Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dripping Springs and Squaw Peak

I spent the night in Las Cruces last night because I was supposed to pick Noelle and Sierra up from the airport in El Paso around 2 pm and I figured if I stayed close to El Paso I would have the opportunity to go for a hike in the morning. I awoke this morning, got a breakfast burrito at a gas station, and headed into the Organ Mountains.

After checking in at the visitor center, I hit the trail. I opted to hike to Dripping Springs and make an ascent of Squaw Peak before I headed back to the car. I had been to Dripping Springs before with Noelle. It had been a long time though, and so I was excited to return and experience the area again. As I made my way into the mountains I was treated to some wonderful views of Squaw Peak, my objective for later in the morning.
Squaw Peak photo SquawPeak_zps66475c28.jpg
Eventually I headed towards a canyon amongst the high, jagged peaks of the Organ Mountains.
Heading to Dripping Springs photo headingupcanyon_zps92d51979.jpg

Dripping Springs was once a resort and later the site of a sanatorium. There are lots of structures and ruins left from the days of old. The first set of structures that I encountered were some stables and a corral.
Squaw Peak from Corral photo SquawPeakfromCorral_zpsce2d0821.jpg
As I headed further up into the canyon I encountered the ruins of the old resort hotel.
Hotel Ruins photo hotelruins_zpsb78a2dcd.jpg
More Hotel Ruins photo morehotelruins_zps6370834d.jpg
Old Window photo oldwindow_zpsfcf86a41.jpg
From the hotel ruins I followed the trail up to the the old sanatorium.
Sanitorium photo sanitorium_zps14aaf80f.jpg
Cistern photo cistern_zps6dea1d32.jpg
Behind the sanatorium building was a mostly intact house
House photo house_zpsd6e3e22a.jpg
and some low wall ruins. There was also a trail there that led to a dam above Dripping Springs. This was the water source for the hotel and sanatorium.

After exploring the ruins for a bit I started to make my way back towards the parking lot. By this time the early morning's blue skies had given way to overcast and the wind began to pick up. Still, I was determined to make my way to the summit of Squaw Peak and so I eventually left the trail and made my way cross-county to one of the ridge that ran up the mountain. At first the ascent was gentle, but eventually it got steep. In fact, I was forced to use my hands quite a bit as I made my way upward. As I made my way higher the winds got quite fierce, but eventually I topped out onto the summit of Squaw Peak.
Squaw Summit and Organ Mountains photo SummitandOrgans_zps6cec2d4c.jpg
I admired the view up there for just a few minutes before retracing my steps down to trail.
Heading Down photo headingdown_zps705a500a.jpg
Along the way I found a shed deer antler. 
Antler photo antler_zps7412876c.jpg

When I approached the car I decided to turn my phone on just in case Noelle called me with information about her flight. Unfortunately, she had left a message telling me her flight had been cancelled due to high winds. After talking with Noelle I learned that she will try to fly into El Paso tomorrow instead. sadly, I will have to wait an extra day to see my girls.                

No comments: