Organ Mountains, New Mexico
The Organ Mountains, as seen from the west
Aguirre Spring Campground

The Aguirre Spring Campground is nestled at the base of a spectacular ridge of tall, needle-like spires on the eastern slopes of the Organ Mountains. These needles are composed of vertically-jointed Tertiary granite and contain the highest points in the Organ Mountains. This is a piece of Chihuahuan Desert overlooking the White Sands National Monument and Tularosa Basin. This is an area where most springs and streams are seasonal, but several active riparian habitats indicate the presence of perennial water sources.

South of the Needles in the Organ Mountains is an area of extrusive igneous rhyolite, the real bulk of the mountain range that reaches almost as high as the Needles. This area is almost bisected by Soledad Canyon. Further south is the Bishop's Cap Hills and Rattlesnake Ridge, both lower and smaller areas of fault-block limestone.

At the east end of the campground is the Baylor Pass Trail, a 6-mile foot and horseback trail (one way) that leads to the Baylor Canyon Road on the west side of the Organ Mountains. On the southern side of the Aguirre Spring Campground is the Pine Tree Trail, a 4.5-mile foot-access-only loop that climbs into Ponderosa pines at the base of the Organ Needles. Both trails offer great views of the Tularosa Basin and Organ Mountains.

Aguirre Spring Campground has 2 group sites and 57 family sites. On weekends and holidays this is a hugely popular get-away. Aguirre Spring is the only up-country campground in the Las Cruces/El Paso/Juarez area. Each campsite and picnic site has either shade trees or shelters, a picnic table and fire grill. Restrooms, including handicapped accessible, are nearby.

To get there: From the I-25 and US 70 interchange in Las Cruces, go eat on US 70 for 14 miles. About 1.1 miles past the summit of San Augustine Pass turn south on Aguirre Spring Road. Go 6 miles. At mile 4 the road turns into a one-way loop and gets steep.

Aguirre Spring Campground is open year round but day users must be off the property by 10 PM. From April to October the entrance gate is open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. From October to April it is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Fees: $3 per vehicle for day use, $3 per vehicle to camp. $25 reservation fee for the 2 group campsites.

Firearms are not allowed.

Maps: BLM - Las Cruces