It’s time for the annual Sierra Vista Trail hiking marathon! Also see the 27 mile event (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/93243502/), as well as the crosspost w/ the El Paso Hiking Meetup event (http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/92256292/).
The 12 mi trek takes you along the foothills of the Organ Mountains. The entire 12 mi is well-marked, and is 95% gravel/dirt trail for easy walking (the remaining is Jeep road). The elevation gain is minimal, though the trail goes into and out of several arroyos making for some minor ups and downs.
Fortunately, you’re not doing it completely yourself—we’ll have support people along the trailheads along the route. Plan on carrying a comfortable amount of food and water, and leave the rest with a support person for you to pick up at the next trailhead (see details below so you can plan). In the past, we've usually been done by 4.
Coordination is important for this hike so if you think you might be going, please RSVP. If you’re not going, do NOT RSVP; if you change your mind before the event, update your RSVP.
In the past few years, we’d have problems with people getting lost (either the entire group, or individual persons). Needless to say, it is important you pay attention to signs and stay with the group and/or people who know where they are going. If you have a phone or GPS unit please get the GPS track [coming soon].
There are 3 trailheads in the 12 mi route, creating 2 sections:
▸ Vado — To get to this trailhead, take Interstate 10 exit 155 (Vado), and drive east towards the mountains. After 2 miles and after passing the power lines, you’ll see a dirt road that will take you to the trailhead. If you’re doing the ½-marathon, you’ll start here. Map:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/93243502/geo:32.13764,-106.60574) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.13764,-106.60574&z=16), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.13764&mlon=-106.60574&zoom=16), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.13764,-106.60574&marker0=32.13764,-106.60574&z=16))
▸ Mossman Arroyo (Mesquite) — ~5 mi from the Vado trailhead. To get to this trailhead, take Interstate 10 exit 151 (Mesquite), and head east for 5 miles. The road starts out paved, then turns into a graded gravel road. One mile before the trailhead after crossing the first set of power lines, the main road takes a sharp left heading north to a quarry; instead of following it, take a Jeep trail (not well-maintained! watch your vehicle!) heading due east. You’ll pass underneath another set of powerlines. There are trailheads to your left and right. Map:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/93243502/geo:32.2101,-106.61457) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.2101,-106.61457&z=16), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.2101&mlon=-106.61457&zoom=16), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.2101,-106.61457&marker0=32.2101,-106.61457&z=16))
▸ Soledad Canyon (Las Cruces) — ~7 mi from the Mossman Arroyo trailhead. To get to this trailhead, take Interstate 25 exit 1 (University Ave) and head east towards the mountains for at least 10 mi. After you pass Tortugas (aka “A” Mountain), you’ll start seeing subdivisions to your left. You want to take a right, heading south, onto Soledad Canyon Road. The road before is Organ Mesa Loop, and the Soledad Canyon Road intersection has a Talavera Community Association sign. Follow Soledad Canyon Road south and then east as it makes a sharp left at the fire station, and continue going up the mountain for ~2.5 mi. Right before the road curves, you’ll see the trailhead’s parking lot to your right. Map:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/93243502/geo:32.29373,-106.6119) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.29373,-106.6119&z=16), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.29373&mlon=-106.6119&zoom=16), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.29373,-106.6119&marker0=32.29373,-106.6119&z=16))
If you’re doing the 12 mi route, we’ll meet at the Soledad Canyon trailhead at 9:30 am and carpool down to Vado.