Hiking the Organ Mtns. + Waterfront Property at Caballo Lake

On Saturday we made our way to the eastern side of Las Cruces for a hike in the Organ Mountains. This rugged section of mountains contains spiky looking granite needles that have the appearance of organ pipes – hence the name.

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On the Pine Tree Trail- the bottom left photo show the Organ Needle which tops out at an elevation of 9,000′ and is the highest peak in the mountain range
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The Organ Mountains

There are a number of trails that traverse the mountains, including some fairly technical (and scary) sounding climbs up the steep granite peaks. We’re more into hiking than climbing, so we chose a moderate 4.5 mile loop that took us up to the base of mountains. The Pine Tree Trail starts and ends at the Aguirre Springs Campground. We hiked up a series of mild switch backs to the high point of the trail (elevation 6,880) and enjoyed a view of the Tularosa Basin below.

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View from the top

It was a perfect day for a hike with mild temperatures, little wind, and bright sun overhead. We’ve haven’t done too much hiking lately and it felt good to stretch our legs and lungs with an uphill work out.

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More from the trail

At the end of the hike we walked around the campground to see how it might work for a future visit. At only $7/per night, and a full cell signal, it seemed almost prefect. We did spot a sign on the drive up to the campground at the point where the road becomes a winding one-way loop that said no trailers over 23-feet, but Tim confidently claimed we could make it with the Airstream no problem. And the campground, could we fit in any of the sites? Yup. While a good number would only be suitable for tents or really small trailers, there were a few sites where we could have easily fit. This pull-though with an amazing mountain view was my favorite.

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Site 18 at Aguirre Springs

A definite possibility for the next time we come through this area, but for now we are headed north. Not too far north though. On Sunday we packed it up and traveled about 45 minutes to Caballo Lake State Park. We drove through the nearly full electric and water loop before spotting a few RVs down by the water. The campground website says they have primitive beach camping ($8/night or free with our pass) which sounded right up our alley, so we headed in that direction. The first site we tried was at the end of the parking lot for the boat ramp. Great views of the water, but too much potential traffic from people going in and out of the parking lot. Out next stop was down a dirt road  and out on a little peninsula. As soon as we pulled up I knew this was the perfect spot. Just look at that view!!!

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Waterfront property

As you can see, even though we are technically in the state park, we’re completely alone.

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Ahhh…all alone

I’ll share much more about the campground after we’ve been here for a few days, but for now here’s some pictures from yesterday evening.

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Caballo Lake at the “magic hour”
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Evening glow on the Caballo Mountains
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Pretty clouds over the lake
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Sunday Sunset

One more thing – I forgot to include the updated spreadsheet detailing our costs at the New Mexico State Parks last week. So here it is with last week and this week added in. At the end of this week we will have been in NM for 27 nights. If you remember the first week I said it would take 22 days for the pass to pay for itself, which means it now has and then some. Also notice how the per day cost with pass has dipped below the per day cost without pass. From here on out the divide between these numbers will continue to increase.

New Mexico State Park Fees

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10 Responses to “Hiking the Organ Mtns. + Waterfront Property at Caballo Lake”

Comments

  1. Bill

    man that looks like one perfect site. Alone is how we like to be too. I hope to visit this park when we get on the road.

    Reply
  2. Jodee Gravel

    Looks like a nice hike and I love the party-colored tree. Your campsite is spectacular – and free?! Doesn’t get much better than that. You must be banking that kamping karma along the way! I’d struggle concentrating on work stuff with that view out my window :-).

    Reply
    • Amanda

      The view is distracting for sure! That and the near perfect weather :)

      Reply
  3. Papa

    Sure looks nice there, too bad I’m pulling a 33 footer.
    I just heard of New Mexico’s pass…..got to love nearly free camping.

    I’ve been loving Lake Mead for a few weeks, but 95 degrees has me looking north.

    I did get to see the VW CAR SHOW in Boulder…..check it out

    http://www.papas-travels.blogspot.com

    Papa

    Reply
    • Amanda

      You could easily find a spot here at Caballo lake for your size. Either in the campground or the primitive area. Tons of space. The New Mexico State Park pass is the best deal we’ve ever come across.

      Reply
  4. Allison

    That is a spectacular camp site you have. You guys really have the knack for finding good places to park. I love the evening glow photo.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Thanks Allison. We really can’t take much credit for this one. Thought it was just going to be a normal state park campground. Who knew they had awesome waterfront primitive sites!

      Reply
  5. Joanne

    Beautiful photos, lovely post! The end of our work life is in sight for us at less than 2 years now, maybe a lot less. We listed our house last week and after 7 showings and 3 offers, it’s under contract! In the next month we’ll be moving to a 975 square foot rental, selling most of our stuff, and enjoying the last months of working life without the responsibilities of a big house. I read a lot of RV blogs to get a sense of what our life will be like. Yours and Wheeling It are my favorites, but you’re in an Airstream, as we plan to be. Thank you for sharing, Amanda!

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Congratulations on the quick sale of your house! I like the idea of downsizing in steps. From house, to apartment, to RV. Seems like a really smart way to do it. So happy you are enjoying our blog. We like sharing our travels with others and it’s always nice to hear from readers. Good luck on the next fews years, and maybe we’ll see you out there on the road someday :)

      Reply

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