Welcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
This week, we are highlighting the Organ Mountains Wilderness Study Area (WSA) accessed by the Baylor Pass Trail on the eastern edge of Las Cruces. This Trail will take you through an area dominated by shrubs with alligator juniper, gray oak, and mountain mahogany increasingly mixed in the higher up you go. The Trail provides outstanding views of both sides of the mountains, and takes you below crags towering above.
Whereas many wilderness lands are remote and distant, here you will find a wilderness setting just minutes from the city. The Organ Mountains form a beautiful natural backdrop to Las Cruces, which all residents enjoy. You may not find a lot of solitude on this popular trail, but you will find outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation. Congress has recognized, through past legislation, that roadless areas near cities provide important wilderness opportunities, which enhances the value of wilderness.
From U.S. Highway 70, approximately one mile west of Organ, New Mexico, drive approximately 2 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 3¼ miles, you will reach Baylor Pass. Either turn around here, or if you have arranged a pick-up with a friend, continue east on the trail downhill about 2 more miles and you will reach the Aguirre Spring Loop Road where the trail ends.
For more information please visit the Organ Mountains WSA website.
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