La Cueva (The Cave) in Las Cruces, New Mexico is a natural cave situated in a rhyolitic ash flow tiff (volcanic rock). The proximity of resources from a variety of ecological zones and the presence of running water or springs in the arroyo below the shelter are certainly the cause for long and frequent human use of the shelter.
Stone projectile points from the site indicate early to late Archaic occupation at the site. Few sites of this time period (approximately 5000 BC to 1AD) which contain depth and long occupation are known for this region.
La Cueva was once the home of The Hermit de Agostini. People warned him of the dangers of living alone in the cave. He said “I shall make a fire in front of the cave every Friday evening while I shall be alive. If the fire fails to appear it will be because I have been killed.” One Friday night in the Spring of 1869, the fire failed to appear at La Cueva. The people found him the Hermit lying face down on his crucifix with a knife on his back. El Ermitano is buried in the Mesilla cemetery.
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How to get there
Visitors should park and check in at the Dripping Springs Visitor Center, located 10 miles east of Las Cruces, on the west side of the Organ Mountains. From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east to the end.
$5 per vehicle day use fee
Dripping Springs Visitor Center [read more about Dripping Springs]
Where to stay in Las Cruces, New Mexico
You can search for a hotel below.
See also: My other travel adventures in the USA.
See also: List of National Parks.