If you live in Las Cruces, New Mexico, you surely know the Dripping Springs Trail at Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument. Yet I'm surprised how many people - even those who hike the trail - are not familiar with two of the abandoned places you find there on the way to Dripping Springs.
Major Eugene Van Patten, a Confederate soldier, built his Mountain Camp (aka Dripping Springs Resort) sometime after 1872. The two-story, 14-room hotel included dining and other recreational facilities. After experiencing financial troubles, he sold the resort to Dr. Nathan Boyd in 1917.
Dr. Boyd constructed the nearby sanatorium in 1910. For a brief time, it housed tuberculosis patients until Dr. Boyd, too, experienced financial difficulties. All structures are now ghost towns, abandoned structures with only passersby to notice them - often with a certain chill.
The easy, 1.5 mile hike provides not only the Dripping Springs as a destination, and the abandoned buildings en route, but many beautiful views and opportunities for wildlife viewing.