hike Dipping Springs, New Mexico

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

The #1 thing to do in Las Cruces is a visit to nearby Dripping Springs Natural Area.

From the city the peaks look impressive. I saw mule deer on the drive up.

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This is part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument designated by Obama in 2014.

From the Visitor Center I headed straight up to Dripping Springs Resort built as a tourist attraction in the 1870s.

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When it went bankrupt the new owner converted it to a sanatorium. His wife had tuberculosis.

Today I was mostly reminded that the works of man are fleeting. The environment will retake this part of the desert, given time.

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I backtracked then connected to the La Cueva loop.

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The best part was this hermit cave.

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There are a number of stories told of the man who lived and died here.

“John Mary Justiniani, Hermit of the Old and New World.” He died the 17th of April, 1869, at 69 years and 49 years a hermit.”

Better in the early morning would have been to visit the cave first, the ruins last. I would have gained sunlight.

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