Dripping Springs Resort was originally built by Colonel Van Patten in the 1870's. His uncle who operated the local Butterfield Stage Coach line invited him to come here. The resort had sixteen rooms, a large dining room, and a concert hall. It was very popular in the early 1900's and many famous people including Pat Garret and Pancho Villa stayed there. The stage coach brought them to the cool temperatures of the higher altitudes above Las Cruces. Local Indians lived and worked at the resort, carrying water from the springs to the room and entertaining the guests with their dances. After WWI Van Patten went bankrupt and the resort passed through a number of hands. The resort was converted to a tuberculosis sanatorium and while no patients were healed, the clean dry air and moderate temperatures didn't hurt.
Today the resort area and a number of ranch properties nearby have recently become the Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument. The hiking trails there are not long or terribly challenging, but we huffed and puffed through the 500 foot rise since we haven't gotten used to the elevation here. There's a big difference between 400 feet and 4,000. As we got near the springs we were surprised to find ourselves hiking on snow. But it was melting fast and we are looking forward to a warmer upcoming week. We were surprised to find a few buildings remaining from the old resort days especially considering the fact that there were built well over one hundred years ago. It was a lovely spot to get a little exercise and see the local flora, which looks ready to bloom at any second.