I recently bought a copy of Greg McKee's book "Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces-El Paso Area" and I want to start doing some of the hikes in the book starting with the easier ones and working up to the harder ones. I would like to start this Sun morning, with the Dripping Springs Hike in Dripping Spring Natural Area at the base of the Organ Mountains( http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/las_cruces/dripping_springs.html ).
According to the book the trail is 3.5 miles and is a moderately easy hike from the visitors center to the canyon at the base of the high cliffs of Baldy Peak. There are some old monuments including a set of cabins and the remains of a sanatorium.
Let's meet at Milagro Coffee at 8 am on Sunday morning or 8:20 at the Visitor's Center at Dripping Springs. There is a $5 day use area fee per vehicle at Dripping Spring, so carpooling is a good idea. If you own an annual pass, please remember to bring it along.
It's a nice short hike for a Sunday morning and if people are interested we can get lunch afterward.
According to the BLM website there are no pets allowed in the Dripping Spring Natural Area. There are restrooms at the trailhead, and a port-a-potty right at the base of the cliffs. There is a drinking fountain at the park office, but it's never a bad idea to bring water with you ( 2 liters in this case should be enough ).
Come one, come all! Bring your family! Bring your friends! Let's start hiking with one of the easiest and most beautiful hikes in this area!
Distance: 3.5 miles.
Duration: 3-4 hours. So many a place to linger and take photos. The hiking itself should not take that long.
Elevation gain: ~800ft. There is a bit of rather steep climbing to the back of the reservoir, but it's worth the effort. There's water in the reservoir all year round, which explains why there are fish in it. Minnows swimming top water are quite visible.
Terrain: very well maintained trail.
Skill level: beginner friendly.
Pets friendly?: Unfortunately, NO. Pets are not allowed in this state park and you should see why once you are there.