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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
Turquoise Trail Sculpture Garden and Studio - Privately owned sculpture garden and studio of artist Kevin Box. Open to the public by appointment or by chance. Plan your visit today by calling (505) 471-4688.
Cerrillos Community Church - A Bible based Christian Fellowship. Bible Study, Worship Times on the Internet.
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.
Jezebel Soda Fountain - Experience the original soda fountain from the 1920's. Jezebel's decadent romance with food parlor.
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!
Tales and Trails Tours - Laurie Frantz: Offering full and half-day tours of the Turquoise Trail. Custom tours available. Call for details, including scheduling and pricing.
Kludgit Sound - Audio recording services. Since 1977. Live Band Recordings. Historic 1800s stone building with ISO booths.
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 Summer Chairlift - Enter Cibola National Forest and take a scenic chairlift ride gliding over the lush forest below. The more adventurous can take their own mountain bikes (or rent one) up the chairlift and ride down over 15 miles of trails. Enjoy specialties at the outdoor grill. Weekends & holidays, Open Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
Astronomy Adventures - Explore the celestial jewels and woder found in New Mexico's night sky. Telescopes provided. By Appointment.
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Madrid's July 4th events include the annual baseball game at 10 am & the town parade at noon.
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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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