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.
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
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
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
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.