We've done this hike a few times this past year in the dark—can you remember the last time you did it during the daytime? I can't either!
This hike is tentative on the weather. As of Friday, the weather calls for gusts up to 35 mph. I will cancel no later than 2 hours before the hike Sunday if the weather will be bad (and since I like to play chicken w/ the weather and usually win, it is unlikely it will be any earlier).
If you have a GPS, please bring it, and load the GPS track linked below onto it.
DISTANCE is ~5 mi loop.
ELEVATION GAIN is some 200 ft elevation lost, but effectively it is much more because of the up & down of the dunes
FEES: $3/person. If you have a Federal Lands Pass, please bring them; they are accepted here.
DURATION: From late morning to early after
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash).
SKILL LEVEL is is good for a first hike, but still somewhat challenging; the sand is loose and the hike is medium-length (5 mi).
TERRAIN is gypsum sand dunes. My recommendation is that you walk barefoot; otherwise, high-ankle boots/shoes with gaiters (to keep sand out of your shoes) also work great.
WEATHER is TBA.
AFTERWARDS we'll be going to the Lake Lucero Tour.
MEET for carpool at:
Las Cruces: 8:30 am, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. See map (OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.35083&mlon=-106.76538&zoom=17&layers=M) or Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=32.35083,-106.76538&aq=&sll=32.2563,-106.7&sspn=0.015497,0.018582&ie=UTF8&ll=32.351135,-106.768591&spn=0.00774,0.01502&t=h&z=17)). El Paso: Please meet in Las Cruces, thanks! White Sands visitor center: 9:15 am. If you have a federal lands pass, consider carpooling from the visitor's center into the monument so people can save on admission fees. White Sands Alkali Flat trailhead: 9:30 am. Please meet at the Alkali Flat trailhead register. MORE information:
GPS track (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=stufjjeefthtmihc)