This hike is approximately 10 miles round-trip with 3,000' of elevation gain, and should take us between 6-8 hours to complete.
We'll be meeting at K-Mart at 7AM and heading just north of Deming to the trail head; driving time is roughly 90 minutes. (FYI: There is a Border Patrol Checkpoint.)
Many of you may not know of Cookes peak even after having driven by it many times on I-10. Cookes is the high-point of Luna county located just north of Deming. It has a spire-like summit which looks very impressive from below; however the hike itself is attainable for anyone in good shape who is willing to do a bit of moderate scrambling to reach the summit. The views from atop allow one to see over a dozen mountain ranges including into Mexico and Arizona!
The hike itself begins with 2.5 miles of jeep road, before turning into a canyon that heads towards the ridge. The canyon hiking is not well established at times, but it is not as strenuous as many Organ hikes. There is some scrambling required as you near the summit, but not as challenging as what many of you have already experienced on the Organ Needle or on South Rabbit Ear.
The trail offers a fair number of piñon and juniper trees for shady breaks, so don't let the summer heat keep you indoors. Do bring plenty of water, sun protection, and an adventurous spirit!