Dripping Springs Trail

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

White Sands Area, New Mexico

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Dripping Springs Trail


  • View of the Organ Mountains and the trail.  The trail is well maintained. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • Dripping Springs is at the base of the mountains in the center. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • A fire leaves the land mostly barren while plants begin to return to the area. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • The livery of the Von Patten mountain camp.- Dripping Springs Trail
  • Von Patten Mountain Camp Hotel.- Dripping Springs Trail
  • The plant life in the foreground with the old hotel in the background. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • The springs in March. The Best time to see the springs flowing is in monsoon season from July through August.- Dripping Springs Trail
  • View looking west when returning to the trailhead. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • Another view of the trail. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • View of some interesting rock formations around the Dripping Springs Visitor Center operated by the BLM. - Dripping Springs Trail
  • View returning from the trailhead of the Organ Mountains to the northeast. - Dripping Springs Trail
Overview + Weather
Well maintained trail. Scenic. Old mountain estate.
Busy. Seasonal waterfall.
White Sands Area, NM
Pets allowed: 
Highest point: 
6,219.00 ft (1,895.55 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Total elevation gain: 
505.00 ft (153.92 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,836.00 ft (1,778.81 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Dripping Springs Trail is an easy out-and-back in the Organ Mountains National Monument. The trail starts at the visitor center where hikers can pay the $5 fee before using the trail (cash only). From the visitor center, signs point to the trailhead. Animals are permitted on the first half mile and then must either continue on different trails or turn around.  

The gravel trail initially descends for the first three-quarters of a mile. The first half mile of the trail has beautiful views of the Organ Needles, a mountain range named after the instrument due to the shape of its peaks. Once hikers get to the first junction they should continue to the right (the trail is clearly marked) toward the springs. The trails winds into the base of the mountains, and the mountain walls begin to encompass the trail. At approximately 1.2 miles into the trail there are signs to Dripping Springs, Boyd Sanitarium, and the Van Patten Mountain Camp. Hikers should spend some time exploring the area before returning the way they came. The waterfall is best viewed during monsoon season (July through August) because the almost daily storms will provide water for the spring. Other times of the year the waterfall merely drips, as the name implies.  

This is a great trail that provides scenic views of the mountains and the ability to learn about some of the area's history.

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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