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Digital Subscriptions > Rock&Gem Magazine > August 2019 > NORTHERN ORGAN MOUNTAINS


White marble can be found on the dumps, and the darker sections of the dumps often have garnet and malachite, as well as ores oxidized to limonite.

The Organ Mountains are one of the most stunning ranges in New Mexico. Anyone driving past Las Cruces on Interstate 10 will have an excellent view of the mountains. The granitic core of the range forms a jagged, sawtooth pattern east of the Rio Grande. Early Spanish explorers thought they resembled the organ pipes of European cathedrals, and the mountains were referred to as Los Organos, or the Organ Mountains.

Like all mountain ranges in New Mexico, the Organ Mountains were painstakingly explored by prospectors searching for gold and other metals. Virtually all near-surface deposits of metals were discovered quickly and mined if they had enough ore. The Organ Mountains were no exception, and several former mines lie along the flanks of the mountains. While the Organ Mountains have several former mines, many are inaccessible for mineral collectors. Much of the eastern side of the Organ Mountains is part of White Sands Missile Range, and it is not possible to access any mines in this area. Private land and fences also block access to many of the mines that are not within the Missile Range. Many of the mines that remain accessible can take considerable effort and time to reach. Fortunately, there is an area just north of the Organ Mountains that has some easy-to-reach mine workings with collectible minerals. This is the area of the former Memphis mine, which is just north of U.S.

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Rock & Gem August 2019,