Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fluorite Ridge- Pony Hills


This area, northeast of Deming, has a lot to offer the desert explorer. There are the many mines of Fluorite Ridge with the chance to collect some beautiful mineral specimens.There is the history of Fort Cummings, Massacre Peak and the Butterfield Trail. And there's the outstanding petroglyph sites at Frying Pan Canyon and Pony Hills.There have even been Pleistocene fossils recovered from Starvation Draw.We had come with the idea of looking at the Pony Hills rock art for second time, but ended up taking our dog for walk down a little used road that ended on a small hill on the backside of Fluorite Ridge and over looks China Draw.We had a nice picnic,enjoyed views of the Cookes Range, and looked for rock art.This area is easily accessible by good county roads off of NM 26,yet we've rarely encountered people.We have been here at least ten times or so,sometimes finding what we're looking for,sometimes not, but always enjoying ourselves in the end.

11 comments:

oaul todaro said...

Great picture and comments..My friend and I are both teachers and will be out in southern New Mexico in two weeks. We wanted to try to see the ruins of Ft. Cummings and poke around a little. Can that be done with 2 wheel drive? Also, where could I find directions to those Pony Hill petroglyphs from Route 28? Thanks so much..Enjoyed the pictures...Paul

devon said...

The second county road( it has some funky name like green gem mine road) on the northside of 26 takes you the pony hills.You will drive past the mines and around one dam. At a second dam park and start combing around the rocky hills to the west.The road to fort cummings is a little further down off 26 also on the northside.You'll start off on a good county road but then take a left onto a much rougher road that goes to the fort.The road is ok for high clearance 2wd as long as it's not wet. very slow going though- have a good spare. You can also hike to this are from fluorite ridge area as well.It's drivable too,but you should have a jeep.

Marylin said...

Devon - my husband and I are in Las Cruces (mesilla area) and want to hike with our dog. must you keep dogs on leashes at most of these places in southern new mexico you suggest? Went to Mesilla Bosque St Pk today and they willnot allow dogs (its ok because I know it is under construction). What about any other areas? Trails in Organ Mtns? On leashes? Dripping springs, etc. Soledad Canyon? Know anything about them? Also, have you hiked at Percha Creek Box trail?

devon said...

Dripping Springs-no dogs Soledad Canyon- dogs on a leash, aguirre springs-dogs on a leash baylor canyond trail- probably should be on a leash. The rest of the organs you don't need a leash,but have one handy,many of the unofficial trails are pretty popular on the weekends.I have hiked the North Percha Box(see my blog).Nice trail.Pretty rocky for a dog. Other Blm lands are pretty much wide open,there's plenty of old roads,livestock trails to let a dog off leash.

Marylin said...

Thanks alot - this really helps...

biglar said...

I read about a slot canyon southeast of Silver City on this or a similar website and would like to visit it.

Now I can't find the site. Can you offer any assistance ??

biglar (at) gogittum.com

Thanks very much.

Henry Parra, Sr. said...
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devon said...

Henry, Fort Cummings was one of the first places I visited when I moved here. I've only been back once since then. I did a hike with group from the old fort to Frying Pan Canyon and back. I was wondering if you have been to a rock art site called Mcgee Canyon? I've read it's close to the head of Frying Pan. I'm beginning to work on a book about our new Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks National Monument with someone you've met: David Soules. There are some photos of Fort Cummings on the blog I took when I was still using film cameras.

Henry Parra, Sr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
devon said...

I had read that the mimbres river water runs right under palomas and provides water for the lagunitas south of there in Rex Johnson's book Flyfishing Southern New Mexico. I've done a little exploring around Goat Ridge,found some mines and such but no petroglyphs. I love the Gila,especially the Black Range. I've just started going back into some of the badly burnt areas this past summer and fall( Hillsboro Pond,East Railroad, Gallinas, Middle Percha). We used go out to Tres Hermanas when I first moved here, looking at all the old mines. I wanted to find a cave I'd read about but never did. I have exactly one arrowhead I found on Percha Creek. I'll probably return it one day. Nowadays if I find something in plain sight, I try to hide it nearby. Thanks for commenting.

Henry Parra, Sr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.