For the first ⅔s of this hike, we'll be walking plain old Pine Tree Loop, walking counter-clockwise. Pine Tree Loop starts in the high upper desert and takes you into the pine trees & junipers; it's surprising how many people from El Paso and Las Cruces don't know the pine trees are so close!
At that ⅔s point, we'll go off the maintained trail down an ancient connector trail connecting Pine Tree Loop to Indian Hollow. The trail is described in Greg Magee's Day Hikes & Nature Walks in the Las Cruces & El Paso Area book, but you should note that the book was published in 1999 and the trail looks as if it hadn't been used since then. Please dress appropriately (gaiters, etc) and if you have garden shears/clippers, please bring them and help bring this trail back into use!
The GPS track posted below has a map of the trail and how it connects to the Indian Hollow trail.
Pine Tree Loop is a good beginner hike. Should you end up at the ⅔s point and don't think you can handle the much rougher ancient trail, feel free to continue walking down Pine Tree Loop trail back to the cars.
DISTANCE is ~6–7 mi, out and back.
ELEVATION GAIN is ~1000 ft gained.
FEES: $5/vehicle, paid at the trailhead If you have a Federal Lands Pass, please bring them; they are accepted here.
DURATION: Finish by mid to late afternoon.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and if you'd like to unleash, ask others before you do so.
SKILL LEVEL is *NOT* that beginner friendly, but if you're a beginner you can definitely do this and will be glad you did.
TERRAIN well-maintained trail, as well as an "ancient" un-maintained trail. Will be walking over prickly desert plants, ducking under overgrowth, etc on that portion.
WEATHER is TBA.
AFTERWARDS is TBA; we'll probably grab lunch in Las Cruces.
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: 7:45 am, in the southwest corner of Carls Jr parking lot at Artcraft and Interstate 10. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (https://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/102402662/geo:31.88206,-106.58385) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=31.88206,-106.58385&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=31.88206&mlon=-106.58385&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=31.88206,-106.58385&marker0=31.88206,-106.58385&z=18)) Pine Tree Loop trailhead: 9:00 am.
GPS track for Pine Tree Loop (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=zvybslbgpjxomavl) (not the exact route we'll be taking)