The Organ Mountains Wilderness provides the backdrop to the Mesilla Valley and New Mexico’s second largest city: Las Cruces. From picnickers to horsemen, family outings to day hikes, these mountains offer recreation, important wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.. The striking granite crags and spires of the Organ Mountains range from 4,600 to just over 9,000 feet, and are so named because of the steep, needle-like spires that resemble the pipes of an organ. Alligator juniper, gray oak, mountain mahogany and sotol are the dominant plant species here, and in the upper elevations stands of ponderosa pine are found. Seasonal springs and streams occur in canyon bottoms, with a few perennial springs that support riparian habitats. Wildlife includes desert mule deer, mountain lion, a variety of song birds, and a race of the Colorado chipmunk. The wilderness includes the Baylor Pass National Recreation Trail.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Organ Mountains Wilderness.
From US Highway 70, approximately one mile west of Organ, drive approximately two miles south on Baylor Canyon Road to a trailhead parking area for the Baylor Pass Trail on the east side of the road. Hike east into the WSA; at 3? miles, you will reach Baylor Pass. Continue east on the trail downhill about two more miles and you will reach the Aguirre Spring loop road where the trail ends.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.