Dripping Springs Natural Area
Dripping Springs Rd
Overlooking Las Cruces from the east are the Organ Mountains, a haven for hikers and adventure seekers alike. The Organs, which rise to over 9,000 feet in elevation, are so named because of the steep, needle-like spires that resemble the pipes of an organ. This picturesque area of rocky peaks, narrow canyons and open woodlands shelters the Dripping Springs Natural Area, noted for its ¿weeping walls.¿ Formerly known as the Cox Ranch, this area encompasses a wealth of habitats containing great biological diversity, including four endemic wildflower species, the endangered Organ Mountains evening primrose and other rare plants, and a race of the Colorado chipmunk. The Dripping Springs Natural Area has over four miles of easy hiking trails, including the Dripping Springs Trail, which shows off desert scrub and low elevation pinon-juniper and oak woodlands. The area also boasts excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, including excellent year-round viewing of red-tailed hawk, Gambel¿s quail, golden eagle and rock squirrel. It offers very good year-round viewing of desert mule deer and coyote. Also watch for black-throated sparrow, ladder-backed woodpecker, verdin, black-tailed gnatcatcher, lesser nighthawk, Scott¿s oriole, cactus wren, desert cottontail, and collared and tree lizard in the spring and summer. Finally, there are occasional sightings of mountain lion.
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