The Dripping Springs Natural Area is a popular recreational area in the recently established Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. It's located east of Las Cruces, New Mexico in the western foothills of the Organ Mountains.
In addition to the natural beauty, there are historical structures and hiking trails. The goal today was to visit all the points of interest and hike all of the trails. Mission accomplished.
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was established in 2014 and consists of four sections in southern New Mexico near Las Cruces - the Organ Mountains, the Desert Peaks, the Portrillo Mountains, and the Doña Ana Mountains.
Today, we hiked what some call the most scenic trail in the Organ Mountains - the Pine Tree Loop.
It was our first trip to the White Sands National Monument and though it is a large park - the largest gypsum dunefield in the world - there is only one eight-mile road and there are few designated trails. We were able to drive the road and hike all the trails in this unique natural area in a day.
Bosque del Apache is one of the best National Wildlife Refuges in the country for birders. Today, we had the opportunity to check it out for the first time.
This day at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico was early on in our travels throughout the U.S, and it is still one of our favorite experiences.
We had low expectations of Carlsbad Caverns, but after a full day inside, we walked away completely impressed. Though we have lots of photos in this post, the beauty and scale is hard to capture - but we gave it our best shot.