Little Squaretop

Page Type
New Mexico, United States, North America
Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
8919 ft / 2719 m
2532 Hits
78.27% Score
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Little Squaretop
Created On: Feb 1, 2011
Last Edited On: Feb 4, 2011


Little Squaretop (UN 8919') is one of the highest peaks of Organ Mountains located to the north of Organ Needle. It has two summits, Little Squaretop (W) and Little Squaretop Massif (E), separated by gully running north-to-south. When viewed from the west, only Little Squaretop is visible, a spiky point to the left of Organ Needle. In turn, only the Massif is seen when looking from the east.

The summits of Little Squaretop and the Massif provide solitude with astonishing views of Organ Mountains, the majestic Sierra Blanca and surrounding desert peaks.

There are a number of routes leading to the summits of Little Squaretop, both Class 3-4 scrambles and technical climbs, described in the "Climbing Guide to Organ Mountains" by R. L. Ingraham and on the Mountain Project website.

Organ Needle and its NeighborsView from the west
Yellow Rocks, Little Squaretop and Gray EminenceView from the trail
Little Squaretop and Little Squaretop Massif from Organ Needle View from the south
Little Squaretop seen from SWView on the approach from SW

Summit Block of Little SquaretopLittle Squaretop: summit block
Organ Needle from Little SquaretopSummit view south
Little Squaretop: summit view northSummit view north
Little Squaretop Massif from Little SquaretopSummit view east

Getting There

The easiest way to approach Little Squaretop is from the west using the standard Organ Needle Trail starting from Modoc Mine Road (a detailed route description by Gerry Roach can be found here). The standard (Normal) route ascending the north-to-south gully from Little Squaretop-Organ Needle saddle is a mix of bushwhacking, route finding and exposed Class 3-4 scrambling. The route is relatively steep involving about 4,000 feet of elevation gain in ~3.5 miles. The climb to the top takes ~4-6 hours, so most people will need a good portion of the day to make a round trip. Bring sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for bushwhacking through high desert vegetation.

When to climb

Late spring and fall are considered the best times to climb in the Organs. Temperatures can get uncomfortably high during summer months. During winter, snow can collect in the hidden gullies and on the northern aspects and persist there until spring.