Dripping Springs Natural Area has a number of easy hiking trails, where you can see La Cueva where the hermit lived, walk through the location of an old mining town, and visit an old hotel and sanatorium. It’s located in the Organ Mountains just east of Las Cruces, and I went hiking there at the beginning of September.
From the visitors center, we hiked to La Cueva. The informational placard says that a hermit born to Italian nobility lived here after refusing to make his vows after seminary. He made a fire outside the cave every Friday to let friends in Mesilla know he was alive. When the fire didn’t appear in 1869, they sent a search party and found him face down, stabbed in the back.