La Cueva rock shelter is an archeological site located at the foot of the Organ Mountains near Dripping Springs and the Cox Visitor Center. The shelter was occupied from almost 5,000 BC through the
historic period that followed the arrival of the Europeans. In the mid 1970's approximately 100,000 artifacts were recovered here by the University of Texas at El Paso..
During the 18th & 19th centuries, the rock shelter was probably known to the roving bands of Apaches who frequented the area. Then, in the 1860's, the cave was reportedly home to one of the more
eccentric figures of New Mexico's history, Giovanni Maria Agotini, known to local folks as "El Ermitano" ...the Hermit. The story of El Ermitano (an Italian born monk) is summarized on a plaque located
at the mouth of the cave which may be reached by a moderately challenging trail less than a half mile from a very nice picnic area.
The La Cueva area is also a very popular spot with rock climbers & bird watchers.