Quite possibly, this is either the best or worse idea we’ve ever had! We’ve been trying to get this going since last year, and with the recent entry into DST we can finally start: HIKE & HAPPY HOUR!
The idea is simple: like Tuesday’s ice cream hikes, the goal is to make sure you EARN the right to enjoy a glass of beer or wine. Trust me, it does taste that much better after walking 6 miles with over 20 pounds of weight on your back.
Las Cruces has plenty of local-ish microbreweries (De La Vegas’s, Mimbres Valley Tap Room, High Desert) and vinters (St. Claire’s, Luna Rossa’s, etc) we could visit on a rotating, weekly basis, each with a wide selection of libations.
The La Llorna trail is a flat, gravel-bed trail along the Rio Grande. The portion we'll be hiking starts at Calle de Norte in Mesilla, and goes to the Picacho Avenue La Llorna trail head.
This trail is completely flat (i.e. easy). Consider bringing weights, etc to make sure you have a workout, and please bring a flashlight (I don't plan on using them but it can't hurt to be prepared).
Directions to the trail head (assuming you're coming from Interstate 10):
Take Interstate 10 exit (Avenida de Mesilla), and turn south, heading towards Mesilla When you enter Mesilla, you'll hit it's first street light, an intersection with Calle de Norte. Take a right (heading west) on Calle de Norte, and drive for about 2 miles. About 2 miles is the Rio Grande; BEFORE crossing the Rio Grande, you need to turn right onto a Rio Grande levee. There is a stop sign here, and the first few feet of the levee has extremely rough, rocky gravel (drive slow!). As you drive about 100 ft along the levee, the road will go down the levee to the left (towards the Rio Grande). At the bottom of the levee, do a u-turn and drive back towards Calle de Norte (opposite the direction you were driving on the levee) for 50 or so feet. To your right, you'll see another road heading to the trailhead's parking lot. Please see the map, particularly the satellite imagery on Google Maps (zoom in! at low zoom levels, the satellite image is out-of-date!), below to orient yourselves! Unfortunately there are not really signs, and it's difficult to see things in the dark. We'll try to have someone idling at the levee to direct people towards the trail head. Please keep the number in the comments and call if you have any trouble.
Note: it takes to long to walk 9+ mi and have time to do things in the evening (Friday is a work day and all), so we'll be turning around earlier than we have been at the Picacho Ave La Llorna trail head (where the rest rooms are) for a total of 6–7 mi. Again, please find ways to make this more difficult!
DISTANCE is ~6–7 mi, out and back.
ELEVATION GAIN is essentially zero, unfortunately
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: 2–3 hours. Should finish by 8:30–9:00 pm.
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 unbelievably beginner friendly. Please find a way to make it more difficult (weights, etc).
TERRAIN paved asphalt trail as well as a sections of gravel-bed trail.
WEATHER is TBD
AFTERWARDS is TBA; we'll decide during the hike.
6:00 pm, La Llorna trailhead at Calle de Norte. See directions above; GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (https://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/101016952/geo:32.26535,-106.82597) (see mapped on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.26535,-106.82597&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.26535&mlon=-106.82597&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.26535,-106.82597&marker0=32.26535,-106.82597&z=18)) MORE information:
GPS track (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=oiefeegepzwyalkn) (this is the full route; we'll only be doing ⅔s of this)