Elevation: 8,238 ft
GPS: 32.35, -106.566 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 517,985 total · 2,784/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Jan 23, 2006
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Access Issue: Power drilling is prohibited in the Organ Mountains Wilderness. Details


This eye-catching mountain range is just east of Las Cruces. There's probably more climbing here than one could do in a lifetime, but the long approaches over hot and unfriendly desert have kept the crowds away. The original Spanish name of the Organ Mountains was Sierra de la Solidad - Mountain of Solitude, and the name fits to this day. Off trail, and almost everything is off trail, the mountain range is ragged enough to be nearly deserted. If you do go there, plan on being self-sufficient. Be prepared to provide your own rap stations even on "established" rap routes. Cell reception is generally decent on both sides of the range, but other than that, expect to be on your own.

Some favorites which may appeal to you, depending on what you are after:
Easy climbing made adventurous by long runouts on ultra-long routes – Sugarloaf
Classic lines up steep, clean granite – The Tooth
Sunny cragging in the winter – Southern Comfort Wall
Shady cragging in the summer – The Citadel
Climbing within the sight of the parking lot – La Cueva
Bouldering in the south Organs – Pena Blanca
Bouldering on the east side – Aguirre Bouldering
An impressive summit gained with some effort – The Wedge

Overview of Areas
The mountain range divides naturally into North and South Organs. South Organs are largely off limits, being on Fort Bliss or White Sands Missile Range, and for the most part decidedly chossy. Almost all of the climbing here is in the southwestern end at Pena Blanca, and it is predominantly bouldering.

The northern half of the the range is granite. It starts from the south with the Organ Needle and Square Top area and continues with High Horns and Low Horns. Going north, the range splits into two parallel lines of peaks - Rabbit Ears in the east and Rabbit Ears Towers in the west - separated by Rabbit Ears Canyon. The north end is again basically a single chain of peaks which gets progressively less rocky.

Separate from the main line of the range, approximately east from the Needle is Sugarloaf. It is also granite, but it is an exfoliation dome studded with chicken heads rather than the blocky terrain typical of the rest of the range.

Also away from the main ridge line, low in the west and close to Fillmore Canyon (the line separating North and South Organs), is La Cueva.

Listing of areas (generally from north to south)
North Organs
.....The Diamond

Rabbit Ears Area
. Eastern line of peaks
.....Last peak
.....The Cwm
.....North Rabbit Ear
.....Middle Rabbit Ear
.....South Rabbit Ear
.....Pyramid of South Rabbit Ear

. Western line of peaks
.....The Citadel
.....Shortline Wall
.....Lesser Spire

. Western foothills
.....Rabbit Ears Slabs
.....Hot Gates
.....Northern Exposure Wall
.....The Fin
.....Southern Comfort Wall
.....Bastion Wall

The Low Horns
.....Low Horn 1
.....Low Horn 2
.....Low Horn 3
.....Low Horn 4 (McCalla Horn)
.....Low Horn 5
.....Low Horn 6

The High Horns
. The line of the peaks
.....The Spike
.....The Spire
.....Lost Peak
.....The Wedge

. The western foothills
.....The Tooth

Needle and Squaretops
.....Little Squaretop
.....Organ Needle
.....The Retaining Wall
.....Minerva's Temple

Sugarloaf Area
.....Sugarloaf's Stepchild
.....East Slabs

La Cueva
.....Shady Side
.....Sunny Side

South Organs
.....Achenbach Canyon
.....Long Canyon
.....Pena Blanca

Getting There

Approaches can be made from several spots. The Dripping Springs recreation area, the Topp Hutt and Modoc Mine roads off of Baylor Canyon road, and Aguirre Springs campground. Note that as of summer 2019, the Topp Hutt and Modoc Mine roads were closed due to conversion from wilderness study area to wilderness are. You will be ticketed if you park past the no vehicle signs. This annoyance means that western approaches start from La Cueva or directly from Baylor Canyon Rd.

Expect 1-4 hours for the approach and be prepared for desert sun and plenty of hostile plants.


Bouldering in the Pena Blanca area is covered in New Mexico Organ Mountain Bouldering Guide possible to find at vcrux.com/shop/29-new-mexic…

The guidebook "Rock Climbing New Mexico" by Dennis Jackson has a short section that is useful for climbing in the Organs. A new edition is now out (2006) and includes a bit more info on the area.

A few online resources are helpful. R.L Ingraham Guide to the Organs This is a guide written in the 70's and gives descriptions of most peaks and approaches.

To appreciate the early pioneers, Dick Ingraham in particular, and to get a feel for what it was like back then you can check mountainproject.com/v/dick-…

There is also a series of Topos (Rock & Ice #48 for one) for some of the more popular walls. However, it lacks detailed route descriptions and the topos have now been posted to Mountain Project into the relevant areas. If you need more information feel free to contact Marta Reece.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Organ Mountains

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
White Lightning
S Organs > … > Volcano > Rave
V5 6C
Existential Crisis
V5+ 6C+
Glass Ceiling
V8 7B
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
North Face
Trad 9 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Left Eyebrow
Trad 9 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Lowenbrau Light
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
The Jewel
Trad 7 pitches
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Gertch's Folly
Trad 7 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Black Velvet
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Tooth or Consequences
Trad 4 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Tooth Fairy
Trad 4 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tooth Extraction
Trad 5 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Science Friction (to Left Eyebrow)
Trad 9 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
White Lightning S Organs > … > Volcano > Rave
V2 5+ Boulder
Existential Crisis Aguirre Bouldering > Modern Psychede… > Modern Psychedelia Roof
V5 6C Boulder
Glass Ceiling Aguirre Bouldering > NIMBY Boulder
V5+ 6C+ Boulder
N.I.M.B.Y. Aguirre Bouldering > NIMBY Boulder
V8 7B Boulder
North Face Sugarloaf Area > Sugarloaf
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad 9 pitches
Left Eyebrow Sugarloaf Area > Sugarloaf
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad 9 pitches
Lowenbrau Light Rabbit Ears Area > Southern Comfort Wall
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
The Jewel Sugarloaf Area > E Slabs
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad 7 pitches
Gertch's Folly Low Horns > Gertch
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad 7 pitches
Black Velvet Rabbit Ears Area > Southern Comfort Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Margaritaville Rabbit Ears Area > Southern Comfort Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Tooth or Consequences High Horns > Tooth
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
Tooth Fairy High Horns > Tooth
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Tooth Extraction High Horns > Tooth
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
Science Friction (to Left E… Sugarloaf Area > Sugarloaf
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 9 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Organ Mountains »

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