So, I fell through on my July 4 plans, and then my backup-backupplans fell through, so I'm back to my first backup plans: a friend mentioned they were going up Picacho Mountain to see Las Cruces city fireworks display. I don't want to come down that mountain at 10 pm, nor is there much space at the top, so I figure I'll do Tortugas/A Mountain instead. If anyone would like to join, please RSVP!
We may split into two groups, one taking a direct, easy route to the top and the other perhaps something more sadistic so we'll have a story for the evening. Coming down, I plan on taking the road so we can be aware of any night-time critters (read: snakes).
Please bring a headlamp, portable seating, flashlight, adequate water, and your own libations (we are not going anywhere afterward). Remember, Benjamin Franklin (one of our many founding fathers) would like you to be happy, especially on July 4.
Directions to the Tortugas Mountain Sunset Parking lot, from Interstate 25:
Take Interstate 25 exit 1 (University Avenue) Go east, towards the mountains. 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 will probably be some 3 mi in total.
ELEVATION GAIN is some 800 ft to the top of the mountain..
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: Las Cruces city fireworks show finishes by 10 pm; I'd like to be down by 10:15 pm.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash).
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.
WEATHER is 40% chance of thunderstorms. Bring a water-resistant bag for your electronics and a raincoat. If we see lightning heading towards us, we will head down quickly.
AFTERWARDS I, personally, am going to sleep.
Las Cruces: 8:15 pm at Tortugas Mountain's Sunset Parking lot (see directions above). GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://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)