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Organ Needles Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Las Cruces, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,562 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Hike thru Desert Valley to the Organ Needles. NO PETS ALLOWED. CAUTION - EXTREME HIKE - rated toughest in New Mexico by BLM, not only for the actual difficulty but for the bushwhacking and scrambling as well. Take extra water! After paying at the visitor's center, drive west on the service road to the trailhead at the La Cueva Picnic area. On the trail at about 0.15 miles you reach a fork in the trail. Take the left fork. At about 0.75 miles you will meet the junction of the Fillmore Canyon Trail on the left. Follow this trail thru the gate a few hundred yards until you see a pile of mine tailings. Take the left fork and climb the tailings pile. Follow the trail above the tailings in the direction of the large yellow rock ahead. Just beyond the yellow rock is a good rest spot in the trees. From the trees follow the trail to the large gray rock. Climb to the left of the gray rock up to Juniper Saddle. From Juniper Saddle continue up through Dark Canyon descending the west side around the spur and up to the Needles Peak. Return via reverse route.

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike with great views that is decently challenging! You do definitely need to be in shape to make it all the way up to the top. I would highly recommend going with someone who’s know the trail, it is very easy to go off trail and get lost. Bring at LEAST 4 L of water, if it’s going to he hot day I would say 5-6 L.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Did this hike towards the end of May. The person who said that they almost died on the trail must have been an idiot. They must have been completely underprepared or did not pay attention at all while hiking. If you are planning on starting this hike midday in the 110 degree summer, Do not attempt this hike. If you plan on bringing one bottle of water, Do not attempt this hike. If you haven't exercised since high school PE, Do Not attempt this hike. All common sense things. Don't get me wrong, this hike is very difficult, but if you are in relatively good shape, it is doable. Take your time and bring a ton of water. Me and my buddies, all first timers, took about 8 hours for the whole hike with a bunch of breaks and drank about 6 bottles of water each. I recommend more because we ran out towards the end. I also suggest bringing the alltrails app with you. Sometimes, the trail forks and the cairns may be hard to follow, so it's an easy check to look at the map online every once in a while just as a sanity check. The rope is no longer at the top, but I would not rate the sprawl as a 5.8 rock climb, and really don't think it was too difficult to climb. As long as you take your time and pay attention to where you put your hands and feet, you'll be alright. Just do your research ahead of time and make sure you are well prepared. The summit is worth it all. Good Luck

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

I almost died!! Do your research. last 1000 meters you better have good endurance. I called for rescue but manage to dig deep and find my way in the dark after rock climbing Filmore waterfall backwards in the dark. this hike is no joke. I will come back and do it again and win cause today I almost lost

hiking
2 months ago

I have guided groups to the Organ Needle summit for 12+ years and summited over thirty times. I would definitely recommend going with someone who knows the route. It is easy to get off-trail and find yourself in a dead end canyon. As a former member of county Search and Rescue, I know that many missions involve hikers who underestimate this hike and find themselves lost, out of water and daylight and/or injured. People have died in these mountains and the Needles hike is to be taken seriously. Having said this, it is an amazing hike and worth the risk if you do your proper research and go well prepared.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
2 months ago

*I AM A LOCAL, AND HAVE DONE THIS TRAIL SEVERAL TIMES* I would 100% recommend finding an experienced local to do this with, PEOPLE DIE ON THIS TRAIL there is mandatory unprotected rock climbing, and MANY confusing twists and turns. Expect about 8 hours round trip if you are fit! This is a very rewarding and beautiful trial, but if you are just following the trail off of All Trails, the risk is not worth the reward. That being said, I know people will hike this without proper guidance anyways. Bring at least 4 liters of water, and stash about 2 liters at the saddle, be prepared for a 30 degree drop in temperature when you reach the top. (It’s usually pretty windy up there!) A rock climbing rope, Gri gri, and a Trad anchor wouldn’t be too excessive, and having a belay on the rock climb isn’t bad (it is about a 5.8) go in the early spring, or late fall, as temperatures in the summer get extremely hot, and make this hike much more dangerous. Long pants are necessary, as the route is overgrown and very sharp. That being said, calculate the risks carefully, hike prepared, tell some when where and when you are going, and enjoy!

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
3 months ago

This is a advanced trail. Do not attempt if you are not in shape.

hiking
4 months ago

Really good workout for the first part of the trail, then once you pass the second saddle right below the peak go down a little bit following the ribbons and wrap around the peak to make it up, only one part of the trail required actual “rock climbing” but it was only like a 10ft wall, with plenty of grip spots. Also during the winter the park doesn’t open till 8am, and the updated cost per vehicle is $5, but it’s free if you have an annual pass or are active duty military with a CAC

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

I don’t recommend this hike for the everyday hiker. Only very advanced hikers.

hiking
icy
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

amazing day to hike to th top!

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Definitely a tough hike, but doable. For some reason I didn’t take to heart all the warnings about the difficulty and was surprised at how rough the second half is. The trail is a bit ambiguous after you pass the gate to get off the Filmore Canyon trail until you make it to juniper saddle. Going up and coming down I found myself in this dead end gulley marked with a bunch of cairns making me think I was on the right path. Entering this gulley there is a cairn with what seemed to be shredded toilet paper beneath it. If you see this, you’ve got to back track about a quarter mile to get back to the correct path, it’ll bring you up to a juniper tree with a large rock right next to it. If you’re doing this hike in the near future, be prepared for dark canyon to be totally iced up. On the ascent, you’re definitely on all fours looking for anything stable to grab onto. On the way down I slid probably a collective 200 feet worth of trail by sitting on my heel and grabbing onto anything I could find to slow myself. I was worried about that little climb right before the summit but it wasn’t too bad, also the rope that’s there will just make you feel better about it if you aren’t confident. I have little climbing experience and made it without the rope with ease... but it is definitely a no F@$& up zone. Also would recommend trekking poles. I hiked it yesterday and my knees are killing me from the descent. The ascent takes a pile of physical effort but the way down takes a lot of care and focus. Expect to slip A LOT!

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