Turtles & ice cream fitness hike


In the summer it gets difficult to go hiking on busy weekends or get up earlier and earlier to beat the heat. For those living in Las Cruces, there's no reason we can't fit a quick urban hike in after work.

Tortugas Mountain (aka "A Mountain", because it has a giant "A" painted on it as seen from NMSU/Interstate 25) is an urban mountain with many, many hiking trails to explore. Every Tuesday evening, we go out there, pick a random trail just prior to start, and get a few miles in before dark.

I have no intention of staying out past sunset, which limits hiking time to roughly 1.5 hours, and distance to 3–4 miles, max.

Routes may vary: we may walk around the mountain first and take the easy (road) way up, or split into groups and have one group take the easy way while the other group goes up quickly via a steep route. I also had the idea to play a game with a coin and at each trail junction, flip it to see which way to go. Etc etc.

Afterwards, we usually go out for food and beer at High Desert Brewing Co (located in Las Cruces at 1201 W Hadley Ave).

Additionally, Baskin Robbins has dollar scoop night—child-size scoops are $1, and full-size scoops $1.50 for all sorbets and ice creams. Make sure to burn enough calories to earn yourself a cone if you decide to join. Location of Baskin Robbins:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (https://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/112528322/geo:32.295397,-106.757192) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.295397,-106.757192&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.295397&mlon=-106.757192&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.295397,-106.757192&marker0=32.295397,-106.757192&z=18)).

Directions to the Tortugas Mountain Sunset Parking lot, from Interstate 25:

Take Interstate 25 exit 1 (University Avenue) Go east, towards the mountains and should be able to see the mountain with the giant white A on it. You'll pass two traffic light intersections, University Ave and Las Alturas/Don Roser, and University Ave and Telshor. The road curve, turning into Drippings Sands, and then Dripping Springs Road. You'll pass the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum on your left. Keep going. After about 2 miles, you'll reach the traffic-lighted intersection of Dripping Springs Road and Sonama Ranch Boulevard. At the light, turn right onto the gravel path. Stay to the left and follow the gravel path to the Tortugas Mountain Sunset parking lot. DISTANCE is variable depending on what we decide to do. Please plan between 2 and 6 mi.

ELEVATION GAIN is variable, but it is some 1000 ft to the top of Tortugas Mountain.

FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!

DURATION: variable; we finish when we finish. I aim for getting done by 8:30 pm or earlier.

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. You shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash. (Please bring a muzzle if there's any chance your dog may need it.)

SKILL LEVEL is variable: If you're a beginner, please come and let us know—we'll pick an easier route!

TERRAIN is loose, steep mountainside. I personally stay on trails but we may go off if people desire something more challenging. Proper hiking footwear and long pants are recommended.

WEATHER is clear, though sometimes it's windy on the top.

AFTERWARDS Beer and Nachos at High Desert Brewing Co.—feel free to join!

MEET at:

Las Cruces: 6:15 pm at Tortugas Mountain's Sunset Parking lot (see directions above). GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (https://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/112528322/geo:32.29748,-106.70694) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.29748,-106.70694&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.29748&mlon=-106.70694&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.29748,-106.70694&marker0=32.29748,-106.70694&z=18)) MORE information:

Map of area (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=32.28814&lon=-106.69907&zoom=15&layers=M)