Stops & Shops
Photos & VideoVisit the Turquoise Trail online with our photo and video galleries
View Photos »
View Videos »
Stops Along The Turquoise Trail
Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve582 County Rd 55
Cerrillos, NM 87010
View Website »
View Facebook Page »
The Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve (OMEP) incorporates 1,350 acres in the upper reaches of the Ortiz Mountains, including Placer Peak, the highest peak in the Ortiz range at 8,897 feet (2712 meters). Once a center of mining activity during the New Mexico gold rush in the early mid-nineteenth century, the Preserve contains several historic mine shafts. The Preserve is located approximately 30 miles southwest of Santa Fe off the scenic Turquoise Trail.
OMEP is owned by Santa Fe County and managed by Santa Fe Botanical Garden. A right-of-way agreement with Lac Minerals allows SFBG to cross their property to access the Preserve.
The Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve is a spectacular natural area, a ponderosa and piñon habitat with everything from black bears (Ursus americanus) and coyotes to horned toads, bats, antlions, and over 80 species of birds.
The Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve (OMEP) is fully staffed by trained volunteer docents. Docents are adults of all ages, walks of life and educational backgrounds. The Preserve is accessible only via high-clearance four wheel drive vehicles. People who like to be outdoors are encouraged to join us.
Each year, we offer a Docent Training Program to prepare volunteers to lead nature walks and hikes at OMEP. The docents’ responsibility is to greet visitors in the OMEP parking area and accompany and guide them up the road and into the Preserve.
Our Docent Training Program is a free one-day event with both classroom and on-site presentations. Training includes classes, nature walks and digital presentations all taught by our Teaching Team made up of SFBG senior docents, educators and resource professionals and covers topics including plant life, geology, history, mining and more.
Trainees are required to spend time at OMEP observing activities and interpretive presentations. In order to achieve full docent status, trainees are expected to attend the full day training. Upon successful completion of the training, trainees can begin volunteering as a docent.
You might also like to visit
Astronomy Adventures - Explore the celestial jewels and woder found in New Mexico's night sky. Telescopes provided. By Appointment.
Tinkertown Museum - In 2010, Tinkertown was listed as one of the top 10 small museums in America by Fox News and Huffington Post on Trip Advisor. Open 9-6 daily, April-Nov 1st.
Cibola National Forest & Visitor Center - A welcome center to help make the most of your travels. Complete with maps, area information, restrooms, travel & road conditions.
Sandia Peak Tramway - Ride the Tramway - 2.7 miles rising to 10,378 feet with an 11,000 square mile panoramic view.
Nai of Stoneridge - Specializing in properties along The Turquoise Trail.
The Mine Shaft Tavern - Historic Landmark! Great Music & NM Cuisine, outdoor deck. 17 Local Brews on Tap! Lunch & Dinner.
Molly’s Bar - Passing through our doors you will find friendly faces, an efficient wait staff, and a host of the finest entertainers in our great southwest performing many styles of music.
New Mexico Public Lands Information Center - One-stop resource for outdoor recreation on State & Federal lands; maps, guidebooks, permits, free information.
Johnsons of Madrid Galleries of Fine and Fiber Arts Since 1973 - The biggest and best Art Gallery between ABQ & Santa Fe. Now with CHRISTMAS CITY, a new gallery of books and other playthings.
Turquoise Trail Sculpture Garden and Studio - Artist Kevin Box resides, creates and exhibits his work and others’ in this world-class space. Open during season, by appointment and by chance.
Join Our Email List
Strenuous and outstanding hike to Placer Peak the highest peak in the Ortiz Mountains at 8,897 feet.
Event details » View all events »
National Scenic BywayOn June 15, 2000 the Turquoise Trail received designation as a National Scenic Byway from the The National Scenic Byways Program after completing a comprehensive corridor management plan.
The plan is available for review here »
Take a moment to visit our other friends.Visit our connections »