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Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve582 County Rd 55
Cerrillos, NM 87010
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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
Sandia Peak Ski Area - In winter enjoy Snowboarding and downhill skiing. Six lifts. Certified snow-sports school and rentals available. Open Mid-December thru Mid-March.
East Mountain Centre for Theatre - Offering quality theatrical performances for all ages as well as after-school and summer educational programs for children.
Cerrillos Community Church - A Bible based Christian Fellowship. Sunday Bible Study, 8:15 am. Worship, 9:00 am.
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.
New Mexico Public Lands Information Center - One-stop resource for outdoor recreation on State & Federal lands; maps, guidebooks, permits, free information.
Talking Talons Youth Leadership - To elevate youth to become effective advocates and ethical stewards of themselves, wildlife, and the environment.
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.
Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological Site - "Living with the Land" Free tours, lectures, workshops, demos. Interpretive Center.
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Annual 100 mile bike event brings 2,500 riders down the Turquoise Trail to Golden, across NM 334 to Hwy 41 and a return to Santa Fe.
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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 »
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