These buildings were built around 1910 by a medical doctor named Dr. Nathan Boyd. Dr. Boyd built these buildings for his wife who suffered from tuberculosis. It then became a place for people who also suffered from the disease to seek refuge.
Some say that the canyon is filled with spirits of the patients who passed away at the mountainside sanatorium.The trail leading up to this place is officially closed every day well before dark, earlier in fact than all of the other trails in the area. And, there have been reports of campers in the nearby canyon campgrounds being terrified by strange visions and horrific nightmares featuring torturous treatments undergone by gaunt and ghostly "patients," even though some of the campers are said to have no prior knowledge of the nearby sanatorium's presence. There have been various paranormal investigations at this location; one group even claims to have gotten photos of "shadowy figures" in the ruins.
A hand-hewn stone stairway, above, leads up the mountainside to where the patients housing used to stand. All that remains of these buildings now are the foundations and low stone walls that outline the shapes of where they once existed.
In the early 1900's, Dr. Boyd was involved in a court case that would eventually deplete his funds; the sanatorium was sold to a Dr. T.C. Sexton from Las Cruces in the 1920's. It was intermittently run as a sanatorium and resort for several more years. Nathan Boyd's son, Earl, bought the place back in the early 1930's and moved onto the land, living in the Caretaker's house. In 1940, while Earl Boyd was away serving in the military, the remote structures were subjected to heavily damaging vandalism and looting by unknown parties. The place has been vacant ever since, despite changing hands one more time before being acquired by the Bureau of Land Management in 1988.
Major Eugene Van Patten was a former Confederate soldier who served under General Stonewall Jackson. He and his wife settled in Las Cruces in 1872 and Patten began the construction of Van Patten Mountain Camp. It was a resort along the base of the Organ Mountain range. Back then the resort was 2 stories and had 14 rooms, dining and recreational facilities, and a gazebo. Many famous people stayed here including Pat Garret and Pancho Villa. Billy the Kid and Charley Bowdre also spent the night here after Tom O'Folliard was shot near old Ft. Sumner. Later on the resort was expanded and made even larger with 18 more rooms.
Now a days you can see the ruins of Van Patten's Mountain camp at dripping springs national rec trail. It is a 3 mile hike up into the mountains from the dripping springs info center. The hike is actually not that bad. The path is pretty good all the way up.
At the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert lies a mountain ringed valley called the Tularosa Basin. Rising from the heart of this basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico.
Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and have created the world's largest gypsum dune field. The brilliant white dunes are ever changing: growing, cresting, then slumping, but always advancing. Slowly but relentlessly the sand, driven by strong southwest winds, covers everything in its path. Within the extremely harsh environment of the dune field, even plants and animals adapted to desert conditions struggle to survive. Only a few species of plants grow rapidly enough to survive burial by moving dunes, but several types of small animals have evolved a white coloration that camouflages them in the gypsum sand.
White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this gypsum dune field, along with the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment.
January 1 - May 27 7a.m to Sunset
May 28 - September 5 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
September 6 - December 31 (Closed December 25) 7 a.m. to Sunset
$3 - 7 Days
U.S. Highway 70/82 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces
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Dripping Springs is located In the Organ Mts. 15 mi E of Las Cruces. It is named for springs that trickle from the rocks. It is a National Recreation trail that leads to the old ruins of Boyd's Sanatorium, Van Patten's Mountain Camp, La Cueva Cave and more.
Before Starbucks was even a thought there was Genny's. Genny's was a coffee house in the truest 1960's sense of the word. It was a peaceful retreat in a sea of frat parties, binge drinking and all night study sessions.
Genny's had it all. Coffee from all over the world. Pastries, cakes and muffins baked right on the premises. Entertainment in the form of flamenco guitarists and board games. One could kill a lot of time at Genny's. Not to mention fall into time warp. I always have expected Patty Duke or an unknown, young Bob Dylan to walk through the door at any time. Genny's in a word was c-o-o-l.