Dripping Spring Trail System, New Mexico

Hiking and biking trails in the rugged area of southern New Mexico operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

Fillmore Canyon waterfall; photo by Frank Carey

National Recreation Trail

Designated in 1992

• View more details for this trail
in the NRT Database

• Learn about the NRT Program.


The Dripping Springs Trail System consists of four short trails, all linked together. The Dripping Springs Trail takes you to the historic Van Patten Mountain Camp and the Dripping Springs. La Cueva Trail links the Visitor Center to La Cueva Picnic Area and provides access from the picnic area to the Fillmore Canyon and Crawford Trails.

The entire trail system is nearly five miles, and offers spectacular views of the western side of the Organ Mountains and the Mesilla Valley.

The trail is open to hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking, but is a poor mountain bike trail because of steep slopes and thick brush that catches handle bars; the BLM has developed over 40 miles of mountain bike trails in the area.

The Pine Tree Trail is a four mile loop that starts at the Aguirre Spring Campground. It is open to hiking only; horses and mountain bikes are not allowed. Both trails offer breathtaking views of the Organ Mountains and the Tularosa Basin.

The Dripping Springs trail system is located 10 miles east of Las Cruces on University Avenue at Dripping Springs Road. Permitted trail activities are Walking/Hiking/Running. Facilities include a Visitor Center, Restrooms, Potable water, Picnic Areas. Features include Springs, Mountain Peaks, Historic sites. The Surface materials are dirt and gravel. There is a $3/vehicle/day fee. The trail is open all year with seasonal closures at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days. Times of opening are 8:00 a.m. until sunset.

There are two trails in the Organ Mountains Trail System; both were formerly designated as National Recreation Trails, but the two were combined into one designation. The Baylor Pass Trail traverses the Organ Mountains from the Baylor Canyon Road on the west to the Aguirre Spring Campground on the east, and is six miles long one way. The trail can be used for free from the west side, but if you go to the Aguirre Spring side, there is a $3 per vehicle day use fee.

To reach the Organ Mountains trails go east from Las Cruces on U.S. 70, then either south four miles on Baylor Canyon Road or south six miles on Aguirre Spring Road. Permitted trail uses are Walking/Hiking/Running/Mountain biking/Equestrian. Facilities include Restrooms, Potable water, Picnic Areas, Campsites. Features include Springs, Mountain Peaks, Sweeping vistas.


A half mile of La Cueva Trail is handicapped-accessible. Access to the trail is from the Visitor Center or La Cueva Picnic Area. Elevation: Lowest 5,600 feet; Highest 6,200 feet. Grade: Average 4%; Maximum 10%.

The Baylor Pass Trail is not considered accessible. Elevation: Lowest 4,870 feet; Highest 7,400 feet. Grade: Average 4%: Maximum 6%.

For more information

Bureau of Land Management, Las Cruces Field Office, 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces NM 88005 - (505) 525-4300