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, there are now two National Monuments within an hour of Las Cruces, NM. All in all, the monument offers a powerful inducement to explore and discover—an authentic mecca for adventure travelers.