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
Jezebel Soda Fountain - Experience the original soda fountain from the 1920's. Jezebel's decadent romance with food parlor.
New Mexico Public Lands Information Center - One-stop resource for outdoor recreation on State & Federal lands; maps, guidebooks, permits, free information.
The Mine Shaft Tavern - Madrid's Historic Tavern now also has heated deck that overlooks town. Serving lunch & dinner with full bar. Winner of the Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger! Live Music every weekend & 12 Local Brews on Tap!
Two Mile High Gift Shop & Restaurant Atop Sandia Crest - Elevation 10,678 feet. Enjoy breathtaking views, eclectic gifts and light dining. Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Broken Saddle Riding Co. - Ride the Cerrillos Hills State Park. Silver & Turquoise Mines. Missouri Fox Trotters, Tennessee Walkers. Walk, Trot, Canter or Gallup. Small groups/private rides.
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.
Madrid Old Coal Town Museum - Ghost Town Museum! See mining relics, movies & more! Step onto Engine 769 & ring its bell. Apr-Oct Daily 11-4:30. Winter hours - Sat/Sun.
Tierra Sagrada Pottery (Sacred Earth) - Stop by to view Lia at work, or for a “clay experience”; call for a clay-historic tour of the area. Tierra Sagrade Pottery is .5 miles off Highway14, east on CR 44 also called Shenandoah Trail.
Encaustic Art Institute - 501c3 dedicated to encaustic/wax awareness. Gallery open 12-5 weekends, or by appt.
Cerrillos Hills State Park - Hike, bike or horseback ride scenic trails. Visit historic mine pits. Programs offered year-round.
Join Our Email List
Biochemistry research by Dr. James Howard into the springs of the Cerrillos Hills State Park.
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 »