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Conservation Corps New Mexico

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CCNM Crew - About the Area

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New Mexico

Las Cruces is the second-largest populated city in New Mexico with just over 100,000 residents. The city is located 46 miles north of the of El Paso, Texas (680,000 residents) and 223 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The city’s elevation is 3,900 feet above sea level and is situated on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, at the foot of the Organ Mountains and along the banks of the Rio Grande. More information about Las Cruces can be found on the city’s official website.


Places to Stay:

Hotels/short term rental: There are many hotels, motels, Airbnb, and VRBO locations. Many alumni members have acquired long term rentals with Airbnb/VRBO hosts for the duration of their term.

Renting: Craigslist is a great place to start looking for rentals and house sharing. is also a good option if you are looking for individual housing. Not all the apartments that have available units show availability on, but the website does list every apartment complex in Las Cruces.

If you want more assistance with finding housing, or want to see if other folks on your crew are looking for housing, reach out to CCNM Staff! We would be happy to help you in any way we can.

Places to Camp:

Las Cruces is surrounded by the Bureau of Land Management that offers many camping options. Both developed campgrounds and dispersed camping are options within a 30 minute drive of Las Cruces. If you are adventurous and want to live out of your car for the season it is important to understand that winter temperatures regularly drop to below freezing (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit) and summer temperatures can reach upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Below are staff and alumni member recommendations on camp sites in the Las Cruces area.

--- Prehistoric Trackways National Monument: This monument offers free dispersed camping. There are no amenities (bathrooms, water, picnic benches) so plan ahead and bring your own necessities. There is a large, unmarked dirt parking area just past the trailhead on the left that is frequently used for overnight car/RV camping. This campsite is down a dirt road but is accessible to any type of vehicle and is accessible through MOST weather events. Prehistoric Trackways Website --- Directions to area.

--- Picacho Peak Recreation Area: This recreation area offers free dispersed camping. There are no amenities (bathrooms, water, picnic benches) so plan ahead and bring your own necessities. Dispersed camping is allowed when you hit the dirt road and continues up until the gate if the Picacho Reak Recreation Area/Trailhead. There are many roads off the "main road" that a suitable for camping. The dirt roads are accessible to any type of vehicle, however drivers who are unfamiliar with driving offroad in smaller vehicles may be uncomfortable in some sections of the road. Picacho Peak Website --- Directions to start of dirt road.

--- Sierra Vista Trail: Located below Dripping Springs Natural Area, this area offers free dispersed camping below the beautiful Organ Mountains. There are no amenities (bathrooms, water, picnic benches) so plan ahead and bring your own necessities. Dispersed camping is allowed when you hit the dirt road and continues until the road ends. This area is heavily utilized by campers/RVs, so it may be more difficult to find a spot here. The dirt road is accessible to any type of vehicle. Sierra Vista Trail Website --- Directions to dispersed camping road.

--- Aguirre Springs Campground: This developed campsite offers camping for a nightly fee of $7 per campsite that can be paid in cash at the campground. The site has pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and shelter structures at each campsite. Potable water is available at the campsite entrance/gate by the Camp Host. The campground is accessible by paved roads. The campground entrance gate closes each night at either 6:00PM or 8:00PM depending on the season. This campground is at 5,700 feet elevations - in the winter this campground frequently experiences temperatures below freezing - in the summer this campground is a great escape from the summer heat. Aguirre Springs Website --- Directions to campground entrance.

--- Leasburg Dam State Park: This developed campsite offers camping for a nightly fee, and can also be reserved in advance through their website. The site has pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and shelter structures at most campsites. Potable water is available in the campground. The campground is accessible to any vehicle by a gravel road. If you want to consider utilizing this campsite for the season, consider purchasing an Annual Camping Pass that will allow you to camp at most state parks in New Mexico for no additional cost. Leesburg Dam Website --- Directions to Leesburg Dam.


Things to Do:

White Sands National Monument is less than an hour east of Las Cruces. Get a sand sled and enjoy time sledding down the dunes. Or, head out during a full moon for a ranger-led moonlight hike!

The Rio Grande. There are lots of state parks and city parks along the Rio Grande to visit. At certain times of the year, usually the summer, the Rio Grande in Las Cruces is flowing with water. At other times of the year, follow the Rio Grande to the north for water.

The Organ Mountains hiking and rock climbing. The Organ Mountains offer tons of outdoor activities including hiking, running, mountain biking, birding, and rock climbing.

Hot springs. Statewide, New Mexico has lots of public and private hot springs. Within a few hours drive of Las Cruces there are dozens of public hot springs to enjoy.

Farmers Market of Las Cruces. Every Wednesday and Saturday, year round. Get fresh fruit, vegetables, and nuts from local farms, local products (like jalapeno jam and hatch chili everything) and local crafts.

Arts and Culture. There are lots of different options for the arts and culture in Las Cruces including museums, performing arts, community events, and festivals.

Additional Resources:


Red Cross of El Paso and Southern New Mexico: 3620 Admiral St. El Paso, TX 79925 | 915-592-0208 | Red Cross Website

Utility Safety: For utilities related emergencies (gas, water, sewer) | 575-526-0500 | available 24/7

New Mexico Crisis and Access Hotline: 1-855-662-7474 | available 24/7 | NM Crisis and Access website


Las Cruces Veterans Liaison: Eric Enriquez | | | 575-528-3473 | 700 N Main Street, Las Cruces, NM 88001

New Mexico Department of Veterans Services: 505-383-2400 | | NM Dept of Veterans Services website

Las Cruces VA Clinic: 3401 Del Rey Boulevard, Las Cruces, NM 88012-8041 | 575-522-1241 | Monday – Friday 8:00 – 4:30 | Las Cruces VA Clinic website

Career Resources

New Mexico Workforce Connection: 226 South Alameda Blvd., Las Cruces, NM 88005 | 575-524-6250 | New Mexico Workforce Connection website

General Assistance

Child Care Services Bureaus: 2805 Roadrunner Parkway, Las Cruces, NM 88007 | 575-373-6640 | NM Children, Youth & Families website

Health Services

New Mexico Department of Health: Dept. of Health website

Doña Ana Country Health and Human Services: 575-525-5870 | Dona Ana County Health & Human Services website

LGBTQ+ Resources

PFLAG Las Cruces: P.O. Box 2495, Las Cruces, NM 88004 | 575-323-9375 | | PFLAG website

LGBT+ NMSU: 575-646-7031 | Must be an NMSU student, faculty or staff to join group, events open to anyone | LGBT+ website

Equality New Mexico: Equality NM website

Other Services

Pull Together: Resources for child care, behavioral health, substance abuse, family services, domestic violence, career services. Las Cruces is in Doña Ana Country |1-800-691-6067 | | Pull Together website


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