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Panoramic view from Pine Tree Trail, Aguirre Spring, NM.

From half-way up the Pine Tree Trail, on the east side of the Organs, what does the world look like?

The Tularosa Basin, a BIG dry land basin, lays in front of you ~ to the northeast, due east, and southeast.

Just how “big” is the Tularosa Basin?

It covers over 6500 square miles and is larger than the state of Connecticut. And White Sands Missile Range, where the world’s first atomic bomb exploded, occupies roughly half of that area.

The southern portion of the Missile Range is the land you see directly in front of you; the Missile Range Headquarters is to the right (under the branches of that tree!).

You can see the Sacramento Mountains beyond, some 60 miles away, on a clear day.

Good thing most days in Las Cruces are clear.

As a result, views from the Pine Tree Trail are hard to beat.

And Pine Tree is just one of the hiking trails you can access via Aguirre Spring campground, a few miles east of Las Cruces. You enter the road leading to the campground just off the US 70 East.

How far is “all the way up?”

Nearly 7000 ft. Took my hiking buddy and me about 3 hours to complete the 4.5-mile loop. But we did make frequent stops for snacking, picture taking, and the occasional passing snake.