Hiking

Aguirre Springs. Starting from the Aguirre Springs campgrounds, two hiking trails, Pine Tree Trail (4-mi loop), which runs through beautiful ponderosa pine territory, and Baylor Pass Trail (6 mi one-way), afford exquisite views of the Organ Mountains "needles" and the Tularosa Basin beyond. Off U.S. 70; from Las Cruces take U.S. 70 northeast 14 mi and head south at Aguirre Springs Rd. an additional 6 mi, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005. 575/525–4300; www.blm.gov. $3. Apr.–Oct., daily 8–7; Nov.–Mar., daily 8–5.

Dripping Springs Natural Area. At the Dripping Springs Natural Area within the Organ Mountains is an abandoned mountain resort built in the 1870s and converted decades later into a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Hike the 3-mile Dripping Springs Trail and you will pass the ruins of the now-empty facility as well as the naturally occurring dripping springs themselves. As you progress through the piñon-juniper and oak woodlands, you can potentially spot all manner of wildlife, including a few rock climbers testing their mettle on sheer rock walls jutting above you. This site is for day use only, and has 12 picnic sites; hikers need to register at the visitor center. Dripping Springs Rd.; from Las Cruces head east 10 mi on University Ave. (it becomes Dripping Springs Rd.), Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005. 575/522–1219; www.blm.gov. $3 per vehicle. Apr.–Sept., daily 8–7; Oct.–Mar., daily 8–5..