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La Cueva Rock Shelter (BLM)
Dripping Springs Road Las Cruces
SouthWest
575-522-1219

La Cueva Rock Shelter is an archeological site located at the foot of the Organ Mountains outside Las Cruces. This feature is now part of the Organ Mountain - Desert Peaks National Monument, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The shelter was occupied from almost 5,000 BC through the historic period that followed the arrival of the Europeans. In the mid-1970s approximately 100,000 artifacts were recovered here by the University of Texas at El Paso. During the 18th and 19th Centuries, the rock shelter was probably known to the roving bands of Apaches who frequented the area. Then, in the 1860s, the cave was reportedly home to one of the more eccentric figures of New Mexico's history, Giovanni Maria Agotini, known to local folks as "El Ermitano," the Hermit. The cave can be reached by a moderately challenging trail less than a half mile from a picnic area. Restrooms and drinking water are available at La Cueva picnic area. The Dripping Springs Natural Area has a visitor center, handicapped-accessible restrooms, 12 picnic sites, and one large family/group picnic site that can be reserved through the BLM Las Cruces District Office. There is no camping or pets allowed. There is a $3 per vehicle day use fee and the area is open year-round.