Welcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
This week we’re highlighting the Organ Mountains Wilderness Study Area (WSA). On the east side of the mountains is the Aguirre Springs Campground and a trailhead for the Baylor Pass Trail. A morning hike on this trail up to the pass will be bathed in sunshine. You can continue on the trail beyond the pass to end at another trailhead, six miles on the other side of the mountain. The Organ Mountains are named for the steep, needle-like spires that resemble the pipes of an organ. Alligator juniper, gray oak, mountain mahogany, and sotol are the dominant plants here.
From US Highway 70, turn south on Aguirre Spring Road 1.1 miles east of San Augustine Pass. Drive 6 miles to the Aguirre Spring Campground where the trailhead for the Pine Tree Trail is located, and look for a sign on your right. The campground is a fee site charging $5 for day use.
WSAs are areas that were identified as having wilderness characteristics: a minimum size, having a natural appearance, and having outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation or solitude. WSAs have been studied for their suitability for Wilderness designation, and the BLM manages them to not impair their suitability for designation as Wilderness. For more information, please visit the Organ Mountains WSA website.
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